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Dizi

Period:
Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Date:
late 19th century
Geography:
China
Medium:
Bamboo
Dimensions:
L. 26 cm (10-1/4 in.)
Classification:
Aerophone-Blow Hole-side-blown flute (transverse)
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.62
  • Description

    Dizi
    Qing dynasty (1644-1911),
    19th century
    Bamboo and ivory
    The Crosby Brown Collection of
    Musical Instruments, 1889
    89.4.62

    In addition to a blowhole and finger holes, the dizi has an extra hole covered with a membrane stripped from the inner layer of a bamboo stalk. This membrane, technically a mirliton, provides the flute with a poignant buzzing tone and helps to amplify the sound. There may also be a number of vent holes at the end, from which tassels are frequently hung. Dizi such as this one were used in kunqu opera, one of the styles that contributed to the development of Beijing opera.
    The two lines of poetry inscribed on this flute are from "An Autumn Night in a Moonlight Dwelling," by the Tang poet Wang Wei (699-761):
    Bright moon shines in the pines
    Clear stream flows over rocks.
    The instrument is signed by the calligrapher and/or carver, Wen Shan.

  • References

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 23.

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 23.



  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
500635

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