Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` The Age-old Chinese Bell Culture

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    • #11566
      ovidiu oana

      The bell originated from the ling, a small type of bell. At first, the ling was baked out of pottery clay. In the 1950s, archaeologists discovered a red pottery lingĀ from the remains of the Yangshao culture at Miaodigou, the Sanmen Gorges, Henan Province. With a height of 9.2 centimeters and a rim diameter of 5 centimeters, the ling is hollow and a handle is attached to its top. A small hole on each side of the shoulder leads to the inside of the ling to fix the dapper. The surface of the ling is polished without any decorative patterns. The cross section is circular. It was made between 3900-3000 BC. Later, a bell – shaped utensil made out of fine gray pottery clay was unearthed from the remains of the Longshan culture (2800 – 2000 BC) at Doumen Town, Chang’ an County, Shaanxi Province. According to The History of Chinese Music by Li Chunyi, “Similar to a bell of the Shang Dynasty, it is rectangular in shape, hollow and fixed with a solid handle.” “It might have certain connections with such musical instruments as the zhong and duo of the Shang and Zhou dynasties.” It is l1.7 centimeters in height, 9.4 centimeters in horizontal rim diameter and 5.6 centimeters in vertical rim diameter. On both sides of the shoulder are holes for fixing the clapper. Most of the pottery ling dating back to the period of the Longshan culture, now collected by the Gansu Provincial Museum, were shaped like olives. They have bridge – shaped handles and closed cavities. Small balls in the hollow cavities produced the sound when the bells were rocked. The pottery ling was used in different ways. One could hold the handle and rock the ling to produce a pleasant sound. The ling could also be attached to an object, a human being or an animal to jingle.

      You can find more about at:

      In my collection I added some Chinese antique bells as:
      – amulette bronze bell Qin Dynasty
      – Lucky bronze bell Qin dynasty
      – protection bronze bells Qin dinasty
      – antique dragon bell
      – antique Chinese signet
      all this are in the album ~antique bells~

      or a temple bell from 17,th century:

      Some of them are very rare pcs and I’m proud of its, as all bell collectors are.

      Public bells and drums are not confined to the temples. Since 2000 B.C.-or even earlier-a notable feature of all Chinese cities has been their drum and bell towers. Both drum and bell announced the time of day and warned of fire, flood, or approaching enemy. The public drum, bell, and gong have traditionally been considered indispensable by the Chinese people, and no palace, temple, or other official building was ever without them.

      The next posts will be about other primitive bells, the same period (third and second century BC), I mean assyrian, thracian, celtic, roman, korean, japanesse, indian a.s.o. antique culture

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