THE THIRD SOUND (第三音)
Another logically usable element to build anything, let alone instruments, is wood. Naturally growing, it is a sturdy and carvable resource, much easier to shape than metal, and it has already been encountered as the support for other instruments. This section, though, finally uses the Sound of wood as the primary focus of the instrument.
This instrument, the mùyú (the wooden fish) is perhaps one of the most unexpected of the Chinese instruments. The shape resembles that of a fish but with a very spherical body (much like a blowfish). Wooden sticks are either rubbed against the ridges and scales or struck directly against the fish, creating sounds that are used for rituals in Chinese Buddism. In the temples, the fish can be a meter long, but for personal use, it can be just a few centimeters.
The pāibǎn (the clap board) is used extensively for the type of music mentioned before as narrative song. The instrument is typically held in the left hand to keep a sort of beat, while a regular drum is beaten with a mallet held by the right hand. The instrument in the left hand is usually made of a dark wood that is molded into twin shapes what are tied together using the ends of a small cloth or string. The sound is very high pitched but extremely characteritic in the 鼓板/gǔbǎn (the drum board) pair, which is the collective term for the instruments used by the narrative singer. However, sometimes, the clap board is called by this name, even though it is culturally incorrect.