Ancient Chinese texts describe the mechanical carriage's functions; after one li was traversed, a mechanically driven wooden figure struck a drum, and after ten li had been covered, another wooden figure struck a gong or a bell with its mechanically operated arm.
Firework displays and bonfires would be held on these occasions, accompanied by the local militia firing volleys and the ringing of the bells of the surrounding churches, while local residents and shopkeepers would illuminate their windows with lit candles.
In their training, soldiers and officers were prepared for battle by following signal standards for troop movement, advancing when a flag or banner was raised, halting when the blaring sound of bells and drums rang out.
Moreover there were paid employees, often including a private chaplain or confessor, a major domo, governesses, secretary, archivist, accountant, librarian, and innumerable lower servants, such as a porter to ring a bell a prescribed number of times according to the rank of an approaching guest.
Musical accompaniment may be as simple as clapping hands and stomping feet, but traditional instruments include bells worn by dancers, clappers, drums and talking drums, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, and xylophones; the exact combination varies with ethnic group and region.