Hakka Affairs Council

Music & Drama


Bangzi (Wooden Clappers)

  • Post Date:2006-01-12
Bangzi (Wooden Clappers)

In the Hakka language, this is called either the “Qiaozi” or the “Qiaozi Board.”

There are two varieties, treble and bass. It is made of solid wood, 4 inches long, 2 inches tall, and 3 inches wide, hollowed out inside. There is a channel at the side. Drumming on its top with a wooden stick will make a clear, loud sound, more substantial than that of the Single-Leather Drum. It is used as an “eye” (off-beat part). Its tone is lower and more muffled than the Board Drum. The Hebei Bangzi is struck with two hard sticks of different sizes, producing a loud, hard, bright sound. The Henan Bangzi has a hollow, rectangular body, which when struck with wooden sticks produces a crisp, short sound.

It is a Beiguan instrument, used by the lead performer, the same as the Bangzi, clapper and Board Drum. Hakka Eight Tones uses a treble Bangzi to replace the Single-Leather Drum, since both have the crucial function of command. The Bangzi is commonly used in opera accompaniment or instrumental ensembles.