China Travelogue  |  China City Guides  |  Beijing City  |  Hong Kong   |  Shanghai  |  Xian  |  China History  |  Home    
Anhui Province  •  Beijing  •  Fujian   •  Gansu   •  Guangdong   •  Guangxi   •  Guizhou   •  Hainan   •  Hongkong   •  Jiangsu  
Shanghai   •  Sichuan   •  Taiwan   •   Xian   •  Yangtze River  

SiChuan Province
SiChuan Cuisine & Food
SiChuan Mah Jong
  › Chengdu China City Guide
     › Du Fu Thatched Village
     › Dujiangyan Irrigation System -1
     › Dujiangyan Irrigation System -2
     › River Viewing Tower
     › River Viewing Tower Xue Tao
     › Sights Around Chengdu
     › Tomb of Wang Jian - 1
     › Tomb of Wang Jian - 2
     › Tomb of Wang Jian - 3
     › Wuhou Temple Tour - 1
     › Wuhou Temple Tour - 2
     › Wuhou Temple Tour - 3
  › Chengdu Shopping
  › ChongQing China City Guide
  › ChongQing Travel Guide
     › Chongqing Hotel and Flight
     › Chongqing Old Town Dazu Stone
  › Emei Shan
  › JiuZhaiGou Tour
  › Leshan Giant Buddha
  › Neijiang China
  › Wolong Panda Reserve
  › Wolong Natural Panada Reserve
  › WuLiangYe
  › Zigong Dinosaur Museum

Lhasa Tibet

Yangtze River & Three Gorges
Yangtze River Cruise Tour - 1
Yangtze River Cruise Ships - 2
Yangtze River Viking Cruise
Yangtze Three Gorges Dam - 1
Yangtze Three Gorges Dam - 2

5 Fun Things to do in Taiwan
Fun at Taiwan Mucha Zoo
Find Luxury Hotels in Taiwan
Taiwan Cities of Note
Taiwan National Parks - 1
Taiwan National Parks - 2
Taiwan Theme Parks
Things to do in Taipei
Visit National Museum & Aquarium
Visit Taiwan Bao-an Temple

Guangdong Province
  › Guangzhou City Guide
     › Six Banyan Tree Temple
    > Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
  › Shenzhen City Guide

Guangxi Province

  › Guilin City Guide
  › Li Jiang River Tour
  › Nanning City Guide
  › Yangshuo City Guide

Beijing China City Guide
Beijing China History
Beijing Duck, Peking Duck
Forbidden City in Beijing
  › Forbidden Palace - Wumen Gate
  › Three Great Halls
  › Nine Dragon Wall
  › Inner Palace of Forbidden City
Great Wall of China
  › Badaling Great Wall & Mutianyu
  › Juyongguan Great Wall & Simatai

Hong Kong City Guide
Hong Kong History
Hong Kong Attractions
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Victoria Peak
Wong Tai Sin Temple

Shanghai China city Guide
Shanghai History
Jade Buddha Temple
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Shanghai Bund & Huangpu River
Shanghai Museum

About Xian City (Xian City Guide)
Banpo Village Museum
TerraCotta Army Discovery
TerraCotta Warriors - History
Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
Tour of Terra Cotta Museum
Xian City Wall


Inside the Tomb of Wang Jian - II

Inner Tomb of Wang Jian Sculpture

Inside the Wang Jian tomb, you will notice a series of relief sculpture around the platform. It’s the most valuable relic in the tomb, I think. It consists of two dancers and another 22 musicians, who make up a court band. The feature attraction here is the relief of 24 musicians for their classical instruments. The dancers dance rhythmically with light steps, the musicians play their music instruments together. The music establishment looks very similar to the authentic portrait of a Tang court music band with northern Hebei style.

The fine relief carvings depict Tang musicians or musicians of the Former Shu state in this tomb. It was popular in the court of the Tang Dynasty as well as the Former Shu State. These reliefs of musicians have provided valuable research evidence of the imperial music of the Tang Dynasty. Some musicians have faded through ages, and some are still vivid. The archeologists also find out the carved Tang styled clothing. This carved band has its own distinctive features as following:

  • A. There are 23 musical instruments. 20 of them are in different shapes.
  • B. Each musician is beautifully shaped and are dynamically dancing or playing their instruments. They all have a full moon shaped face and delicate features.

The carved figures help us gain some insight in the aspects of the use of ancient musical instrument and social status. On either side of the coffin platform stand 12 carved stone busts. They are called 12 men of great strength in suits of armor. Their hands stretch under the platform as if they were ready to lift up the platform and move it away. They have a ferocious profile looking towards the entrance gate. It is said that they work as tomb guards to drive out evil spirits.

Tomb of Wang Jian Chengdu

Chinese Pipa Instrument

The Chines Pipa is a plucked instrument. It’s in a pear-shape with four strings and fretted fingerboard. The Pipa was introduced from west Asia and became one of the main music instruments during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties. The musician played music on the Pipa strings by moving them to and fro with a wooden stick. The Pipa and clapper musicians look a little taller and slightly different in their dress and hairstyles, compared with the other musicians. This difference indicates that the Pipa is the leading instrument, and the calpper is to keep the music beat.

Chinese Waist Drums - Zheng Drum and He Drum

The Zheng and the He drums are a pair of waist drums. A musician beats the Zheng drum with sticks held in both bands. The carved relief band has nine drums. Eight of them are different in shape. Besides the drums, there are clappers, bronze cymbals and a conch. The band consists of percussion and wind instruments. It is easy to imagine that when the band played the music would have surely sounded rapid and exciting.

Tomb of WangJian
Various ancient musical instruments on display.

Traditionally, the Chinese music band consists of stringed and wind instruments. The carved band has percussion instruments. This evidence shows that foreign music influenced traditional Chinese bands during the Tang Dynasty. Other Chinese music instruments include:

Bili - The Bili is a vertical bamboo flute. It is 40 cm long. A thin piece of wood or metal is inserted inside the top of the flute. A big flute has nine holes, a small one has six holes.

Jie Drum - The Jie drum is a two-stick drum. It’s one of the main percussion instruments in the Tang Dynasty. The drum is usually placed on a small ivory-inlaid bed.

Tao Drum and Jilou Drum - These two drums are played by one musician at the same time. The Tao drum is a rattle-drum. It makes quick and little sounds as the sticks hit the drum. The Jilou drum is usually pressed inside the armpit on the left, the right hand beats the drum with a stick.

Dala Drum - The Dala drum is in a flattened shape. It is beat by hands and looks similar to a tambourine, used by the Uygur and other nationalities.

Chuiye - The Chuiye means blowing a tree leaf. A musician extends her right forefinger and middle fingers first. She blows the tree leave with her fingertips pressing the leaf between her lips. The Chuiye is a kind of folk musical instrument. It is interesting to see that the simple instrument has joined in the court band. This evidence shows that ancient folk music also influenced the court music.

Shu Konghou (Harp) - The Shu konghou is a vertical instrument with 22-23 strings. Non-Han nationalities in the North and West often used this instrument during the Tang Dynasty. It looks like the current harp.

Xiao - The Xiao is a vertical bamoo flute. The carved flute has eight pipes in a row. Usually this kind of the instrument consists of 17 or 21 pipes. The musician squeezes a rolled paper into each pipe or seals it with wax to assure that it has the right music notes.

Continue to Part 3

>> Click here to discover how to get dirt cheap airfare tickets



I Heart

Try AWeber Email Marketing Risk-Free

Beijing ChinaChina Travel Hong Kong ShanghaiSichuan Xian China Travelogue Contact Privacy