CHINESE MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - GUILIN: A Cultural Tour with Traditional Chinese Music


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- (Disc 1)

The Places

Guilin, in Guangxi Province, is famous for its scenic beauty, in which nature seems to imitate Chinese art in a remarkable way. Other districts too boast the extraordinary rock formations that are a feature of the area, set against the lakes and rivers. The region is home to a number of the 56 ethnic minorities of China, including the Yao and Tong peoples. Here one may catch glimpses of the spectacular Dragon Spine terraced rice paddies of Longsheng County and the thin ribbon of rushing water that forms the Longsheng Waterfall.

The Music

The music chosen for this tour of Guilin is played on traditional Chinese instruments. Performing the music are wind and string ensembles known as "silk and bamboo" from their silk strings and bamboo pipes and ensembles that also include percussion. Instruments given prominence include the dizi, a transverse bamboo flute whose characteristic timbre is produced by a vibrating membrane over one of the holes, and the yangqin, a Chinese dulcimer whose strings are struck with two bamboo sticks. Happy Family and Three Five Seven feature the Chinese shawm, or the suona, and the sheng, a free-reed mouth organ, can be heard in the music that accompanies Longsheng Waterfall. Traditional Chinese music, like Chinese painting, is largely representational, its character indicated in its titles, although these may sometimes be drawn from opera or from poems.

Part 1

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