United by Music (合樂圖), attributed to Zhou Wenju (周文矩), handscroll, ink and colurs on silk, 41.9 x 184.2 cm, The Art Institute of Chicago
The front (the right hand side of the scroll)
The left hand side (the end of the scroll)

 

 

1a Lute (琵琶) player
1b Lute (琵琶) player

The pipa (琵琶) is a four-stringed musical instrument plucked with fingers. The instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. The 4 strings of the modern pipa are tuned to ADEA (lower A, D, E, higher A).

A modern pipa
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the pipa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W65r_CnPlKg

 

2. Angular harp: Shu Konghou (豎箜篌)
2a Angular harp (豎箜篌) player
2b Angular harp (豎箜篌) player

The konghou (箜篌) is an ancient Chinese harp. It has 5 to 25 strings. The strings are plucked by fingers. The instrument became extinct sometime around the 14th Century. Its shape is similar to Western concert harps. It was generally played in rites and ceremonies.

Shu konghon (箜篌)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the konghou:

https://youtu.be/E1aUfdLSi64

 

3. Long zither: Zheng (箏)
3a Long zither (箏) player
3b Long zither (箏) player

The zheng (古箏) is a plucked string instrument with a more than 2,500-year history. The modern guzheng commonly has 21 strings, is 1.6 m long, and is tuned in a major pentatonic scale.

Zheng (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the zhang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORH7wi1tAbY

 

4. Gong-chime: Fangxiang (方響)
4a Gong-chime (方響) player
4b Gong-chime (方響) player

The fangxiang ()  is an organized-suspended metallophone that has been used for over 1,500 years. Fangxiang consists of 16 bronze tuned rectangular slabs with 16 different pitches, laid in a frame in two rows. The slabs are struck with a hammer and played melodically.

Fangxiang (方響) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the fangxiang:

https://m.bilibili.com/video/av31584169 (modern music)

 

5. Mouth organ: Sheng (笙)
5a Mouth organ (笙) player
5b Mouth organ (笙) player

The sheng () is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. It is a polyphonic instrument and enjoys an increasing popularity as a solo instrument.

It is one of the oldest Chinese instruments, with images depicting its kind dating back to 1100 BCE.

A modern sheng (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the sheng:

https://youtu.be/p0pf6S9VsKQ

 

6. Hourglass drum: Xi Yao gu (細腰鼓)
6a Hourglass drum (細腰鼓) player
6b Hourglass drum (細腰鼓) player

Skin drums (or membranophones) are instruments whose sound is produced by a vibrating membrane. The body of the drum is made of wood. The drum is played by hands or sticks.

The hourglass drum, or waisted drum (細腰鼓) is shaped like an hourglass. Most often these drums have two heads.

 

7 Tranverse flute: Dizi (笛子)
7a Tranverse flute (笛子) player
7b Tranverse flute (笛子) player

The dizi (笛子) is a tranverse flute. It is is widely used in many genres of Chinese folk music and ensemble works. It is simple to make and easy to carry. Most dizi are made of bamboo.

A modern dizi

Modern dizi has an additional hole, called a mo kong (膜孔), between the blowing hole and finger-holes. A special membrane called dimo (笛膜) is glued over this hole. The dimo-covered mo kong has a distinctive resonating effect on the sound produced by the dizi, making it brighter and louder.

Dimo on mo kong (Photo Credit) Wikipedia

Please click the below for a demonstration of the dizi:

https://youtu.be/oFNkGE77zww

 

8. Vertical flute : Bì lì (篳篥), Guan zi (管子), Chi ba (尺八), Xiao (簫), etc
8a Vertical flute (尺八) player
8b Vertical flute (管子) player

Bì lì (篳篥, Japanese name hichiriki) or guan zi (管子)i s a double reed flute. It is widely used to play sacred and ceremonial music  Its sound is often described as melancholy and haunting.

Hichiriki (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Guanzi (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

 

The chiba (尺八, Japanese name shakuhachi) is a longitudinal, end-blown bamboo. It was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 7th century and reached its peak in the 17th–18th century. The chiba is traditionally made of bamboo.

Shakuhachi (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

The xiao () a vertical end-blown flute, generally made of bamboo.

Xiao (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please click the below for a demonstration of the xiao:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5X3mA3Qn7Y

 

9 Clapper: Pai ban (拍板)
9a Clapper player
9b Clapper player

The paiban (拍板) is a clapper made from several flat pieces of hardwood or bamboo. It is held vertically by one hand and clapped together, producing a sharp clacking sound.

 

10. Large drum: Jian gu (建豉)
10 Large drum (建鼓) player

Skin drums (or membranophones) are instruments whose sound is produced by a vibrating membrane. The body of the drum is made of wood. The drum is played with one or two wooden sticks.

 

The Audience and the attendants

The Master and his attendant. A pair of shoes probably belonged to the master and a cat are at the bottom of the image.
The Mistress sitting on a stool. The Mistress has beautiful hairpieces.

 

Four attendants on the left of the Master.  The artist was very meticulous in presenting the the intricate ornamental pieces in the hall.

 

Five attendants on the right of the Master. The two male attendants wearing black hats are officials.

 

Bibliography

合乐图.传.五代南唐.周文矩绘.22626X4379像素.注释.美国芝加哥美术馆藏

https://kknews.cc/culture/3jxyezy.html

https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hans/%E5%91%A8%E6%96%87%E7%9F%A9

https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hans/%E7%AE%9C%E7%AF%8C

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konghou

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guzheng

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fangxiang

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheng_(instrument)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hourglass_drum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dizi_(instrument)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuhachi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paiban