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Statues of figures playing Yuan dynasty musical instruments at the Memorial Temple of Jin (Jinci 晉祠) Sun, Mingli


At Jinci (晉祠), there are fourteen colorful clay statues, which were cast in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). The statues were arranged in two sides. On each side, there are seven statues, five minstrels of playing various instruments and two servants. In one side, the minstrels hold orchestral instruments, such as the Chinese flute (dizi 笛子) [2], the Sheng (笙, a Chinese wind instrument) [3], the Chinese lute (pipa 琵琶) [5], a plucked Chinese string instrument), the Guqin (古琴, a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family) [6], and so on. On the other side, the minstrels hold percussion instruments, such as the hand drum [10], the hand cymbals (tongbo 銅鈸) [9], and so on. This collection is the only and the most complete example of the relic of displaying Chinese opera in the Yuan dynasty. It has irreplaceable value for researches on Yuan dynasty sculpture, instrument and music.

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