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CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.         151
all these differ in size but not in their number of strings, each possessing twenty-five. Amiot* found the che to be a more agreeable instrument than any known in Europe in his day (1750 circa), as the softer sounds of the silken cords were prefer­able to the metallic sound of the wires of the clavichord.
We have no instrument in our music which corresponds to the kin, or che; but the zither if trebled in length, and strung with silk instead of wire would give a very exact idea of this finest of Chinese instruments.
THE SOUND OF WOOD.
The Chinese have from remotest antiquity, used wooden instruments of percussion; it is most natural that the earliest of instruments used by man, should have been of wood, but it is also natural that most nations should have laid aside these primitive and toneless instruments. Isot so the Chinese however; their wooden instruments are still used as they were four thousand years ago; for the historians date their invention from the mysterious reign of Fo-hi.
These instruments are the tchu, the ou, and the tchuny-tou, all of which celebrate and typify the most profound moral precepts, a la Chinois.
The tchu is a plain wooden box, about a foot and a half deep, in which a hammer is fastened; by introducing the hand into a small aperture,
• De la Mua. des Chin. p. fiO.






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