Henan Museum
Stone Chime
Edit: acf
Time: 2022-06-02 16:36:52
Period: Warring State period (475-221 BCE)
Provenance: Unearthed from Sanmenxia of Henan in 1961
Measurements: Length ranges from 61.2 cm to 31 cm

Measurements: Length ranges from 61.2 cm to 31 cm
Period: Warring State period (475-221 BCE)
Provenance:Unearthed from Sanmenxia of Henan in 1961

Arrayed in graduated size, the set of stone chimes consists of 10 pieces, in the form of “Ju Gou”( those of obtuse angles were Ju, those of acute angle were Gou), the lower part is slightly curved, all of them were made of limestone, polished overall.

Qing, the stone chime, is a stone percussion instrument, and it is played primarily with two hands alternatively, or striking successively with one hand, or two hands. In most cases, the pitch  was determined by the size of the natural stone slabs, the bigger and thinner the stone slab is, a lower pitch it produces; similarly, the smaller and thicker the stone slab is, the higher pitch it produces. The earliest archaeologically discovered example in China is the single stone chime of Shang dynasty, in the ensuing Zhou dynasty, the stone slabs (Qing) of varied size were normally put together in graduated size, which were named as Bian Qing(stone chime).

Both the bronze chime bell and stone chime are the most prominent implements in the rite-music system and the culture of the Zhou dynasty, as well as the important carriers of the rite-music civilization of the time. During the Warring States period, ritual music instruments such as bronze chime bells and stone chimes were still the burial goods of the aristocracy of high ranks. The present stone chime provides the study on the social life and historical development of Chinese music instrument with precious physical reference.