|The ban can be found throughout China in virtually all styles of music. Most often this instrument is used in folk music or opera, adding the necessary rhythmic accompaniment and performance cues to the choreography. One of the most well known ensembles that incorporates ban is the Beijing (Peking) Opera.|
Ban is the Chinese word for wood, and is basically a clapper made from two pieces of wood that are struck together in rhythm. Each ban is made of individual pieces of hardwood (typically sandalwood, blackwood, or yellow wood) which are tied together at one end with a silk chord. There are constructed in several styles and sizes.
|As the performer plays the clapper, the individual pieces are struck together to produce a variety of rhythms and timbres. The size of the ban and the type of wood both effect the sounds that can be produced by a specific instrument.|
|Since this is an untuned percussion instrument, there is no pitch range, only a variety of sound colors or timbres.|