The bronze bells and the stone chimes are the specific musical instruments of court music. Originated from the ancient history of China, they were included in the Bát âm 八音(Eight Timbers) orchestra which was performed in the Chinese royal court. Since Nhã nhạc 雅樂 (Elegant music) was introduced to Vietnam in the XVth century, the bronze bells and the stone chimes were imported to Vietnam together with the other instruments of Bát âm (Eight Timbers) orchestra. When Vietnamese court music declined along with feudalism, these instruments were not longer performed, pieces of them have been displayed in the museum. For preserving Vietnamese Nhã nhạc which was recognized as a world heritage by Unesco, a thorough research on these two instruments has been done, then a trans-national project between Hue Monuments Conservation Center of Vietnam and National Gugak Center of South Korea was undertaken, resulting in the reconstruction and revitalization of these royal musical instruments. This essay will show the path that the work has gone through. Firstly, this research will provide a brief overview of the origin, history and the scale of bronze bells and stone chimes. It will then reveal the current condition of the remaining bells and chimes which have been carefully examined. Finally, with the proposal for the restoration of the instruments, the research is concluded on how the restoration process was actually conducted.
1. Brief on the origin, history and music scale of the bronze bells and stone chimes in China
2. Bronze bells and stone chimes in Vietnam
3. An investigation of the bronze bells and stone chimes remained in Hue
4. Research and identify the pitches of bronze bells and stone chimes in Nhã nhạc orchestra
5. Reconstruction of bronze bells and stone chimes