Xun

Date: 206 B.C.–220 A.D.

Geography: China

Culture: Chinese

Medium: Pottery

Dimensions: Overall: W. 7.1 x D. 4.8 x L. 10.5cm (2 13/16 x 1 7/8 x 4 1/8in.)

Classification: Aerophone-Blow Hole-vessel flute

Credit Line: Gift of Joseph G. Gerena, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.14

Description

Simple globular clay whistles, or ocarinas, were among the earliest wind instruments that required an understanding of how pitch is determined by the relationship between the dimensions of the wind chamber and the placement of the finger holes. Ancient versions have finger holes on one side of the ovoid body; later versions, still used in Sino-derived Korean ritual music, have holes located at the cardinal points around the onion-shaped instrument.

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