Royal Music and Dance in ancient China

The central part of the platform contains on its south, east and west sides a total of twenty-four niches with carved figures of female musicians and dancers. From this, it can be seen that Wang Jian loved music very much. And it is the only complete royal music band, which can be found in China. Of the twenty-four female musicians and dancers, ten are the east side while another ten are on the west and the remaining four on the south side of the coffin stage, all carved in high relief and averaging about 24-25 cm in height. Full but without being obese, these gracefully posed figures are represented playing their instruments in such a coordinated manner as to suggest a joint performance. Two of these figures are dancers while the other twenty-two are musicians. The instruments used include one pipa, one shu konghou, one zheng, two bilis, one flute, one chi, one sheng, one xiao, one zheng drum, one he drum, one maoyuan drum, one qi drum, one dala drum, one jilou drum, one taolao, two jie drums, one tongbo, one leaf, one conch shell and two clappers, adding up to a total of twenty-three pieces in twenty different varieties. There are 8 Wind Instruments, 3 Strings and 12 Percussions in the whole band. These have provided a very important group of data for the study of Chinese music (including hairstyle and clothes) around the end of the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties period.