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Se, according to ancient books, is a stringed musical instrument that has twenty-five strings. This Wooden Se is a copy of one unearthed at Changtaiguan, Xinyang. The nodes, lowly positioned, consist of two lines which require the deft coordination of both hands when performed.
       Updated:2006-06-08      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  
  

The Spring and Autumn Period
Unearthed at Hougudui, GushiCounty
  

Se, according to ancient books, is a stringed musical instrumentthat has twenty-five strings. This Wooden Se is a copy of oneunearthed at Changtaiguan, Xinyang. The nodes, lowly positioned,consist of two lines which require the deft coordination of bothhands when performed. The scene of Se playing exhibited by thepainted bricks of the Han Dynasty also shows this. Se can convertto different tones conveniently with the color codes unchanged. Seis able to play   the crisp, high pitched tones, brightmediant ones, as well as vigorous, and saturated bass notes.

The Se sounds beautiful being plaed both solo and as part ofensemble. In ancient times there were numerous musicians good at Seand Sheng, a reed pipe wind instrument: Confucius learned to playthe Se from Shixiang, in the State Wei. Shiwen of the State Zhengreally enjoyed listening to the Se, like many oher prominenthistorical Chinese persons.

There is a famous Chinese story involving the Se: a toweringmountain, rushing water and close friends. The story haspassed     from generation to generation.According to the ancients, “Fuxi made the Se, and the Qin.” Fuxi,the mythical ancestor of the Chinese nation, was also the God ofMusic. As the verse goes, “The crying deer is taking duckweed inthe field; and on my part, the distinguished guests are playing Seand Sheng.” The melody of strings resembles running water, chirpingphoenix, or a south wind, or possible full moon. It instructs us tolive in the full-bodied fragrance of nature.