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When foreigners meet guzheng, sparks fly

2017/4/20 17:48:31   source:sdchina.com

What kind of sparks would you expect when foreigners encounter our traditional 21-string instrument, guzheng? Sdchina.com tries to find the answer in Garage Rock Studio. At the invitation of sdchina.com, three foreign girls Nomar, Alina and Dahlia, from Columbia, Ukraine and Jamaica, took their first sip of guzheng.

As an important part of Chinese traditional culture, guzheng is, no doubt, a representative artistic expression. Miss Wang, a teacher of Garage Rock Studio briefed the foreigners on the history and development of guzheng. Guzheng (Chinese: 古筝), also known as the Chinese zither, is a Chinese plucked string instrument. The oldest guzheng  emerged in the Warring States Period, enjoys an unshakable position among Chinese traditional instruments.

Two broad playing styles (schools) are identified as the northern and the southern, though many traditional regional styles also exist. The northern style is associated with Henan and Shandong provinces, while the southern style is connected to Chaozhou and the Hakka people of the eastern Guangdong province.

After a simple introduction, Miss Wang performed a notable piece of the instrument, the Evening Song from the Fishing Boat, which drew high praise from the foreign girls. Then she and Mr. Sun performed the Hotel California of the Eagles with guzheng and guitar. The collision of rock and classical music adds something creative to this musical masterpiece. Alina even started to whisper unconsciously.

After the teachers’ performance, three girls began to learn the techniques of guzheng. The song they learned is the Roar of the Ocean. Alina knows some basic music theories for she had taken some piano lessons. But the other two know very little about the music theory; the teacher had to teach them from the musical notation. They are so smart that they learn quickly though the second part is a little difficult for them.

“It’s pretty good. But you know this is not easy for me. What I have performed sounds different from yours,” said Nomar. “I think it would be better if I can learn it twice and practice it more.”

Alina shows great interest in guzheng. She asked the teacher many questions. And Dahlia said she is quite willing to study guzheng if she has time and consulted about the guzheng classes for adults.

The experience of guzheng has finished, but our experience for other traditional cultures is ongoing. If you are foreigners in Shandong and interested in Chinese traditional culture, don’t hesitate to join us!

 

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Sponsor:Information Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government