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Instruments Gray Pottery Xun
The music instruments unearthed in Henan in recent years have drawn worldwide attention, because of the diversity and quantity. Especially, the instruments from the remote antiquity which account for over ninety-percent of the musical instruments found in Henan.
       Updated:2006-06-21      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  
Shang Dynasty
Unearthed at Fuhao Tomb, Yin Ruins,Anyang.
Xun is one of China's earliest wind instruments, and thispiece was produced with the pottery excavated at the Yin Ruins,Anyang. According to ancient records, “Fuxi, the mythical firstruler of China, made Xun by burning clay. This story indicates thatthe instrument emerged in the remote era of the Three August Onesand the Five Emperors.
The Xun referred to here is a top-side-down conch shape. Itfeatures a round opening at the top. To be specific, it is aFive-Sound-Hole Xun, 3 sound holes are in a reverse pyramidarrangement on one lower side, and 2 holes in symmetricaldistribution can be found on the other side. The holes aredifferent sizes, but the same shape.The instrument has a flatbottom.
According to sound measurement, the instrument is able toproduce 11 different sounds, and extends 7 scales. As a variety ofscale and tone was available, the manufacture of the instrument wasproven to be standardized to certain extent, and in this respect itmight have enjoyed standard or absolute pitch. The musical timbre,lonely and melancholic expresses a plaintive voice. The uniqueChinese closed wind instrument has preserved an ancient world ofsound and music, leading us to poetic imagery full of vastness andsorrowfulness.