Ch'ing

Ch'ing

[ching]
noun
See under Manchu ( def 1 ).
Also, Qing.
Also called Ta Ch'ing.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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ch'ing

stone or jade chime used as a percussion instrument in ancient Chinese music. Sound was produced by hitting the qing with a mallet. The largest known qing-36 inches long 24 inches wide 112 inches high (91 cm long 61 cm wide 4 cm high)-was excavated in Lajia, Qinghai province, in 2000. It was in the shape of an ancient stone knife and pierced by small holes that would have enabled it to be hung from a frame. Many qing from the Shang dynasty in varied shapes and sizes also have been discovered. Exquisitely made with smooth, level surfaces, these stones contain engravings of inscriptions and animal figures. A set of three Shang dynasty qing (called bianqing, "group of qing," when referring to a set) also have been excavated, and the inscriptions thereon have been deciphered as yongqi, yongyu, and yaoyu (one interpretation is that these are the names of three pitches). From the period of the Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1066-771 BC) onwards, the form of the qing was standardized: its body was made uniformly flat, and it was shaped like an irregular chevron but with a curved rather than angular bottom edge. Each set had 8 to 24 pieces. The set unearthed at the tomb of Zenghouyi had as many as 32 pieces (in addition, there were nine spare pieces). Each piece was engraved with the name of the tone it sounded. The additional pieces were used as needed to sound tones lacking in the main set

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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