The Resurrection of Bianzhong (the set of bells)

The Imperial Bells concert in Sydney

Bianzhong was first discovered in China in 1978. Since then the Chinese government and researchers have spared no efforts in resurrecting the bells and the art in relevance. With numerous difficulties ahead, researches kept on exploring the mysteries of the bells without letting go any doubt of details. Bianzhong’s manufacturing methods were brought to light after more than ten years of research and the first replica of Bianzhong was made in 1983. Thanks to the efforts of experts and the development of technology, people nowadays are able to experience the wisdom of the ancient Chinese and the glorious Chinese civilization, as well as the palpable authenticity of the music dating back to 2400 years ago.

The Hubei Bianzhong Bell Ensemble has been staging concerts with Bianzhong every year in and out of China since early 1980’s. Their emotion and promotion of the valuable bells and the Bianzhong court music constitute an indispensable part of resurrection of the traditional instrument. In their performance, people feel the brilliance of creation and the interaction between humans and nature and between humans and their inner self.

Bianzhong from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng

The promotion of the ancient work through media is another important part of the resurrection of the antiques in the modern world. Either on stage or on television, holding performances with the set of bells in China educate the Chinese people with history. Performing with the set of bells in theaters out of China is a way of cultural communication. In fact, Bianzhong is not only a pride for China, it is also a heritage for the world to cherish. It is not just a set of bells that produces music, it rhymes the vigor and vitality of the Chinese history. Only through the interaction of history and people can civilization be experienced, understood, treasured and brought to life.



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3 Responses to The Resurrection of Bianzhong (the set of bells)

  1. tteng says:

    People in China now enjoy pop music and Hip-hop a lot. Even when people want to enjoy traditional music, they seem to favor more on traditional western music like Beethoven or Bach. It is not like Chinese traditional music is terrible. It’s just few of them are played on the television or in public place. The BianZhong is one of the oldest music in Chinese history. The resurrection of it can show people more about Chinese history and feeling more about how history can be beautiful visually and acoustic. Letting people know what’s the meaning of creating a greet history.

  2. aashaikh says:

    I agree with this article on the importance of preserving and reviving ancient Chinese heritage. Here in the West, we take the preservation and record of our history for granted,but in China with archaeology only seriously starting in the 1920s, archaeology as as a means of re-waking and remembering the culture of old is relatively new. Mao’s decade long cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s tried its best to purge China of its ancient heritage, through smuggling and destroying hundreds of years of Chinese history. China is still reeling from that, and much has been said about China’s struggle to maintain its values and heritage in its increasingly capitalistic and competitive society. These bells are just one way that China is trying to do so, and is an important effort for an issue that will no doubt get bigger as China continues to emerge as a global player and tries to retain its own identity.

  3. lmmurphy says:

    I find this subject particularly interesting considering that we learned the innovative way in which these bells were made. The lost-wax casting process allowed them to create a better sound for the bells as well as a more efficient way of making them. I believe that it is very important for the Chinese people to hear what used to be such a big part of their culture. Without the recognition of this type of music and ritual then it could have been lost possibly forever. However, since the bells have been reconstructed, now not only the Chinese people get to relish in their history, but others get to enjoy it as well. Therefore, in hearing the reconstructed bells one can understand the richness and authenticity of Chinese history.

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