Type: Idiophones > Percussion > Lithophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.222
Ba Yin: 石 Stone.
Region: Far East Asia.
Description: The fangxiang [In Mandarin Chinese: fang xiang, fang hsiang; 方响 or 方響 pinyin: fāngxiǎng; is an organized-suspended [bianxuan] Chinese metallaphone that has been used for over 1,000 years. Fangxiang is the only instrument type that is found in the Stone category of the eight sounds. It was first used in the Liang Dynasty [502—557 CE] and then standardized in the Sui and Tang dynasties mostly for court music.
History: In ancient times, the fangxiang was a popular instrument in Chinese court music. This instrument was introduced into Korea where it is called banghyang [hangul: 방향; hanja: 方響] and is still used in the court music of Korea. A similar instrument used in Japan is called the hokyo [in Kanji: 方響 hōkyō].
The first time that fangxiang shown up in Liang Period in the Northern and Southern Period [502-557]. The instrument developed over time and became popular in the court. There were many famous fangxiang performers at that time, including Xianqi Ma and Bing Wu. Also at that time, there were many poets making ancient Chinese poems to accompany with the fangxiang performance.
Citations: Bibliography: Scholes, Percy. The Oxford Companion To Music [1956 ed.]. Oxford University Press. p. 481. ; Alan Thrasher  Chinese Musical Instruments, New York: Oxford University Press Inc. p. 16. ISBN 0-19-590777-9 Websites: