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Oldest Stringed Instrument Still Producing Music

A 25-stringed musical instrument, said to be made several hundred years ago, was recently found in Yi Autonomous County of Weishan, southwest China 's Yunnan Province.

This may be the oldest musical instrument that has ever been discovered in the world which still produces music, according to professor Cao Zheng and other experts from the Central Conservatory of Music. Cao is an expert of Zheng, a Chinese zither with 25 strings.

The instrument, two meters long, is bigger and has more strings than other similar instruments that have been found in other parts of China, experts said.

They explained, the instrument, called "Se" in Chinese, produces a grand and deep sound. Playing the "Se" began flourishing in the Spring and Autumn Period (BC770-BC476) and the Warring States (BC475-BC221).

Weishan, belonging to the Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali, was the capital of Nanzhao State in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and an important cultural city on the southwest Silk Road.

The county has more than 3,000 state-level relics.

(Xinhua 11/17/2000)

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