Flutes from Jiahu (ca. 7000–5700 BCE) [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A brief discussion of the archaeological site of Jiahu, in Henan province, where fragments of 30 flutes were discovered. Six of these flutes represent the earliest examples of playable musical instruments ever found.
The Qin [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
An introduction to the qin, a type of zither that is “the most prestigious of China’s instruments.” Chinese lore holds that the qin dates back to the third millennium BCE.
The Pipa [The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
An introduction to the Chinese pipa, a four-string plucked lute that “descends from West and Central Asian prototypes and appeared in China during the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534).”
Lesson Plan Chinese Instruments [ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center]
For grades K-4. After being exposed to and learning about different types of instruments (string, woodwind, and percussion) in traditional western music, students explore Chinese instruments through demonstration, research, and instrument making. Students present their findings formally to the class and participate in a musical performance. Because Chinese music is often used to tell a story, students will create an original story to reflect their musical experience.
Sounds of China [ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center]
An audio series that “explore[s] unique aspects of Chinese music through sounds, performance and interviews.” Featuring three episodes on “the endangered music of the Yunnan peoples; the tradtional sounds of the pipa, bamboo flute, qin and other Chinese instruments; and the creative space between them, where sounds ancient and avant-garde intersect.”
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