Pengling - Hand Bells
These two identical bells have many different names—pengling or pengzhong (struck bells), dual chime bowls, bell cymbals. The pengling hand bells really are a pair of small cup-shaped copper or brass bells connected by a string. When struck together, the hand bells, which have no defined pitch, produce a clear and lovely reverberating sound.
In the West, the hand bells are often associated with Buddhist meditation. In China, too, this instrument was used as early as the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534), where it was depicted in the Buddhist murals and sculptures of the famous Dunhuang caves. The hand bells are often used in Chinese folk songs and dances, traditional Chinese opera, and Chinese instrument ensembles.
February 11, 2011