Ching

Name: Ching.
Type: Idiophones > Metallophones > Cymbals.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.142
Country: Cambodia & Thailand.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: Ching [also spelled Chheng in Khmer: ឈិង or Chhing, Thai: ฉิ่ง] are finger cymbals played in Cambodian and Thai theater and dance ensembles.

History: Evidence of the ching has been found in Angkor, the great temple-city of Khmer civilization, where classical art flourished between the ninth to the fifth centuries. Scenes carved in the walls of the temple depict celestial dancers with their musical instruments, including small cymbals in the form of the ching.

Playing Techniques: They are struck together in a cyclical pattern to keep time and regulate the melody, and they function as the “timekeeper” of the ensemble. The rhythm typically consists of alternating the accented closed stroke with an unaccented open “ching” stroke. The name “ching” is probably onomatopoeic for this open sound.

Construction: The ching is Joined by a cord that runs through the center of each cymbal, ching are bowl-shaped, about 5 cm in diameter, and made of bronze alloy of iron, copper, and gold.

Citations: Bibliography: Sam, Sam-Ang 1994 ; Ebihara ; Sam, Sam-Ang. Miller, Terry E.; Williams, Sean [eds.]. “The Khmer People of Cambodia”. The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music ; Tran, Quang Hai. “Pin Peat” – Stanley Sadie, New Grove Dictionary of Music ; Websites ;