Gaohongtai Bronze Gong

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Gaohongtai Bronze Gong


There were bronze ware workshops in Changdi Street, Hankou as early as Qianlong Period of the Qing Dynasty. With bronze Chinese percussion instruments prospering, a “Bronze Ware Street” appeared in Changdi Street. And until the end of 19th Century, there were more than 300 coppersmiths in Wuhan. In 1914, Gao Qing’an, starting his career as an apprentice, opened “Gaohongtai Gong Factory”, where gongs were produced with high-grade materials, choosy techniques and in proper pitches according to the tones of actors. Then many well-known stars from various theatrical troupes across the country sent their musicians to fix pitches of gongs and purchase them.


Han gongs produced in Wuhan, one of nationwide manufacture centers of bronze Chinese percussion instruments for three hundred years, enjoy equal renown with Su gongs, Jing gongs and Qin gongs, and these four are called as four major noted gongs. Gaohongtai gong, a traditional product with a history of more than seventy years, is well known both at home and aboard for its pure tone and resonant sound, easy-handling and labor-saving features. The big chao gong specially made for Berlin Symphony Orchestra in 1979 with diameter of 135cm was acclaimed as the King of the Gongs. And in 1985, another two with diameter of 142cm and weight of above sixty kilos were made as the biggest chao gongs so far, one of which will be sent to Japan to match with the biggest drum, and the other would be left in the factory to be visited. The sound of these big chao gongs like roar of spring thunder is full of power and grandeur with long and resonant lasting syllabic sound, which can best foil the powerful acoustical effects of music. Many famous foreign symphony orchestras are proud of owning big chao gongs and some foreign ships take them as annunciators. In 1983, Wuhan Hongtai big chao gong won a state silver medal. And presently, 64 kinds of bronze Chinese percussion instruments with 133 specifications are produced in Wuhan Gong Factory, including seven majors as gong, brass, cymbal, bell cymbal, bell, bat and big cymbal to meet the needs at home and abroad.