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Muyu (‘wooden fish’)locked

  • Alan R. Thrasher


Woodblockof the Han Chinese, used primarily to accompany Buddhist chant. It is carved from a block of mulberry, camphor, or other wood in the abstract shape of a fish—squat and wedge-shaped—often with stylized tail and scales. Its hollowed interior and frontal slit (extending 180° around the instrument) form the mouth. The instrument is usually lacquered red, but occasionally left unlacquered. It is struck with a padded or unpadded beater. Length and width range from about 5 to 60 cm, 7 to 16 cm being normal, but examples as large as 85 cm are found in some temples. Small ...

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