Bell (Zhong)

Period: Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475–221 B.C.)

Date: 5th–3rd century B.C.

Culture: China

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 24 in. (61 cm); W. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913

Accession Number: 13.220.86


Longer and narrower than the nao, with an upper section decorated with protruding nipples grouped in four sections of nine, the zhong first appeared during the Zhou dynasty. Like the nao, the zhong is found in odd-numbered sets of bells of graduated size and pitch. Struck with a long-stemmed, T-shaped beater, the bells have excellent musical qualities, such as a clear sound that decays rapidly and a defined and focused pitch. The melodies made by zhong accompanied ritual and entertainment.