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Music graduate recreates musical instruments in ancient China

You may be familiar with a Chinese musical instrument called erhu, but maybe not the lesser known ones, such as the Hujia. These instruments are gradually dying out due to a lack of attention and preservation. But now, a young man in northeast China’s Shenyang city, Liaoning province, is hoping to change that.

Liu Da, a graduate major in piano from Tchaikovsky Music Academy in Ukraine.

But rather than a pianist, Liu is now more like a carpenter for most of the day. And it’s all for one thing: to recreate the musical instruments of ancient China.

“In Ukraine, during major festivals, the artists from around the world would suit up in their own traditional clothes and use their own musical instruments. So I want to present our culture, our music as well, from where I’m from,” Liu said.

It usually takes between six to eight months to craft one ancient instrument.

Liu has even learned the Manchu and Mongolian language, so he could consult historic files to make accurate designs.

During the last two years, he has replicated 23 different kinds of musical instruments from ancient China, some dating back over thousands of years.

“This musical instrument is called a Hujia, a reed pipe. It dates back to 3,000 BC. It’s very old and it has a very interesting history,” Liu said.

Liu’s next plan is to form a band with these 23 instruments to get an authentic flavor for ancient music.