Loading Spinner

Chinese Musical Instruments

Musical instruments, throughout a history that spans 7000 years, have been a very integral part of ancient and contemporary Chinese religion as well as entertainment. Excavated artifacts indicated that flutes have existed since Neolithic China. By the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C. music was already being organized and edited by an imperial-decreed music bureau.

There are four main categories of traditional Chinese musical instruments: percussion, string, wind, and plucked instruments. Percussion instruments, which in the past consisted primarily of bells and chimes, were originally reserved for the imperial members of society for religious reasons. Other percussion instruments were used to create a regular knocking sound in order to aid meditation.

The Erhu, a string instrument, is played with a bow that is dragged along vertical strings. Flutes are the most common wind instrument in China; the earliest found was made out of bone the Neolithic period. Flutes were more often made out of bamboo. The pipa, or lute, consists of a body shaped like a gourd with vertical strings, which are plucked with a musician’s fingers to make music.


Quick Facts

  • Traditional Chinese belief is that music affects the harmony of the universe. For this reason, it was historically frowned upon to produce music for entertainment’s sake
  • Confucius used and taught others to use musical instruments as a means to calm feelings of lust and passion
  • Music was not enjoyed by common Chinese people until the Tang Dynasty, 690-705 A.D.

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

A TIBETAN SKULL DRUM
Mar 03, 9:30 AM EST
A TIBETAN SKULL DRUM
by Berkeley Auction Gallery
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$4502 Bids
Vintage Brass Tibetan Swinging Bell
Mar 03, 10:00 AM EST
Vintage Brass Tibetan Swinging Bell
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
A CHINESE MING DYNASTY STYLE PAULOWNIA GUQIN CARVED WITH DOUBLE DRAGONS .Z060.
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
A CHINESE MING DYNASTY STYLE PAULOWNIA GUQIN CARVED WITH DOUBLE DRAGONS .Z060.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $3,500- $5,500
$9501 Bid
bp parity badge
Antique Chinese Buddhist 2 brass temple bells, 124 g, 40 mm diameter
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Antique Chinese Buddhist 2 brass temple bells, 124 g, 40 mm diameter
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $250- $500
$1200 Bids
bp parity badge
Antique Chinese Buddhist 3 small brass temple bells, 46 g, 25 mm diameter
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Antique Chinese Buddhist 3 small brass temple bells, 46 g, 25 mm diameter
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $120- $240
$600 Bids
bp parity badge
Antique Chinese Buddhist 3 brass temple bells, 80 g, 35 mm diameter
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
Antique Chinese Buddhist 3 brass temple bells, 80 g, 35 mm diameter
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $0- $0
$1200 Bids
Qingqinghua Ringing Bell Zun
Feb 26, 7:00 PM EST
Qingqinghua Ringing Bell Zun
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$5000 Bids
A quantity of Oriental hardstone models of musical instruments to include g
Feb 26, 9:00 AM GMT
A quantity of Oriental hardstone models of musical instruments to include g
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
ARCHAIC BRONZE GONG WITH INSCRIPTIONS AND AUSPICIOUS ANIMAL PATTERNS
Feb 24, 3:00 PM PST
ARCHAIC BRONZE GONG WITH INSCRIPTIONS AND AUSPICIOUS ANIMAL PATTERNS
by Mega International Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,2000 Bids
Rare Chinese or Vietnamese Temple Bell in Hongmu hardwood with silver from the 19th century
Feb 28, 4:30 PM CET
Rare Chinese or Vietnamese Temple Bell in Hongmu hardwood with silver from the 19th century
by Templum Fine Art Auctions
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€7500 Bids
Chinese Guzheng Zither Musical Instrument In Case
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Chinese Guzheng Zither Musical Instrument In Case
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $100- $300
$250 Bids
bp parity badge
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
Mar 03, 11:00 AM EST
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
A CHINESE CARVED GREEN HARDSTONE FLUTE 20th Century. 34 cm long.
Feb 29, 10:00 AM GMT
A CHINESE CARVED GREEN HARDSTONE FLUTE 20th Century. 34 cm long.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£40 Bids
A LARGE CHINESE ARCHAIC BRONZE DOUBLE BIRD GONG 20th Century. 34 cm x 22 cm.
Feb 29, 10:00 AM GMT
A LARGE CHINESE ARCHAIC BRONZE DOUBLE BIRD GONG 20th Century. 34 cm x 22 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £400- £600
£3000 Bids
A 20thC Chinese gong and beater, the carved hardwood stand with central mas
Feb 26, 9:00 AM GMT
A 20thC Chinese gong and beater, the carved hardwood stand with central mas
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£800 Bids
A CHINESE MUSIC INSTRUMENT GUQIN
Mar 03, 9:30 AM EST
A CHINESE MUSIC INSTRUMENT GUQIN
by Berkeley Auction Gallery
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$5000 Bids
bp parity badge
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL INSTRUMENT BRONZE TRUMPET
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL INSTRUMENT BRONZE TRUMPET
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
A FINE CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT - RE WA PU
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
A FINE CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT - RE WA PU
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $360- $540
$1800 Bids
bp parity badge
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL INSTRUMENT COPPER TRUMPET
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL INSTRUMENT COPPER TRUMPET
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
A FINE TIBETAN BUDDHISM BELL SHAPED MOLD
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
A FINE TIBETAN BUDDHISM BELL SHAPED MOLD
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $120- $180
$600 Bids
bp parity badge
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL COPPER TRUMPET INSTRUMENT
Mar 03, 11:00 AM EST
TIBETAN BUDDHISM RITUAL COPPER TRUMPET INSTRUMENT
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
A FINE TIBETAN BUDDHISM BELL INSTRUMENTS
Mar 03, 11:00 AM EST
A FINE TIBETAN BUDDHISM BELL INSTRUMENTS
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $105
$350 Bids
bp parity badge
ONE SET OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM INSTRUMENTS BELL AND PHURBA
Mar 03, 11:00 AM EST
ONE SET OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM INSTRUMENTS BELL AND PHURBA
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $120- $180
$600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Musical Instruments


William's Auctions, LLC

William's Auctions, LLC

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery

Mega International Auction

Mega International Auction

Claydon Auctioneers

Claydon Auctioneers