Lacquered Five-string Instrument - Part2

Hubei Provincial Museum

Hubei Provincial Museum
Wuhan, China

Some researchers claimed this piece to be a Yun Zhong that is used for tuning up chime bells. It is hollowed out to create a voice box. It is inferred from the string holes that there used to be five strings.

It was painted with black lacquer and decorated with red and yellow patterns. On the left side back painted a man kneeling on the heads of two dragons, on his ears there are two snakes. He could be Xia Hou Qi from a legend in Shang Hai Jing. In the legend, he goes to the heaven to search for music. On the right side painted groups of birds, 12 in each group. The legend is Huang Di, the legendary ruler, commanded Pinglun to create music and Pinglun listened to the twitter of 12 phoenixes and made 12 tones.


  • Title: Lacquered Five-string Instrument - Part2
  • Location: Unearthed from Leigudun Tomb (No.1 ), Suizhou, Hubei
  • Medium: Lacquer
  • Excavation Date: 1978
  • Dynasty: Around 433 B.C. (the East Zhou Dynasty and the early Warring States Period)
  • Dimensions: Length: 115 cm; width: 7cm, 4 cm; height: 4 cm, 1.4 cm.

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