Bronze Bells of the Marquis Yi

Wuhan, Hubei Province Scenes

7. Bronze Bells of Marquis Yi

In 1984 we were the guests of the director of the Wuhan Hospital who had been our student in Chengdu where we were teaching. He prepared a room for us at the hospital for our hotel room. Each day he would send us exploring the city in one of the hospital's ambulances. One day we went to the unearthed Bells of the Marquis Yi. It was an exiting to see these bells from some 2,417 years ago. This was how the Chinese could tell how much the middle C had changed over this period.

Below is the exact words describing the bells from the exhibit.

"These bronze chimes in Wuhan were ancient musical instrument and can be traced back to early Warring Period (about 433 BC). These large bronze bells are 64 in number. The largest bell weigh 448 pounds. Unearthed at Suixian in Hubei in 1978. The chimes were graded to sound a musical scale which is in C major of seven tine scale. They give closely the notes ranging from the five octaves with a huge and sonorous sound. Embracing the 12 chromatic scales, they produce with modulation melodious sound when ancient or modern complex music is played on them. Grand in scale and elaborate in casting technique, it was a miracle in the world histories of music and smelting."
Prerrved by the Museum of Hubei Province

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