Traditional pipa concert in Beijing, mixing classics and modern jazz


Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao

Sunday evening saw a special concert featuring the pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. In addition to classical pieces, the music also involved more modern jazz sounds.

The concert opened with a piece for pipa ensemble entitled Dream into Jiangnan. The music is based on folk songs from the Jiangnan region in southeast China, which was one of the most prosperous regions in ancient China due to its silk trade and advanced cultural development. .

An instrumental quartet with pipa and piano titled Bloom was one of the most popular pieces with the public, mixing pipa strings and Western music in a collision of oriental elements and jazz atmosphere.

The source of the Tianshan Mountains saw 35 pipa performers on stage, vividly portraying a joyful and lively scene of the Uyghur ethnic group singing and dancing at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains.

The pipa originated in the Qin dynasty and flourished in the Tang dynasty (618-907). It has strong associations with Chinese national aesthetics, both in terms of the shape of the instrument and its distinctive musical and sonic style. Over the past 2,000 years, the skills of pipa performers have steadily developed and evolved, and the instrument is still enjoyed by musicians across the country who use it to perform the classics and also in modern musical compositions.


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