Historically Dunhuang acted as the important hub for different cultures from the eastern and western worlds to blend with each other. This gave rise to the unique Dunhuang culture. Wall paintings, in which the apsaras flied to the sky to spread flowers and play music or danced while playing the Chinese lute, are what make Dunhuang well-known throughout the world. Musical instruments, which brings into our ears the sound of Dunhuang one thousand years ago, also constitute an indispensible component of the wall paintings.
Shown in the figure is the type and branches of Dunhuang musical instruments and in what frequency that different types of musical instruments appeared in different historical periods. Also there are rough studies of Dunhuang musical notation in the figure.