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An ancient sound is revived

( ejilin.gov.cn )

The xun is one of China's oldest instruments, dating back about 7,000 years. But the instrument has almost faded into oblivion as few Chinese today can play it.

Zong Hua from Baishan, in Jilin province, fell in love with the instrument when he saw someone play it at an antique market. He began learning in 2014, and now not only can he play it, but he has also started making them.

From rubbing mud, casting, calendering (passing under rollers at high temperatures and pressures), making holes, drying, firing, fine-tuning and hand-polishing, it takes about 72 hours of work to make the instrument.

Zong Hua spends his days with the xun - from the time he wakes up at 7 am until he goes to bed at 2 am. He says: "The xun is unique for its muffled sound - quaint, full of character. Every time I hear it, I have this feeling of a vast expanse. It is so ancient, and we have an obligation to ensure more people hear it, understand it and appreciate it."