Music in Ancient China: An Archaeological and Art Historical Study of Strings, Winds, and Drums during the Eastern Zhou and Han Periods (770 BCE-220 CE)

by Ingrid Furniss

Table of Contents



Table of Contents

Table of Illustrations

Table of Plates

Chapter One: Introduction and Methodology

Musical Compositions

Textual Sources

Archaeological Sources

Tomb Furnishing and Everyday Life

Regional Boundaries and the Problem of Chu

Preservation Bias


Archaeological Bias

Representations of Musical Performance

Recent Studies on Music and Musical Instruments

Chapter Two: Musical Instruments from Neolithic to Western Zhou


Chime Stones




Chapter Three: Drums in Eastern Zhou and Han Tombs

Drum Types of Zhou and Han

Bird-and-Tiger and Double-Bird Suspended Drums

Pole Drums

Drums Without Suspension or Poles


Deer Drums

Bronze Drums

Wealth and Ownership of Drums

Drums and Entertainment

The Role of Drums in Warfare or War Ceremonies


Chapter Four: Strings in Eastern Zhou and Han Tombs



Five String Zither

Structural Relationships Between the Se, Qin, and Five-String Zither

The Twelve- or Thirteen-String Zither

Distribution and Layout of Tombs with Strings Alone

The Qin and the Scholarly Gentleman

Han Tombs with Stringed Instruments


Chapter Five: Winds in Eastern Zhou and Han Tombs

Sheng (Mouth-Organ)

Paixiao (Panpipes)

Chi (Transverse Flute)

Di (Vertical Flute)

Xun (Ocarina)


Han Wind Ensembles


Chapter Six: Wooden Instrument Ensembles in Eastern Zhou

String and Drum Ensembles

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

Ensembles with Winds, Drums, and Strings

Drum and Wind Ensembles

String and Wind Ensembles


Chapter Seven: Wooden Instrument Ensembles in Han

String and Drum Ensembles

Wind and Drum Ensembles

Southeastern Tombs

Southwestern Tombs

Northeastern Tombs

Wind and String Ensembles

Southeastern Tombs

Northeastern Tombs

Ensembles of Strings, Drums, and Winds

Southeastern Tombs

Northeastern Tombs


Chapter Eight: Ensembles with Wooden Instruments, Bells, and Chime Stones

Category A: Tombs with Wooden Instruments, Bell Sets, and Chime Stones

Henan Xichuan Xiasi

Anhui Shucheng Jiulidun

Henan Xinyang Changtaiguan M2

Hubei Jiangling Tianxingguan

Hubei Suizhou Leigudun

Hubei Zaoyang Jiuliandun

Category B: Tombs with Wooden Instruments and Bell Sets

Henan Gushi Hougudui

Shandong Penglai Liugezhuang

Henan Yexian Jiuxiancun

Henan Xinyang Changtaiguan M1

Medium and Small Tombs

Additional Tombs with Bells


Chapter Nine: Han Tombs with Bells and Chime Stones

Category A: Southeastern Tombs with Wooden Instruments, Bells, and Chime Stones

Tomb of the King of Nanyue, Guangzhou (Guangdong)

Hunan Changsha Mawangdui M3

Anhui Fuyang Shuanggudui M1

Category A: Northeastern Tombs with Wooden Instruments, Bells, and Chime Stones

Shandong Zhangqiu Zaoyuanzhen Luozhuang

Jiangsu Xuzhou Beidongshan

Shaanxi Xi’an Hongmiaopo

Category B: Southeastern Tombs with Wooden Instruments and Bells

Category B: Northeastern Tombs with Wooden Instruments and Bells

Chapter Ten: Conclusions

Wooden Instruments After Han

Appendix One: Eastern Zhou Tombs by Category

Appendix Two: Selected List of Southeastern Han Tombs by Category

Appendix Three: Selected Southeastern Han Tombs and Shrines by Province and Site

Appendix Four: Northeastern Han Tombs by Category

Appendix Five: Selected Northeastern Han Tombs


Bibliography of Cited Sources

Glossary of Chinese Terms



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