LIFE ALONG THE SILK ROAD, by Susan Whitfield. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999, 242 pp., 12 color plates, 12 b/w photos, 13 maps, $27.50 (cloth).

In the ninth century, music from Kucha was popular all along the Silk Road, from Samarkand to Chang-an. One of its enthusiasts was the Chinese Tang Dynasty Emperor Xuanzong, who, in addition to his six famous dancing horses, also housed some 30,000 musicians and dancers in the imperial palace, most of them versed in the Kuchean style.

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