The Sichuan earthquake is quantified on the basis of its spectral magnitudes of the P- and of the S-waves. The maximum spectral magnitudes of the two waves are seen to occur at different periods. The tectonophysical significance of the finding is discussed, and it is deduced from it that the S-wave energy radiated during the earthquake was drawn from unusually large volume, if compared to the volume corresponding to the P-waves. The spectral features of the body waves of the Sichuan earthquake are analysed on the background of the spectral features of a selection of worldwide earthquakes. As a result it is concluded that the Sichuan earthquake fits well into the features of the earthquakes in the surrounding regions.