Sui dynasty (AD 581-618)
Height Range 17--18.5 cm
Excavated at Zhangsheng’s tomb, Anyang, Henan Province, 1959
This group of eight figures all have rectangular faces, black hair in flat rolled topknots. They all wear long vermilion robes that stretch to the floor with green overcoats, and waist skirts that reach up to their chests. Their skirt belts hang upon their belies or beneath their armpits. They are all kneeling upon rectangular mats. Seven of the eight figures play a musical instrument including two piba(balloon guitar), one hengdi (a horizontal flute), a bili (a bamboo reed instrument), a pai xiao (a pandean pipe), a konghou (Chinese harp) and a set of cymbals, while the final figure is clapping
Zuobuji (seated performance)was one of the two predominant forms of music in the Sui and Tang dynasties. Zuobuji acquired its name as the musicians would perform seated upon the hall floor. This discovery illustrates that Zuobui was already a popular form of music during the Sui dynasty.