Panpipes were one of the main instruments that were used in court. Panpipes are consist of bamboo pipes of different length, therefor they are sometimes called “Canci”, meaning different length.

The two panpipes unearthed from the Zeng Hou Yi mausoleum are the earliest that have been discovered. This one is made of 13 bamboo pipes that are fixed together by three bamboo folders. The blow end is painted red while the major part is in black. The pipes are also decorated with patterns of ropes and triangle clouds. When unearthed, one of them could make at least five scales that were still pleasant to the ear.


  • Title: Lacquered Panpipes
  • 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 of the longest pipe: 22.5 cm; Width: 11.7 cm.

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