Administration The "Ovidiu Oana" private bell collection
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Go up to the albums list Viewing picture Zhong - Temple bell in album 5. Religious bells
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Last modified: 2019-06-17 16:36:31

Zhong (Wade-Giles romanization chung), Chinese clapperless bronze bells produced mainly during the late Zhou (c. 600–255 bc) dynasty and used as a percussion instrument in ancient China. Although the term also denotes the religious bells used daily in Buddhist temples.

Made of clay in Neolithic times, the zhong was crafted in bronze during the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1066 bc). In performance the early zhong was either held by hand or placed on a seat with its mouth upward and struck with a mallet. This kind of zhong is also called nao in order to differentiate it from the suspended type.

The suspended bells fall into two main categories: those with a straight handle plus a lug at the top, which are suspended slantwise on a wooden frame, are called yongzhong; those having a ring that allows for vertical suspension are called niuzhong. The earliest known yongzhong dates to the 10th century bc, and the earliest niuzhong to the 8th century bc. At the time, the shape of both the yongzhong and the niuzhong was not round but rather like a squashed cylinder or two tiles attached on three sides. A large and single zhong, usually of the bo variety (having a loop top, a flat bottom rim, and a rounder body shape), is considered a tezhong (“special bell”).

My temple bell was cast XIV century a.D. and is 33 cm tall.
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