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Chords of China
25 minutes | Jun 5, 2019
The Commander of an Ensemble: The Drum
The drum might be as old as the Chinese history itself. According to recorded legend, ceramic drums appeared in the farthest reaches of antiquity. Drums have been part of almost every aspect of Chinese social life, including life at court, in religious ceremonies, in farming, and during war. The percussionist Zhu Jianping from the China National Traditional Orchestra joined us to talk about how he's combining the traditional sound of the Chinese drums with modern elements to keep it vibrant and relevant today.
28 minutes | Jun 2, 2019
Ancestor of the Piano: the Yangqin
What does the ancestor of the piano sound and look like? Find out on Chords of China.
26 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
The Sound of Common People: The Huqin
Erhu is a daily accompaniment to the lives of a great many Chinese people. It is the most common member of the huqin, which is a family of Chinese bowed string instruments. In this episode, you will hear heartbreaking erhu music “The Moon over a Fountain” and the story behind this famous piece. Huqin instrumentalist Zhang Xuguang will lead us to the music world of huqin.
28 minutes | Feb 22, 2019
Humble but Beautiful: the Sheng
The sheng is a multi-reed mouth organ that consists of numerous bamboo pipes, varying in length. Some believe that the first shengs were brought to Europe in the 18th century, and enlightened the invention of western reed instruments. In this episode, you will hear heartwarming sounds and music from the famous sheng master, Wu Tong. He will lead us on a journey toward an enlightened understanding of not only the sheng’s history but also its uniqueness as an instrument of China’s ancient royalty.
28 minutes | Feb 1, 2019
A Wider Range of Musical Capability: The Guzheng
Having over 2500-years of history, the guzheng is never too archaic to integrate into modern society. In fact, it has marvelous musical capability that it can establish a musical intercourse with western opera; it works well with ancestral and new-age genres, and it symbolizes the quintessence of eastern civilization.
33 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
Dizi, the Unique Sound of Nature
The Dizi is a distinctive wind instrument, which is a kind of flute, expressive and capable of imitating the sounds of nature. The secret of its unique timbre lies in a tiny piece of reed membrane.
27 minutes | Jan 17, 2019
A Grand Story-teller: The Chinese Lute
The pipa is a Chinese lute with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. It is reputed as 'the king of traditional Chinese instruments'. Its sounds can be aggressive and powerful, but also tender and romantic.
37 minutes | Dec 28, 2018
Rechiming China’s Legendary Bells
From China’s Warring States period more than 2,400 years ago, the Zenghouyi chime bells were unearthed in 1978， the year that marked the start of a new chapter in China’s history. The discovery of the bells revealed a design that had been lost to history and enhanced Chinese musicology. It has witnessed the changes of China over the past 40 years.
27 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Melody of Ancient Chinese Wisdom: The Ruan
Explore the instrument that carries ancient Chinese wisdom dating back to over 9000 years in the past. The plucked instrument ruan has the capacity to convey the core cultural values of the Chinese people, purify the soul and inspire those who open themselves to its charm.
23 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
The Iconic Instrument for Kindred Spirit: The Guqin
It is an iconic instrument in ancient Chinese culture. What does the 3,000 year-old stringed instrument guqin sound and look like? Where did it come from? And how has it influenced Chinese culture? Let's find out on Chords of China.
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