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Xun
Learn Chinese - History and Culture
The only earthen musical instrument is a kind of ocarina called Xun. It can produce sound with a tamber similar to that of human voice, and is suitable for performing some lamenting aria. People in ancient times used the instrument to imitate birds' sound and ensnare them.

The oldest Xun that has been discovered in China up to now was made about six to seven thousands years ago. For instance, a conical Xun was discovered in the Hemudu of the Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang Province (eastern China), the Xun without holes and the one-hole Xun were found in the Yangshao Culture site in Banpo Village in Xi'an (western China) and Xun was also discovered in Wanrong County of Shanxi Province (northern China), Yumen Huoshao Gou of Gansu Province (northwestern China) and Huixian County in Henan Province (central China).

There's a legend about Xun. Long time ago, there was a young fellow who liked playing Xun very much. A beautiful lady named Huanghe heard his music and fell in love with him. But her father didn't like him because he was too poor. The young fellow

missed the lady so much that he died of illness. His heart turned into a red diamond after his death. A craftsman passing by picked up the diamond and took it to the market for sale. The lady liked it very much and bought it. One day, the lady thought of the fellow when she was looking at the diamond and burst into tears. To her surprise, the heart broke into pieces when the tears fell upon it. So an old saying came into being -- Never give up until see Huanghe.

中国古老的乐器——埙

埙是中国古代很重要的一种吹奏乐器,它有近似人声的音色,很擅长演奏一些抒情的哀婉的曲调。
在我国古代人们用这种乐器(当时是捕鸟的工具)模仿鸟叫,用来诱捕鸟兽。
目前发现最为古老的埙是在六千多年前。比如浙江(中国东部)杭州湾河姆渡出土的圆锥型埙。西安(中国西部)半坡村仰韶文化遗址的无孔埙和一孔埙,还有山西(中国北方)万荣县,甘肃(中国西北方)玉门火烧沟,河南(中国中部)辉县琉璃殷墟,均有发现。

埙还有一个美丽的传说。相传,古代有一个小伙子非常喜欢埙这个乐器,觉得它能抒发自己的情意,他每天都要吹,凄婉缠绵的乐声飘呀飘,这如泣如诉的乐声终于传到了一个美丽姑娘的耳中,姑娘名叫黄河,她听了这动人的乐声,终日心神不定,于是让父亲请来了这个吹埙的小伙子,黄河的父亲见这个小伙子相貌英俊却衣衫褴褛,心中很不悦,很快叫人把他打发走了。小伙子见到了美丽的黄河姑娘日思夜想,终于病倒了,口里叫着姑娘的名字离开了人世间,但是,他的心却变成了一颗红宝石。

一位过路的匠人看见了这块晶莹剔透的红宝石,于是就拾去打造成一个“心”形的饰物,然后摆在集市里卖,适逢黄河姑娘路过,看见这颗红心有一种说不出来的亲切感,于是就买了下来带回家里,每天拿出来玩,爱不释手。一天,姑娘又想起了吹埙的小伙子,很是伤心,禁不住落下泪来,姑娘的眼泪滴在红心宝石上,没想到这颗红宝石是一颗不死的心,被姑娘的泪水浸润了以后,突然碎裂开来。后来这个美丽动人的故事演化成一个谚语“不见黄河心不死”。
 

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