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编钟

来源:中国民乐国际网信息采集中心作者:中国民乐国际网信息采集中心发表时间:2013-11-29 11:23:10

  编钟,又叫歌钟,是我国古代的重要乐器。用青铜铸成,依钟的大小而有次序地挂在木制钟架上,音色清脆、悠扬,穿透力强。历代的编钟形制不一,枚数也有异。古代用于宫廷雅乐,每逢征战、宴享、朝聘和祭祀都要演奏编钟。它可以用于独奏、合奏或为歌唱、舞蹈伴奏。如今编钟多用于民族管弦乐队,是色彩性很强的旋律乐器。
  编钟最早出现在商代,当时多为三枚一组,能演奏旋律。商代编钟造型别致,钟柄部分是空心的,并与内腔相通,钟的表面有简单的兽面纹饰。近年来,在殷代大型王室墓葬妣辛墓中,又发现了有五枚一套的编钟,可构成四声音阶序列。
  编钟兴起于西周,盛于春秋战国直至秦汉。西周中晚期,编钟已由三枚或五枚发展为八枚一组,能发出相隔一个小三度或大三度音程的两个音级。当时编钟经常用于宫廷宴会,被称为“钟鼓之乐”。至春秋中晚期,又增为九枚一组或十三枚一组。
  1978年湖北随县城郊的擂鼓墩出土战国初期的曾侯乙墓编钟,共六十五枚。被称为我国古代编钟之王。正面刻“曾侯乙乍时”(曾侯乙作)。钟背则记有与晋、楚等国律名的对应文字,共标有关于乐律的铭文2800多字,记录了许多音乐术语,在科学概念上表现出相当精确的程度,显示了我国古代音乐文化的高水平,表明我国早在公元前5世纪,就已使用十二平均律了,这比欧洲要早1800年。
  秦汉以后,在历代宫廷雅乐中所使用的编钟多呈圆形,形制上有了很大改变,且每钟只能发出一个乐音。在经历了500多年黄金时代后,它由盛兴而衰退。
  到了隋唐时期,编钟除在“雅乐”中使用外,还用于隋“九部乐”和唐“十部乐”中的“清乐”和“西凉乐”里,很少流传民间。唐代诗人在作品中曾描绘出编钟声音宏亮、铿锵悠扬、悦耳动听的妙响。
  自宋以后,迄止清代,编钟铸造技术鲜为人知,钟乐也渐被淘汰,清代宫廷中所铸编钟,不仅其形制与传统编钟不同,其音律更是相去甚远。
  编钟的钟身呈椭圆形,很像两个瓦片合在一起,上径小,下径大,纵径小,横径大,钟口边缘不截齐,两角向下延伸,成尖角形。顶端有柄的为甬钟,带钮的为钮钟。钟的各部位都有着特定的名称,上部称为钲,下部谓之鼓,钟口两角为铣,钟唇曰于,钟顶名舞。在钟的鼓部,铸有精美的图饰,钲部的纹饰称为钟带或为篆间,每枚钟的钲部都有36个突起的隆包,谓之钟乳或枚。

  Bianzhong is an ancient Chinese musical instrument consisting of a set of bronze bells, played melodically. These sets of chime bells were used as polyphonic musical instruments and some of these bells have been dated at between 2,000 to 3,600 years old. They were hung in a wooden frame and struck with a mallet. Along with the stone chimes calledbianqing, they were an important instrument in China's ritual and court music going back to ancient times.
  Several sets of bianzhong were imported to the Korean court during the Song Dynasty. Known in Korea as pyeonjong, the instrument is still used in Korean court music. A similar instrument in Japan is called the hensho.
  Among the most important sets of Bianzhong discovered are a complete ceremonial set of 65 zhong bells, found in a near-perfect state of preservation during the excavation of the tomb of Marquis Yi, who died ca. 430 BCE. Yi was ruler of Zeng, one of the Warring States which at the time of his death was under control of the Chǔ state. This region is now part of the present-day Hubei province.
  Although tuned bells have been created and used for musical performance in many cultures, zhong are unique among all other types of cast bells in several respects. They have a lens-shaped (rather than circular) section, the bell mouth has a distinctive "cutaway" profile, and the outer surfaces of the large bells feature 36 studs or bosses, symmetrically placed around the body in four groups of nine. This special shape gives zhong bells the remarkable ability to produce two different musical tones, depending on where they are struck. The interval between these notes on each bell is either a major or minor third, equivalent to a distance of four or five notes on a piano.
  Musicians performing on a modern replica of Marquis Yi's bell set in Hubei Provincial Museum
  The bells of Marquis Yi — which are still fully playable after almost 2,500 years — cover a range of slightly less than five octaves but thanks to their twin-tone capability, the set can sound a complete 12-tone scale and can play melodies in diatonic and pentatonic scales.
  As the image above shows, the bianzhong chimes of Marquis Yi are mounted on intersecting racks set at 90 degrees to each other, consisting of two pairs of massive wooden beams, with three smaller beams (carrying the highest bells) mounted on top of the upper beams. The beams are separated and supported at their ends and intersections by six bronze human figurines with upraised arms and wearing swords; the upper three figures are slightly smaller than the lower, which are cast on their own elaborately decorated bronze pedestals. The ends and intersection of each pair of beams are fitted with decorated bronze caps and front part of the brackets supporting the largest bells are cast in the shape of animals. The longer pair of main beams are provided with extra support in the middle in the form of two slender bronze columns.
  These bells usually have inscriptions on them from which scholars used as references for studying ancient Chinese writings (also known as Bronzeware script). Another related ancient Chinese musical instrument is called qing but it was made of stone instead of metal.
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