CUG has been selected as an institution to preserve and promote “Chinese Bronze Musical Bells Performance” by the Ministry of Education in September, 2020.
Chinese Bronze Musical Bells, sometimes also called “chimes and bells”, are bronze-made bell-shape ancient percussion musical instruments originated from about 3,000 years ago. In a set of bells, each has a different size, and can produce two different tones, depending on where it was struck. A set of bells can have three to a few dozen bells. The most famous bells set is from the Marquis Yi of Zeng’s tomb (Marquis Yi was the king of the Zeng Sate, located in present-day Hubeiprovince, in the Warring States Period, 476 - 221BC). The set has 65 bells in various sizes and can produce all the notes of a modern standard-sized piano. Since its unearthing in the 1970s, the bells set from the Marquis Yi of Zeng’s tomb has become a symbol of Hubei province and Chu culture.
Chime-bells from the Tomb of Marquis Yi of the Zeng State in Hubei Provincial Museum
CUG acquired a replica set of bells of Marquis Yi’s bells in 2015 and has been offering elective courses in bells performance and theory to students ever since.
The concert of CUG’s Chinese Orchestra with Bronze Musical Bells
Performers of CUG’s Chinese Orchestra with Bronze Musical Bells
In an effort to encourage higher education institutions to be more active in preserving and promoting traditional Chinese culture, the Ministry of Education started a program to designate institutions to preserve and promote a specific traditional activity, practice, or technique in 2018. The designated institutions will be awarded funds to promote traditional Chinese culture. This year, 26 higher education institutions have been designated.
Another institution from Hubei province, Huanggang Normal University is designated as an institution to preserve and promote Huangmei Opera,a traditional performance art originated in Huangmei, Hubei province.
(Edited and translated from the Chinese version)