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The instrument shown on the picture below is not only a beauty, it is also the center of discussions for actual music researchers.
It embodies the question for the real age of this kind of instrument and thus tangents the discussion about the origin of the xylophone.
The model shown below is a sales model which is found more and more often in China. Its true origin and performing purposes stay very questionable, as the tuning doesn't seem to follow any known ancient or actual tuning systems.
* Sample (MP3, 211 KB) *
Besides the fact that ancient tuning systems of melodic percussion instruments like the Bian Zhong had a deep impact on the development
of the Chinese scales, the increasing spread of Chinese stone xylophones seems to follow the "fashion" of actual Vietnamese models,
which base on the early models excavated in Vietnam, those reaching sizes of over a meter for one plate.
Pictures (Click to expand):
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