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Unique Musical Instruments Reproduce Ancient Dunhuang Music
After years of studying mural paintings and document descriptions, a Chinese expert has managed to reproduce musical instruments that can bring ancient Dunhuang music to today's audience.

After determining typical instrumental forms by referring to mural paintings, document descriptions and unearthed relics, Zheng Ruzhong, music educator and Dunhuang expert, sorted his unique instruments into four kinds and 44 categories on the basis of playing methods.

The instruments, created after years of tests, include some lost ones mentioned by ancient books, some seen in Dunhuang paintings but not mentioned in books and some existing but much-changed ones.

Statistics show that among the 492 Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, 240caves feature singing and dancing, in which over 4,000 musical instruments, 3,000 players and over 500 various bands were painted.

The Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang of northwest China's Gansu Province, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, were inscribed in1987 by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on the World Heritage List.

(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2002)

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