Featured Topic: Music & Musical Instruments

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Jiahu (ca. 7000–5700 B.C.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief discussion of the archaeological site of Jiahu, in Henan province, where fragments of 30 flutes were discovered. Six of these flutes represent the earliest examples of playable musical instruments ever found.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jiah/hd_jiah.htm
Music and Art of China
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"China provides some of the earliest traces of music making. These are mainly in the form of well-preserved musical instruments, the tangible evidence of music. Over several millennia, musical instruments from regional indigenous traditions as well as from India and Central and West Asia were assimilated into the mainstream of Chinese music. Some of the most ancient instruments have been retained, transformed, or revived throughout the ages and many are in common use even today, testifying to a living legacy of a durable art." With 19 related artworks.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/much/hd_much.htm
The Qin
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to the qin, a type of zither that is "the most prestigious of China's instruments." "Chinese lore" holds that the qin dates back to the third millennium BCE.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mqin/hd_mqin.htm
Celebrate Cambodian Khmer Festival and Wedding Music
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Through active listening, discussions of cultural context, and re-creating ostinati and pentatonic melodies, students will experience two contrasting examples of the music of the Khmer people of Cambodia.

Go to Museum Resource: https://folkways.si.edu/celebrate-cambodia-khmer-festival-wedding/music/tools-f...
Chinese Instruments
The Kennedy Center, ArtsEdge
An audio series that "explore[s] unique aspects of Chinese music through sounds, performance and interviews." Featuring three episodes on "the endangered music of the Yunnan peoples; the tradtional sounds of the pipa, bamboo flute, qin and other Chinese instruments; and the creative space between them, where sounds ancient and avant-garde intersect."

Go to Museum Resource: https://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-3-4/Chinese_Instrum...
Discovering the East of China: Chinese Music in Elementary School
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Chinese music consists of many regional traditions that differ in form, style, quality and repertory (Lau, 2008). This curricular unit introduces some difang yinyue (regional music of China) and encourages children to discover characteristics of Chinese music by “travelling” around the eastern region of this country.

Go to Museum Resource: https://folkways.si.edu/discovering-east-china-elementary-school/lullaby-vocal-...
Experiences in Music of Northern India
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Students will be introduced to the music of India with a focus on introductory terminology, elemental concepts, and instrument identification through various singing, listening and playing opportunities.

Go to Museum Resource: https://folkways.si.edu/gateway-experiences-north-india/classical/music/tools-f...
An Exploratory Short Course in Tuvan Throat Singing
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
An introductory course exploring “throat singing” (or overtone singing) as practiced and performed by the people of Tuva. We will explore this truly unique style of vocal production through attentive listening, watching video and practicing techniques and types of throat singing.

Go to Museum Resource: https://folkways.si.edu/exploratory-short-course-tuvan-throat-singing/folk/musi...
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