Saturday, September 6, 2008


The ''fangxiang'' is an ancient metallophone. The instrument consists of 16 tuned rectangular iron slabs laid in a frame in two rows. The slabs are struck with a hammer and played melodically. Each of the slabs is of the same length and width but they are of graduated thickness, with the thinner slabs producing lower tones and the thicker slabs producing higher tones.

In ancient times, the ''fangxiang'' was a popular instrument in Chinese court music. It was introduced to Korea, where it is called ''banghyang'' and is still used in the . A similar instrument used in Japan is called the ''hōkyō'' .

The ''fangxiang'' was used by the composer Lou Harrison in his '''' . Harrison had taken research trips to Japan and South Korea and Taiwan .

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