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Reviving an ancient sound

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-02 09:35 Comments

Reviving an ancient sound

[Photo by Bai Shi and Jiang Shengsong/ China Daily]

The xun is one of China's oldest instruments, dating back about 7,000 years.

But, this instrument has almost faded into oblivion as few Chinese can play it. Zong Hua from Baishan, in Jilin province, fell in love with the instrument when he saw someone play it in an antique market. He began learning to play it in 2014, and now not only can he play it, but he has also started making it. From rubbing mud, casting, calendering, making holes, drying, firing, fine tuning and hand-polishing - it takes about 72 hours of continuous work to make an instrument. And Zong Hua spends his days with the xun - from the time he wakes up at 7 am till he goes to bed at 2 am. Says Zong: "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 (the instrument) is so ancient and we have an obligation to ensure more people hear it, understand it and appreciate it."

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