Music of China September 26, 2013 Glendale Community College Music 127 Lecture Assignment



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Music of China

  • September 26, 2013
  • Glendale Community College
  • Music 127

Lecture Assignment

  • Please read the assigned chapter first, 4 The Music of China.
  • Then, read through this lecture, follow any links and listen to any music I have posted.
  • Throughout the lecture you will find questions. Please answer each question based on the reading, lecture and any outside research I ask for.
  • Finally, send me your answers by pasting them into the body of an email. Due before Friday, October 4.
    • psherman@glendale.edu

Political map

China in the World

  • Pick one of these topics and discuss in a short essay China’s:
  • Support of N. Korea;
  • Support of Iran and Syria as allies of Russia;
  • Economic Development in Africa, Central and South America;
  • Trial of Bo Xilai;

Chapter Overview

  • China has a long musical tradition documented in historical and notated sources. Traditional Chinese music depends more on memorization, repetition, idiomatic realization, and embellishment of standard instrumental pieces, rather than on improvisation. The music for Peking (or Beijing) Opera contains sound codes that emphasize the drama created by combinations of instruments. While Confucianism revered proper sounding music for inducing correct social behavior in ancient times, the Communist Chinese in the 20th century exercised a similar philosophy by filling songs with propaganda. Much Chinese music and many of its instruments derived from interactions of the numerous minorities over thousands of years, and their music further developed into standard repertories.

Ethnic Population

  • A Billion and a Quarter People, Includes 56 Recognized Minorities
  • Han –– the world’s largest ethnic group that comprises more than 93% of China’s population
  • Putuaghua –– the Han language, in the West known as Mandarin
  • Zhuang, Mongolian, Manchu, Tibetan, Hui, Uyghur, Kazak, Tarter, Kirgiz, Tajik, Uzbek peoples

Beijing

Capital municipality of the People’s Republic of China

  • Capital municipality of the People’s Republic of China
  • Bei –– means, “north”; jing means, “capital”
  • Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) based in Beijing

Important Music Terms

  • Jingju –– literally “capitol theater”, Peking Opera –– the main type of Chinese popular musical theater that first emerged in the Chinese capital Beijing (Peking) in the late eighteenth century
  • Liyuan –– literally “Pear Garden,” the metaphor for “theater”
  • Qing chang –– singing without staging, costume, or make-up, practiced publicly by jingju fans
  • Jinghu –– literally “capital fiddle”; a two-string spiked fiddle, the principal melodic instrument in jingju
  • Nan ban zi –– an aria introduction played by a jinghu
  • Qin (pronounced chin) –– a Chinese seven-stringed zither most revered and patronized by the educated class. Originally an instrument for court music (elegant music; yayue), it later came to be played in privacy by scholars for contemplation, self-purification, and self-regulation. It has no frets or bridges, but thirteen position-markers called hui.

The Qin (Quqin) and Its Music

Formal Structure of a Qin piece

  • Sanqi –– introduction to a qin piece (0-37”)
  • Rudiao –– the exposition of a qin piece (37-1:40)
  • Ruman –– the variations section, or development, of a qin piece (1:40-5:00)
  • Fuqi –– restatement of the theme (5:00-6:56)
  • Weisheng –– literally “tail sounds”; the short coda that concludes a qin piece, using the strings’ harmonics produced by lightly touching the strings (6:56-end)

Definitions

  • Introduction – Music that comes before the main piece to put the listener in the proper frame of mind.
  • Exposition – The first hearing of the main theme or themes.
  • Variations – Alterations to the themes stated in the exposition.
  • Development – building on the themes stated above.
  • Coda – A short ending or conclusion.

Flowing Water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8F0G4QEQYg

Questions

  • Based on your reading of the text and listening to the above example, do you think this music is composed or improvised?
  • Please explain your answer.

The Pipa and Its Music

Pipa –– a four-stringed, fretted lute with a bent neck and pear-shaped body; an imported instrument to Han China, originally from the Kucha Kingdom (an ancient Uyghur kingdom). It developed an important repertory by the time of the Sui and Tang periods (581-618 and 618-905). It has 23 to 25 frets placed along the neck and the sound board. Its pieces have programmatic titles.

  • Pipa –– a four-stringed, fretted lute with a bent neck and pear-shaped body; an imported instrument to Han China, originally from the Kucha Kingdom (an ancient Uyghur kingdom). It developed an important repertory by the time of the Sui and Tang periods (581-618 and 618-905). It has 23 to 25 frets placed along the neck and the sound board. Its pieces have programmatic titles.

Programmatic vs Absolute Music

  • Programmatic – tells a story through music.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGXBIThp1g4
  • Absolute – pure music with no “extra” meaning.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwNonij12tQ

Types of Pipa Music

  • Yan yue –– banquet entertainment music
  • Wen –– lyrical, civil
  • Wu –– martial

Example 1 Example 2

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtrthXXmKgA
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXvNgl5Yq2U

Questions

  • Should example 1 be classified as an example of yan yue, wen or wu and why? (based on slide 19 and your exploration of the example)
  • Example 2, same question.
  • Into which formal classification would you place the qin and the pipa? Be very specific.

Winds and Strings Ensembles in Shanghai

  • Jiangnan sizhu—a type of Chinese chamber instrumental ensemble made up of strings and winds, popular in the areas around Shanghai
  • Jiangnan –– literally means, “south of the river,” in reference to the Yangzi River
  • Si –– literally means, “silk”; in reference to string instruments (strings were once made of silk, but now made of steel for louder volume)
  • Zhu –– literally means, “bamboo”; in reference to wind instruments made of bamboo

Jiangnan sizhu ensemble

  • Strings
    • pipa (see slide 20)
    • sanxian (three-stringed lute with long, fretless neck and oval sound box. video below)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyJe0HdxCyk

erhu (two-stringed fiddles with hollow wooden cylindrical sound boxes having one side covered with snake-skin) On the left in the video below

    • erhu (two-stringed fiddles with hollow wooden cylindrical sound boxes having one side covered with snake-skin) On the left in the video below
    • qinqin (lute with a long, fretted neck) In the center in the video below

One yangqin (a dulcimer struck with a pair of bamboo sticks) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW25YUnOxA0

    • One yangqin (a dulcimer struck with a pair of bamboo sticks) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW25YUnOxA0

Winds

    • dizi (a transverse bamboo flute with six finger-holes, a mouth hole, and another hole covered by a thin membrane that vibrates to give the instrument a reedy sound) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxsOks4V35w

sheng (a free-reed mouth organ made of a series of bamboo pipes arranged in a circle, each with a reed in its lower end, and all inserted into a base made of copper, wood, or gourd, to which the mouthpiece is attached. Two or more tones may be produced simultaneously.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWt4mf3whxw

xiao (an end-blown bamboo flute with five frontal finger-holes, one hole in the back, and a blowing hole at the top) Begins at 24” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNzGLAGLLuE

    • xiao (an end-blown bamboo flute with five frontal finger-holes, one hole in the back, and a blowing hole at the top) Begins at 24” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNzGLAGLLuE

Jiangnan sizhu ensemble

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfBJ6k2RtmY

Jingju Theater (Capital Theater, or Peking Opera in the West)

  • includes arias, recitative-like short phrases, and heightened speech
  • Heightened speech - a stylized stage speech with steeply rising and falling contours that exaggerate the natural intonation of spoken Chinese

Questions:

  • Research online or in library texts and define, Aria and Recitative.
  • In what western art forms are they used?

Jingju Theater (Capital Theater, or Peking Opera in the West)

  • includes arias, recitative-like short phrases, and heightened speech a stylized stage speech with steeply rising and falling contours that exaggerate the natural intonation of spoken Chinese http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSfwP-a-w_E

Main Categories of Role

  • Sheng –– the male role
  • Dan –– the female role
  • Jing –– the painted face role
  • Chou –– the male comic role

Mymusiclab example 1

  • http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/hss_nettl_worldmusic_6e/active_listening_guides/index.html#nettl6e_alg13_ch04-lg

Mymusiclab example 2

  • http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/hss/hss_nettl_worldmusic_6e/active_listening_guides/index.html#nettl6e_alg14_ch04-lg

The Value and Functions of Music

  • Musical gratification is equated with the taste for food, the need for sex, and aesthetic satisfaction.
  • Music is integrated into rituals, banquets, weddings, funerals, harvest celebrations, and so forth.

Kong Fuzi –– Master Kong, known as Confucius in the West (551-479 B.C.E.). He maintained that music has positive and negative powers to stimulate related behavior and desire.

  • Kong Fuzi –– Master Kong, known as Confucius in the West (551-479 B.C.E.). He maintained that music has positive and negative powers to stimulate related behavior and desire.

Master Kong’s classifications

  • Shi yin –– proper sound, features harmoniousness, peacefulness, and appropriateness
  • Chi yue –– extravagant music, having attributes of inappropriate loudness, wanton noisiness, stimulating excessive and licentious behavior

Mao Zedong (1893-1976) –– Chairman of the Communist Party from 1949-1976, like Confucius, viewed music as an educational tool, applying it for the propaganda of state ideology

  • Mao Zedong (1893-1976) –– Chairman of the Communist Party from 1949-1976, like Confucius, viewed music as an educational tool, applying it for the propaganda of state ideology
  • The Communists discredited scholarly music for its affiliation with feudal society, but promoted folk music as the music of the workers.
  • Before 1949, professional musicians had low social status while the educated amateur was revered. Under Communism, the opposite was regarded.

New Musical Directions in the 20th Century

Xiao Youmei (1884-1940) –– reformed Chinese music by incorporating Western elements, notably harmony

  • Xiao Youmei (1884-1940) –– reformed Chinese music by incorporating Western elements, notably harmony
  • Zhao Yuanren (1892-1982) –– the creator of the modern Chinese art song

Songs of the Masses –– Chinese Communist political songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5q4cL9qZQI

  • Songs of the Masses –– Chinese Communist political songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5q4cL9qZQI
  • Jiang Qing (1913-1991) –– wife of Mao Zedong, who reformed jingju by incorporating elements of western orchestral and harmonic practice, ballet, scenic design, and replacing traditional stories with revolutionary plots

Cui Jian –– the most famous Chinese rock musician whose music rejected the materialism that swept China in the 1980s, culminating in the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYwsPt854Xo

Zhong jinshu –– Chinese heavy metal music

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sccTU1UD52c

Questions:

  • How do you think Master Kong would classify the Communist Political songs?
  • Give some examples of how western music is incorporated into the rituals of life. Weddings, funerals, festivals, etc.

Key Concepts for the Unit

Importance of Written Language and History:

  • A non-alphabetic ideographic script meant that Chinese could be used by neighbors with totally different languages, and that classics written centuries earlier could be understood by contemporary readers. This led to a great regard for history, high status for scholar-officials, and an imperial state system based on bureaucracy. Each dynasty had its own historical records, much of which provided musical documentation.

Highly Specific Musical Systems with Codification at Many Levels:

  • This includes stock character types in theatrical genres, particular musical styles used in specific contexts, instruments used in standardized ensembles, solo instrumental traditions, each with its own special notation, repertoire, and idiomatic technique.

Question:

  • Name one stock character from Chinese opera and one standard ensemble of instruments.

Music and Politics:

  • Music and politics have long been interconnected. Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.) believed that proper music (i.e., ritual music played in unison with long, broad rhythms, slow tempo, and simple melodies) was capable of promoting proper behavior, while “extravagant music” (i.e., loud, fast music) could stimulate excessive, licentious behavior. Mao Zedong also believed in music as an important educational tool for the propagation of state ideology, rather than the expression of virtue.

Listening Skills

Heterophonic Ensemble Music:

  • The Jiangnan sizhu ensemble, like Middle Eastern groups, comprises a small number of different musical instruments. The music is heterophonic, as there is no harmony, just different renditions of the same tune, each distinguished by its own sound texture and by ornamentation specific to the instrument.

Questions:

  • Pick out the tune in the following video by humming it. Describe the sound characteristic of each instrument and the manner in which it ornaments the melody.
  • How is the way in which it ornaments based on the construction or basic “nature of each instrument?

Jiangnan sizhu

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TcVJViSksY

Summary

        • Chinese civilization dates back many centuries and includes many different ethnic groups, cultures, and languages.
        • Key instruments include the qin (zither) and pipa (lute).
        • Traditional musical performances——such as tea house music——are found in public places, performed by amateurs and professionals alike; the audience comes and goes as it pleases, often talking during a performance; and the melodies are often highly improvised, with no announced program.
        • Jingju (or Peking Opera) is one of China’s best known theatrical/musical styles, featuring elaborate sets and costumes, and a richly developed sung repertory.

“Good music” maintains the proper social order and underlines the beliefs endorsed by the state; “bad music” leads to improper behavior or to criticism of the status quo.

        • “Good music” maintains the proper social order and underlines the beliefs endorsed by the state; “bad music” leads to improper behavior or to criticism of the status quo.
        • The rise of Communism and the successful 1949 revolution introduced a new, didactic type of music meant to instill the government’s core message to the citizenry, drawing on Soviet models.
        • As Chinese society has opened up somewhat following the Cultural Revolution of the ‘60s and early ‘70s, Western art music and popular songs have become more accepted, although there remains an “underground” of unacceptable musical styles, many of which question the validity of the state’s power.

Questions:

  • In what ways can we compare jingju to Western opera or a Broadway musical?
  • How is music used for propaganda in our country?
  • How is music used to instill values in our country?
  • Why did the Communists, during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), utilize Western musical practices such as orchestration, harmony, ballet, and scenic design, in spite of being anti- Western?


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