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Lesson 2: Chinese Music .
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Lesson 2: Chinese Music For several thousand years Chinese culture was dominated by the teachings of the philosopher Confucius, he conceived music in the highest sense as a means of calming the passion of dispelling of unrest and lust, rather than as a form of amusement. Traditionally the Chinese have believed that sound influences the harmony of the universe. Significantly, one of the most important duties of the first emperor of each new dynasty was to search out and establish that dynasty’s through standard of pitch. A result of this philosophical orientation was that the Chinese theoretically opposed music performed solely for entertainment.
Chinese Musical Instruments • 1. Yueqin - Moon-shaped lute with shorter neck and four • strings, played with a spectrum, used for accompanying local operas. • 2. Pipa - Four-stringed lute with 30 frets and a pear-shaped body. This instrument has an extremely wide dynamic range and remarkable expressive power. • 3. Erhu- Two-stringed fiddle and one of the most popular Chinese instruments. It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles or large orchestra, and by various ethnic groups.
4. Yunluo - Literally "cloud gongs" or "cloud of gongs", the yunluois a set of ten small tuned gongs mounted in a wooden frame. The yunluo's gongs are generally of equal diameter but different Thicknesses. The thicker gongs produce a higher pitch. • 5. Sheng - Sheng, or Chinese mouth organ, looks like a set • of panpipes, with 12 to 36 bamboo pipes. Each pipe is of different length with a brass reed at the bottom and a hole that must be blocked in order for the note to sound. This makes it possible to sound several notes simultaneously, so chords and melody can be performed at the same time. Sheng is one of the oldest Chinese musical instruments.
6. Dizi - Dizi is the traditional Chinese flute. It can have a membrane over an extra hole to give the characteristic rattle effect. The player plays the Diziby blowing across the mouthpiece and produces the different notes by stopping the six holes found in the rod. • 7. Zheng - An ancient Chinese instrument that has an arched surface and an elongated-trapezoid with 13 to 21 strings stretched over individual bridges. Its playing range spans three to four octaves. • 8. Pengling-These are two small bells made of high-tin bronze, without internal clappers, and hemispheric or bottomless gourd-like in shape. The instrument has a delicate, clarion and melodious tone. It is a coloring rhythmic instrument, either in ensembles or in theater music, bringing an effect of peaceful dreams.