Chinese musical instruments could be 3000 yrs older than previously calculated

April 17th, 2009 - 3:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 17 (ANI): The discovery of an ancient flute in Xinglongwa, China, has suggested that Chinese musical instruments could be 3000 years older than previously calculated.

Traditional Chinese musical instruments are believed to have originated from the reign of Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, some two thousand years ago.

But, a flute made of bones, unearthed at the Xinglongwa Site in Inner Mongolian in 1986, has changed the timeline for musical instruments in China.

The ancient flute was made from the bones of bustard, a kind of bird usually seen in Northeast China. The tube is 18 centimeters long, with finger holes still evident.

But, it’s main structure has partially eroded. Experts have restored the piece and professional musicians have been invited to play the flute.

The Xinglongwa Site, where the ancient flute was unearthed, is the birthplace of the Xinglongwa Culture, a Neolithic culture in Northeast China found mainly around the border of Inner Mongolia and Liaoning Province.

It is the earliest archeological culture in China to feature jade artifacts and to depict dragons.

Apart from the flute, archeologists have also discovered graves at the site. It is thought that the owner of the grave site was male, who was probably the owner of the flute.

The ancient flute has long been kept at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. It wasn’t until recently that the flute was shown to the public. (ANI)

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