Temple Blocks or Muyu

previous instrument


next instrument


A Temple Block is a slit-drum - a woodblock hollowed out for extra resonance. These temple blocks come from China, where they are known as "muyu," which means "wooden fish." They are used to keep the beat in the traditional chants of the Buddhist religion. Temple blocks are also used by jazz bands. You can hold small temple blocks to play them. Large ones are laid on a cushion when played.

Pitch range
Camphor wood.
Variable : about 2-23 in (5-58 cm) in diameter.
Temple blocks are used in Buddhist ritual in China, japan, and Korea. Originally they were made in the shape of a fish, but now all that remains of that design is the head of the fish.
Idiophone: an instrument that produces its sound through the use of the material from which it is made, without needing strings or a stretched skin.
And also...
According to Buddhist legend, striking a wooden fish encourages a sense of alertness, since it is thought that fish stay awake both during the day and night.

picture of Temple Blocks or Muyu