Urumqi, 10 Oct (ZXS) -- How "fired" was this musical instrument from West Asia in the Han and Tang Dynasties?

——Interview with Lu Lipeng, research librarian of Xinjiang Museum

China News Agency reporter Wang Xiaojun

In 1996, three pieces of quilts from around the 5th century BC were unearthed in the two cemeteries of Zarolluk No. <> and No. <> in Jimu County, Xinjiang, which attracted attention at home and abroad. The excavated quilt is now in the Xinjiang Museum, and it is also one of the treasures of the museum. 箜篌 is a Persian language that was introduced to the Central Plains from West Asia more than <>,<> years ago. Why is the flute called "the world's first plucked instrument"? What kind of cultural exchange between China and the West does the instrument itself embody? Why was Ji Qiao included in poetry by a number of "big coffees" in the Han and Tang dynasties? Lu Lipeng, a research librarian of the Xinjiang Museum, recently gave an exclusive interview to the China News Agency's "East-West Question" to interpret this.

The following is a summary of the interview:

China News Agency: Why is the gong called "the world's first plucked instrument"?

Lu Lipeng: And the excavation of the cemetery of Mozaruk has opened the mysterious door to the study of the fence. The reason why the gong is called "the world's first plucked instrument" can be understood from two aspects. First, the documents and the images painted on the carvings and murals are earlier. The earliest record of the original symbol of the Jiao is in the Sumerian city texts around 3200 BC. In Xinjiang's cave paintings and sites from the 4th to the 10th centuries, such as the Kizil Caves, Kumtula Caves, Senmusem Grottoes, Subashi Buddhist Monastery, and the Bezcreek Grottoes, a large number of images and materials have also been preserved.

The last excavated in Xinjiang won the certificate of "The Best of the Great World Guinness". Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

Xinjiang and the end of the Rolling Luk unearthed the fence. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

Second, the age of archaeological excavations is earlier. The earliest artifacts came from the royal burial ground around 2500 BC in the city of your. Since then, all the way east, from the Lianghe Valley to the Altai region, from the Pamir Plateau to Hami, the eastern gate of Xinjiang, there have been unearthed artifacts from the 8th century BC to the 2nd century AD, and even the Shanpula cemetery in the late Three Kingdoms period.

China News Agency: Why is it said that the ancient tomb of Zhaluluk in Jimu County, Xinjiang, fills a gap in the history of Chinese music?

Lu Lipeng: Before the excavation of the Xinjiang Museum archaeological team in 1996 and the Mozhaluk cemetery, in China, the music of the Gong was only limited to murals, sculptures and limited restoration research, and no one had ever seen the actual Qiao Qi. Moreover, the excavation of the Gongqiao in the cemetery of Mozaruk is like a key, opening the door to the study of the music of the Qiao, setting off a boom in the study of the music of the Qiao, providing physical materials for the study of the history of music in the Western Regions, and filling a gap in the history of Chinese music development, which is of epoch-making significance.

Xinjiang and Mozha Rolling Luk excavated the Jiaoji: 27. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

Xinjiang and Mozha Rolling Luk excavated the Jiaoji: 2. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

What is more exciting is that after the discovery of the Mozha Rolling Luk Cemetery, from west to east, from west to east, the Jiezankal Cemetery in Tashkurgan County, the Yanghai Cemetery in Shanshan, and the Hami Eske Xialnan Cemetery were unearthed one after another, among which the Eske Xialnan Cemetery unearthed the most objects, reaching 11 pieces, which is the cemetery with the most Jiao Jiao objects unearthed in Xinjiang. The discovery of these quizzes provides more excellent materials for the study of the historical origin and shape characteristics of the jiao.

Yanghai. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

China News Agency: During the Han and Tang dynasties, the Gongxi was very prosperous. When were the popular instruments of the ancient Central Plains introduced to China? What kind of musical instrument is the jiao unearthed in Xinjiang? What kind of cultural exchange between China and the West does the instrument itself embody?

Lu Lipeng: The information on the Central Plains is mainly found in early documents, especially from the Han Dynasty. In addition, it can be clearly seen in murals or stone carvings, from the Mogao Grottoes, Yulin Grottoes, Bingling Temple in Dunhuang, Gansu, the Maijishan Grottoes in Tianshui, the Yaowangshan Grottoes in Tongchuan, Shaanxi, and the cultural relics unearthed in Xi'an, it can be clearly seen that it accompanied the transmission of Buddhism from Central Asia and India to Xinjiang in China and the Hexi Corridor in Gansu.

After the excavation of the Zha Roller Chuk cemetery was confirmed, the number of Jiao Jiao found in Xinjiang has reached 24 so far. The large number of excavations and most of them have been preserved, which is inseparable from the dry and rainless natural environment south of the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang.

The Xinjiang Museum exhibited and unearthed. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

Quilts unearthed throughout Xinjiang. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

There are some obvious differences between the shape of the fence in West Asia and the western region and the one unearthed in Xinjiang. The flutes unearthed in Xinjiang are relatively consistent in terms of material, structure, size proportion, production process, pronunciation principle, and even playing method, indicating that in the process of circulation in this region, local regional characteristics have been formed. In the process of spreading from west to east, it is possible that the rice fence was not transmitted in physical form, but the local people absorbed information from the west and made it themselves using locally grown poplar wood. The localization of Jiao in Xinjiang is the embodiment of the eclectic Chinese culture, and it is also a true picture of mutual learning between civilizations.

China News Agency: Xinjiang has introduced the musical instrument into schools to carry out popular education, and the "music of the prosperous world" has resounded to this day. "The world's first plucked instrument", what kind of "prosperous music" has played for more than 2,000 years?

Lu Lipeng: The sound of the Tang Dynasty poet Li He once said: "Wu Si Shutong Zhang Gaoqiu, the empty mountains and condensing clouds do not flow." Jiang E is worried about bamboo and women, and Li is playing with Chinese bullets. Kunshan jade broken phoenix called, Furong wept and smiled. Twelve doors melted cold light, twenty-three silks moved the purple emperor. Nuwa refining stone to make up the sky, stone breaking the sky to amuse autumn rain. Dreaming of the goddess of the sacred mountain, the old fish danced the wave thin jiao dance. Wu Zhi leaned on the laurel tree sleeplessly, and flew obliquely with his bare feet and a wet cold rabbit. ("Li Pingjian Citation") reproduces the poetic and rich musical realm created by the musician Li Ping.

Zatulluk Jiao. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

Zatulluk Jiao. Photo courtesy of Xinjiang Museum

As an ancient plucked string instrument, it was popular in the Western Regions more than 2,000 years ago. According to historical records, after the introduction of the Gong Gong into the Central Plains, Emperor Wudi of Han deeply felt the beauty of the Qiao Qi, not only made the court musicians imitate and improve the Qiu system, but also reestablished the Le Fu while promoting folk music, and sent the Le Fu to sort out and process the music collected from the people. In Hanle Fu's famous long narrative poem "Peacock Southeast Flight", there is a narrative of "thirteen teaching Ruwei, fourteen can tailor, fifteen playing flutes". In addition, he also adapted music from the Western Regions, and the integration of Western Regions music and Han culture was further strengthened and developed in the context of exchanges, exchanges and blending along the Silk Road.

After the national integration of the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, Chinese music was injected with more fresh blood, and Western Regions music was the popular music of that time. In the Tang Dynasty, Jiao was highly respected by emperors, occupied an important position in the court Yanle of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and was also included in poetry by a number of "big coffee" poets, such as Li Baiyou, "Ji Qiao was sad and did not return it"; Cen ginseng has "new wine ripe in the south, and there is a female bullet basket"; Wang Wei has "Zhao Nu playing the flute, and the revival of Handan dance". However, because he was imprisoned in the court, over time, he lost his foundation for civil development.

At the National Museum of China's "Harmony of Heaven and Earth – Ancient Chinese Musical Instruments Exhibition", visitors admire the inflection-changing flute exhibits. Photo by Tian Yuhao

During the Northern Song Dynasty, it was still popular in court Yan music. At the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, the records of the Gong in historical books, poetry, sculpture and painting art were basically missing, and it rarely appeared in the musical life of the time, and then the Gong was lost. Since the 20s of the 30th century, the predecessors of the Chinese music industry and musical instrument industry began to develop imitation flutes, and finally reappeared on the stage in the 20s of the 80th century.

Xinjiang is both the hometown of song and dance, and the hometown of musical instruments. Singing, dancing and playing are an indispensable part of the lives of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Xinjiang Ji End School introduced the Gong Gong musical instrument into the school for popularization, which is a powerful measure to inherit, carry forward, and protect the cultural heritage of the Ji Qi, and build the cultural brand of the Ji Qi.

Located in northwest China and the hinterland of Eurasia, Xinjiang has been an important channel and hub for economic and cultural exchanges between the East and the West since ancient times, and also a place where various civilizations and religions spread. The ethnic cultures of Xinjiang, nurtured in the embrace of Chinese civilization, have been continuously strengthened through the development of successive generations and exchanges with the Central Plains culture, becoming an integral part of Chinese culture, and together with the Central Plains culture, they have jointly created a pluralistic and splendid Chinese culture. (End)

Respondent Profile:

Lu Lipeng, graduated from the Department of History of Northwest University in 1996, majored in archaeology, joined the Department of Archaeology of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum in July of the same year, and has been working as a research librarian, mainly engaged in early Iron Age and Han and Tang archaeology. In 7 and 1996, he participated in the excavation of the ancient tombs of Mozharolluk in Xinjiang, and presided over the excavation and sorting of the Astana Ancient Tomb Group in Turpan, Xinjiang, Bozidun Cemetery in Wensu County, Sigonghe Cemetery and Huangshan River Cemetery in Fukang City in 1998, 2006 and 2008-2017 respectively. He participated in the key project of the National Social Science Fund "Supplement to the Excavated Documents of Turpan", and was responsible for the archaeological part.

He has published more than 2006 briefings and papers, such as "Excavation Report of Zarolluk No. 2008 Cemetery", "30 Excavation Report of the Western District of Turpan Astana Ancient Tomb Group", "<> Excavation Report of Xinjiang Wensu Bozidun Ancient Tomb", "Research on Tomb Fetish Excavation in Turpan Astana Cemetery", "Preliminary Study of Duplex Unearthed in Xinjiang", etc.