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CLASSIFICATION: idiophone, percussion idiophone, percussion instruments, tuned bells
Western Equivalent cup-shaped bells 

HISTORY: Bianzhong are reproductions of the famous Bianzhong bells, which were unearthed in 1978, in Hubei Province. Archaeologists discovered the bells in the 2,400 year old tomb of "Marquis" Yi along with a 125-piece orchestra and 25 musicians

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This set of bells can range in size from 8 inches to 5 feet tall and can weigh up to five tons. The bells are precisely cast from a composite of 12.5% tin, 2% lead, and the remainder of copper. The bells are struck with mallets to create sound. 

SOUND PROPERTIES: Two distinct sounds can be obtained from each bell by striking it at two different nodal points. The concave shape of the bottom focuses the sound waves; and the bosses on the surface, which are more prominent on the originals, also help isolate the competing sounds. 

RANGE: This set of tuned bells spans a large five-octave range, with each bell capable of sounding two pitches.


Last Updated: 2013-04-25 19:02:01