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L'antique cithare chinoise 琴 qin, un heptacorde pentatonique, est un archétype de la musique de l’antiquité

Abstract : This article proposes a new approach concerning Sumero-Babylonian music, disputing some assertions and putting forward some proposals to solve some points remained obscure. As a musicologist and sinologist, the author provides concrete elements in order to explain the texts related to music of Ancient East, from the point of view of the 'guqin' Chinese zither of ancient times (seven strings), instrument unknown in Western countries but which might have been not so far from the Akkadian sammu. Indeed, some recent archaeological discoveries in China prove that the level of Chinese theory of music in the middle of the Ist millenar B.C. was very high with an ecriture of pitches names and a structure in three linked musical systems (pentatonic, heptatonic and chromatic). Thus, some documents refering to famous music masters of the IInd millenar B.C. may be considered, as well as the creation by the emperor Fuxi, up to the beginning of IIIrd millenar, of two associated zithers, 'qin' zither and 'se' zither, the second one as the mother of the first one (of large size with 25 to 50 strings, the 'se' zither disappeared at the end of the Ist millenar B.C.). Similituds are so many and so precise that it is not possible to say that such parallels are only coincidences : on the way to tune, on the mutations by metabole, on changes in the number of strings, on a nomenclature of terms related to music (pitches, modes, strings, intervals, gestures), everything concords between the sumero-babylonian's theory of music and the pratice of Chinese zither of ancient times.
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Contributor : Véronique Alexandre Journeau <>
Submitted on : Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 6:33:28 PM
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Véronique Alexandre Journeau. L'antique cithare chinoise 琴 qin, un heptacorde pentatonique, est un archétype de la musique de l’antiquité. Akkadica, Assyriologische Stichting Georges Dossin, 2007, 128, pp.117-134. ⟨halshs-01987140⟩



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