The Book of Rites, in a chapter on Touhu, records an apparently complete composition for drums. Known as the Lu Drums (
魯鼓) or the Xue Drums (
薛鼓), it seems to be intended for a match of the semi-ritualistic game of pitch-pot. This is considered the oldest extant musical score in Chinese history.
As the image shows, it uses very simple notations consisting of only two symbols: a square and a circle. The accompanying text explains that a circle means beat the drum, while a square means beat the smaller war drum.
This composition is difficult to date. The Book of Rites, in its modern form, was compiled during the Western Han dynasty, 206 BC – AD 9. However, that was a reproduction of much more ancient contents, purportedly produced during the Eastern Zhou dynasty, 770 BC - 256 BC. Much of it were destroyed during the Qin dynasty and recreated from memory by the old masters.
However, the chapter on Touhu is known to be part of a large collection supposedly found hidden in the walls of Confucius' old home. These were turned over to the Han dynasty government to assist in the reconstruction of the Book of Rites. Assuming this is correct, the drum score contained within Touhu must have been created before 221 BC or so.