Bangu - Chinese Traditional Musical Instruments

20. Bangu; (ban: flat board; gu: drum)

It is also commonly called Jing Bangu (bangu for Peking opera) and Danpi (single drumhead). The drum's frame is constructed of thick wedges of hard wood glued together in a circle, wrapped with a metal band. Its body is bell mouthed in shape, open at the bottom. Its top surface (C.25cm), covered with a piece of pig or cow-hide, has a small convex central circular opening (about 5 or 6 cm in diameter), which is called the Guxin (drum heart), the actual sounding position. The player strikes on this central area with a pair of bamboo sticks.

The type used for Peking opera and other northern musical dramas, with a smaller central striking area, has a relatively solid tone quality. The type used for the southern gong and drum ensemble, with a larger striking area , is loose and soft in tone. The southern type is fit for solos with a variety of techniques and rhythms. The Jing Bangu leads the percussion section in the instrumental ensemble of the Peking opera.

On to Instrument 21     Back to Chinese Musical Instruments Page 2