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"Impression Chinese Music" leads musical revolution

10-02-2013 11:14 BJT

The show "Impression Chinese Music" has created quite a buzz since its debut in late August at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts. Traditional Chinese music has a long and glorious history, yet it is now going through a challenging time.

The music of the pipa takes people back in time. Known as a four-string musical instrument, the pipa played here has five strings, as seen in images from the Dunhuang murals.

"This pipa is quite different from what we see today. It has a wider range and the extra string produces a low sound, which gives an ancient and nostalgic feeling." Wu Yuxia, Pipa palyer said.

Reincarnating ancient music isn’t an easy job. The Dunhuang murals were painted hundreds of years ago. And based on those murals, 86 historical musical instruments have been brought back to life. Experts must study modern playing habits and materials to combine with the original shapes, which takes a great deal of effort.

"We have tried our best to bring back the oldest music in China, and to provide the most representative sound of China on stage." Xi Qiang, President of China National Orchestra said.
Reviving the original sound is one of the National Orchestra’s latest efforts to fight the fading popularity of Chinese traditional music. What’s more, the Dunhuang murals are cast behind the performers in the style of water-ink paintings, and narratives and monologues are also added to make a vivid story. The director wants to break out of the rut dug by old rules.

"We have no scripts, no actual story, and no lines -- just the sound of heart. And by creating new ways of performing, the music is also brought to life. I think audiences love it." Wang Chaoge, Director of "Impression Chinese Music" said.

Young people, considered the major consumers of the performance market, are not fond of Chinese traditional music. Yet most troupes have been unable to come up with something new to attract audiences.

The composer of "Impression Chinese Music" is determined to change that.

"Chinese musical instruments are good at demonstrating their own special character, while western instruments are good at playing together. So we have to take full advantage of our own music." Jiang Ying, Composer of "Impression Chinese Music" said.

As the president of the China National Orchestra says, the development of traditional Chinese music needs help from all of society. Only time will tell if those efforts pay off.


Editor:James |Source:

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