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                      Derivation of National Orchestral Music
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture
                      More than 2,000 years ago, there were many instruments in China, including bell, chime, drum and Xun (an egg-shaped, holed wind instrument). In the Zhou Dynasty (11th century - 771BC) and Spring and Autumn (770-476BC) and Warring States (475-221BC) period, the instruments totaled 80 kinds. During the period of the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), the Han Dynasty (206BC-25AD), the Three Kingdoms (220-280), the Jin Dynasty (317-420), the Southern and Northern Dynasties (386-589) and Sui (581-618) and Tang Dynasties (618-907), there appeared instruments of Hengchui (like today's bamboo flute), Qiangdi (a musical instrument of the Qiang), Bi, bronze drum and waist drum, etc. They were all key instruments in national orchestral music.
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                      Zeng Houyi Bells: Gem of Ancient Chinese Art
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                       Zeng Houyi Bells
                      The set of bells, set of chimes and other instruments excavated from the tomb of Zeng Houyi (zēng hóu yǐ 曾侯乙), who was a Warring States (zhàn guó 戰國) duke in Suixian County (suí xiàn 隨縣), now Suizhou City (suí zhōu 隨州) in Hubei Province (hú běi shěng 湖北省), are the largest-scale ancient percussion instruments found so far. The musical instruments were discovered in the central chamber, which was the biggest, and the second biggest, the eastern chamber.

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                      Little Things in Old Beijing(4)
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture
                      Making art from dough

                      According to a Chinese fairy tale, humans were created out of clay by a goddess.

                      In the hands of the folk artists, this myth is repeated over and over as the otherwise worthless clay is molded into fascinating sculptures via kneading, basking, coloring and baking.


                      They look like glittering, translucent flying fairies, or beauties with shining kites, but these handicrafts are not made from precious jade, ivory or coral.
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                      Little Things in Old Beijing (1)
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture
                                                                                                        Windmill
                      There is an old legend saying a bird with 10 heads in heaven was depreciated into human's world. Not repenting though, it made destruction anywhere and brought misery to humans. So the king of Zhou ordered his courtier, Jiang Ziya, the most talented person at that time to handle this. Jiang ziya figured out that this bird was mostly afraid of windmill and he made such a thing to repel evil. The bird with 10 heads disappeared then. The citizens learned to do windmill from Jiang Ziya and it became a popular thing In Beijing.


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                      Little Things in Old Beijing (2)
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture
                      It is first originate from totem in the old times and gradually changed into opera facial make up. In the Tang Dynasty, when performers were dancing and singing, they used to wear a facial mask. Later, they gave up the masks and painted the designs in masks directly into face. A distinguishing feature of this art is that it shows people's character and status according to different colors. For example, red represents loyal and yellow means brutality.

                      Facial art enjoys great popularity in China. Now you can see this art not only in opera shows, but also in paintings, ceramics, eggs, stamps etc.
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                      Little Things in Old Beijing (3)
                      Learn Chinese - History and Culture
                      Sugar Figures
                      Making sugar figures is an old profession in Beijing. Sugar figure makers went from street to street with shoulder poles, carrying a cupboard on each side. One of the cupboards held charcoal and was the sugar figure makers' seat. The other one carried tools, a charcoal stove with a cuprum spoon full of maltose in the centre. On top of it were models of different kinds of sugar figures on straws. These , attracted lots of kids who followed the sugar figure maker around.
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