NOTES ON MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
REPRESENTED IN THE STEIN COLLECTION
I. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS REPRESENTED IN PAINTINGS FROM THE
`CAVES OF THE THOUSAND BUDDHAS', TUN-HUANG
A.—LARGE SILK PAINTINGS
Ch. lii. 003. Orchestra, grouped right and left. On L. of picture, commencing from the top, a drum, a harp, a lute, a psaltery, a lute ; on R., large clappers, transverse flute, cheng or Chin. mouth-organ, pipe with whistle-head or reed, more probably the former.
Drum. In the shape of two cups reversed and joined at their bases. Over the aperture at each end is stretched a piece of vellum or skin, which is being struck with great vigour by the performer with his hands ; the sound produced would be of indefinite musical pitch. (For a different use of this instrument, see below, Yo. oz. b.)
Harp. Similar to that in Ch. lv. ooI I. Sound-holes are visible in the side of the sound-chest ; the tension rod shows the system of ring attachment used.
Lutes. The two lutes are identical ; handsomely decorated with inlay, carving, and paintings. There are four strings fastened to a bridge tail-piece, on the sound-board, at one end, and stretched over a carved and inlaid finger-board ending in a fleur-de-lis or leaf where the pear-shaped body joins the neck. The scroll peg-box has a very modern appearance, the pegs being fastened through the sides. There are two C-shaped sound-holes. A large plectrum, fan-shaped at one end, is held by the performer, who in one case seems to be giving the note, while the second performer is tuning up and fixing a peg.
Psaltery. Is of a long rectangular shape, composed of
a sound-chest over which are stretched longitudinally some eight to twelve strings (eight may be discerned), supported on rows of movable bridges. Performer is using both hands to twang the strings. There are small round sound-holes in the sound-board. A similar type of instrument, if played by striking the strings with small hammers, would be called a dulcimer. The former, when provided with keyboard, gave us the harpsichord type ; the latter the pianoforte.
Clappers. An instrument of this type is referred to above, p. 1051 (Ch. xlix. 005). Drawing in this case more elaborate. Shows five or perhaps six thin plates of some dark wood cut in the shape of a sail.
Transverse Flute. A cylindrical flute, apparently built with three or four joints. The embouchure is visible at the side, and the position of the lips in blowing is correctly indicated. The flute is held towards the right, the R. hand fingering the lower notes (cf. flute in Yo. 02. a).
Cheng. Chinese mouth-organ, the progenitor of our harmonium. The instrument is shaped like a teapot, filled with reed pipes of different lengths, and consists of a wind reservoir, generally a gourd, of an insufflation tube (the spout of the teapot), and of the pipes which act as resonators, reinforcing the note of the free reed inserted just above the foot of each pipe. A few dummy ones without reeds are generally inserted to add to the symmetry. The free reed consists of a flap of reed, leather, or fine thin brass, fixed over an aperture, into which it fits so that it works freely, responding to the stream of compressed air and swinging with elasticity to and fro through the aperture. The distinc-