04/01/2005 00:00 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Resonance of the tapping bell

The tapping bell constitutes an indispensable musical instrument in the artistic performance of the community. In the famous concert composition in the Vietnamese traditional operetta theatre entitled Dang dan thi nhip (tapping the rhythm), the tapping bell is the sole sound that is in a position to conduct the entire musical band in creating melody.


A fish-shaped tapping
bell at Phung Hung
Templenbsp;(Ba Vi-Ha Tay)


The 5-tapping bell set
of artisan Ta Tham.

The tapping bell represents a musical instrument of idiophone, belonging in the tapping category. All Vietnamese are believed to know of the tapping bells. The bell comes in a variety of forms and shapes, long, round, oval... Some look like a fish (from the popular saying 'the fish beholding the moon'), others like a toad, big or small (from the folk tale 'the toad filing a suit against heaven'). Some are as big as a ball, others as small as an egg. Some are made from buffalo-horn, others of the nod of an old bamboo. In spite of its form a tapping bell always has a good resonance box, empty enough to produce necessary timbre and sonority.

Over time, the tapping bell has entered into people's everyday life, as an instrument used by a village herald, a Buddhist bonze, a musician, etc. As a result, it has been perfected, with diversified forms and shapes, and of different materials, to have different volumes, timbres and sonorities.

The tapping bell constitutes an indispensable musical instrument in the artistic performance of the community. In the famous concert composition in the Vietnamese traditional operetta theatre entitled " Dang dan thi nhip " (tapping the rhythm), the tapping bell is the sole sound that is in a position to conduct the entire musical band in creating melody. On the stage of the classical drama or the reformed theatre, the "song loan" (a type of tapping piece) plays all the more important role: it is always with the most prestigious musician of the band that he may use to conduct and bring the concert to success. Similarly, the Hue singing or "ho bai choi" (singing of folk tales), from its tempo to its rhythm, are largely dependent on the tapping sounds.nbsp;nbsp;

nbsp;Story: Thao Giang -Photos: Tran Dinh

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