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date: 18 September 2019

Zuoqing (‘sitting chime’) [qing]locked

  • Alan R. Thrasher

Extract

(‘sitting chime’) [qing]

Bowl-shaped resting bell of the Han Chinese. The bell is hammered out of bronze and constructed in various sizes, medium-sized instruments ranging from 10 to 15 cm in diameter. The zuoqing rests on a cushion and is struck at the rim with a padded beater. A 9th-century Buddhist bell (24 cm in diameter, 19 cm deep) found in a Tang dynasty site is one of earliest of this type reported. The scholar Chen Yang, in his treatise Yueshu (c1100), called this type a bronze bowl (tongbo) but the name zuoqing (or qing) is now most common. Used in Buddhist temples, the bell is usually paired with a muyu (‘wooden fish’) of a similar size, and struck to punctuate the chanting of monks and nuns.

Liu Dongsheng and others, eds.: Zhongguo yueqi tujian [Pictorial Guide to Chinese Instruments] (Ji’nan, 1992), 85 only.

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