Music to our ears (and eyes)
story by Emma Burley, Yixin Xu
This Ming dynasty pipa, made in the late 16th - early 17th century, is one of the most luxurious examples of its kind. Descending from the ovoid-shaped lutes found in Central Asia, the pipa has become a vital part of China’s musical repertoire, used in opera and storytelling ensembles as well as alone as a solo instrument. Through its history and the imagery bedecking almost the entire surface of this instrument, find out how this instrument represents centuries of trans-Asian interconnectivity in culture, trade and religion.