Resound: Bells of Ancient China

14 October 2017–1 January 2020

Exhibition Overview

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Musical innovations in the Bronze Age meld with today’s digital technology in this interactive exploration of ancient Chinese bells. Thousands of years ago, Chinese musicians worked with foundry technicians to cast matched sets of bronze bells of different sizes to produce a range of tones. They developed oval-shaped bells that, depending on where they were struck, produced two distinct pitches with an intentional interval between them. Resound investigates this advancement with displays of early instruments including a graduated set of matched bells discovered together in a Chinese tomb, videos of ancient bells being played, and chances for visitors to compose their own music on virtual bronze bells.

(Photo: Copyright Robert Harrell, Arthur M Sackler Gallery)

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