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Setting Confucianism to music


08-17-2014 00:11 BJT

A fusion of symphonic music and Confucianism! The show "Ode to humanity" was staged for the second time in Taiwan on Wednesday, part of a 3-city tour. So how do you combine an ethical and phylosophical belief system with classical music?

It's a five-chapter symphony celebrating the five essential virtues of Confucianism -- benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and integrity. 

"Ode to Humanity" was first performed in 2011 in Schenzhen. But it made its mark internationally in Paris, as part of celebrations for UNESCO World Peace Day in 2013. 

The Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with guest musicians from Taiwan, for this latest production. Here in the city of Taichung, the unusual work has sparked curiosity among some renowned musicians.

"I'm fascinated by the coming together of symphonic music and Confucianism. Especially how the 5 virtues are portrayed with music," Musician and songwriter Niu Dake said.

These five traditional moral standards are seen as a great treasure of Chinese culture, shared by Chinese people across the world. 

Enhancing them with music can only carry their message further.

"This is such a refreshing show! Just beautiful! I heard that this show is going to be staged in the US soon and I am looking forward to it. I hope the values of Confucianism can promote peace in the world, especially in light of the violence and suffering around the world in recent months," Principal for Hui Ming School for the Blind Lai Homyee said.

"Ode to Humanity" makes its last stop on its three city tour on Friday, in the city of Kaohsiung.

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