Sounding stone

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A yúnbǎn (云板) at Beijing's Fayuan Temple

A sounding stone or qing (磬) (rarely 鸣石 or 响石) is an ancient Chinese musical instrument,[1] usually L-shaped. The set of qing is called bianqing. The shape of such stones was often quoted as description for the reverent ritual pose.[2][3]

Important information on qing nomenclature is contained in the Erya dictionary: the large sounding stone was called xiāo 毊, and a solo performance on qing, jiǎn 寋. However, the mentioned names do not have much currency in the classical literature.

Qing is mentioned in the Analects as one of the instruments played by Confucius.

In the Han dynasty treatises on music, its sound is referred to as "reminding to the monarch about his officers who died while protecting the borders".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The local cultures of south and east China Page 416 Wolfram Eberhard - 1969 "The sounding stone is one of the oldest Chinese musical instruments"
  2. ^ The Significance of Shui-long Ma's Composition in The Evolution of Taiwanese Piano Music P.L Ni - 2006 " “Ch'ing (Qing): A Chinese sounding stone used in Confucian temple rituals” (The New Harvard Dictionary of Music). Page 28. 20 "
  3. ^ The Development of the Concept of Music in China's Early History F.A Kuttner - Asian Music, 1969 " With regard to the sounding stone, the above remark emphasizes the clear, pure tone of lithophones made of limestone, jade, or nephrite, as opposed to other melody instruments (especially bells) with their vague, unclear, or unreliable pitches. .."