Ancient Chinese Bells

B-IMG_5296On a recent trip to China I visited  the Hubei Provincial Museum  in the city of Wuhan.

Wuhan is located on the Yangtze River, about half way between where the river flows out of the Himalayan Mountains and where the river meets the East China Sea. Emperors of China have visited France and been influenced by the French culture. This ruler took on the title of Marquis.

b-IMG_5298One interesting find is the ancient bronze bells of 5000 years ago. The knowledge of casting bronze was well developed in China at this time. They also had developed a bell design that produced two notes from the same bell. When struck on the flat spot on the flatter face of the bell, it rings with  one tone and when struck  on the side 90 degrees around the side, a different note was produced.

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The original wooden frame that held the large bells has rotted away long ago. The bells were held in the wooden frame and hit with hammers on the smaller bells, and long wooden poles on the larger bells.b-IMG_5314

If you compare the size of the people in the bottom left corner with the size of the bells,you will get a sense of the size of the bells.b-IMG_5321Notice the bronze figures supporting the wooden frame.b-IMG_5318Replica bells have been cast and are used in performances today to show and preserve the cultural heritage.

Where do you want to go today?

For more information on this type of bell consider looking at these two links
 http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1676.htm
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/116938/zhong
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One Response to Ancient Chinese Bells

  1. Di says:

    The amazing historical places and items in China are somewhat overwhelming. It is one of my favourite places to visit, but have not been to Wuhan. Thanks for a very interesting post.

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