A Musicultural History of the Chinese Zheng

A Musicultural History of the Chinese Zheng

The Zheng Music and Politics Traditions and Transformations Chapter 13 Part III: A Musicultural History of the Chinese Zheng In the Previous Episode. The ancestor of the Zheng is The qin was popular in what dynasty? Confucianism! During the Tang Dynasty, what emperor was responsible full improving the role of the musicians social status and for cultivating the zheng as a womens instrument?

Han And what religion was prevalent? The qin! Emperor Xuanzong! In which dynasty did distinct regional styles of zheng playing emerge? Qing Dynasty! Todays Episode Emergence of Conservatory Solo Zheng Style Republic Era

Adoption of Western music Communist China Socialist Agenda Music and Politics Musical propoganda Emergence of Conservatory Solo Zheng Style Republic Era (1912-1949) Political instability and massive cultural reform Chinese traditional musics seen as regressive. Western music was prized as an adopted icon of Chinese modernity Race towards modernization Attitude: Prevalent notion that Western music was superior.

Ethnomusicologist Stephen Jones: Students of traditional Chinese instruments are plainly considered inferior to students of Western musicFor many urban Chinese, their traditional music is backward, less scientific, than Western music. Appropriating Western technological, economic, and cultural systems Republic Era: Different School of Thought Liu Tianhua (Lee-oo Tee-en hwah) Chinese composer and musician Argument: Traditional musics and instruments should not be discarded, but reformed and modernized.

Incorporating Western elements Collecting, transcribing, and publishing traditional folk music from different regions of China and rearranging it sound more current. This was to be a music imbued with Chinese national characteristics, fused with elements of Western music so that it can be the equal of Western music. Return of the Fishing Boats by Lou Shuhua Broke away from baban form Use of more ornamentation guo-zou glissandos Introduction of accelerando Programmatic effect

8Regional Evoke the motion and sound of the fishing boats Common feature in most Chinese music More emphasis was placed on the programmatic concept during the Republic era. Overall: More ornamentation and new techniques being employed to create programmatic effect. Guided Listening -Return of the Fishing Boats Excerpt 1. Opening section of the piece (CD EX. #3-24) Traditional musical style similar to that of baban-form pieces, slow tempo, conventional ornaments, single-line melody, relaxed and contemplative mood. Excerpt 2. Closing Section of the Piece (CD EX. #3-25)

What are some elements that are different? Departure from traditional zheng musical style on multiple levels Baban form no longer present Elaborate use of gua-zou (glissando) ornamentation Dramatic use of acceleration of tempo and the explicit programmaticism of the music Mao Zedong Chinese Communist Party

(CCP) Gained political control of China in 1949 Chinese socialism: Importance of state patronage Control of music in efforts to encode and promote state ideology Musical propaganda Heavily regulated through national music conservatories and music research institutes. Musics in Communist China (1949-1965) Music/Arts were to expressively serve the goals of the socialist

state. Communist songs for the masses were created in abundance and used to propagate Chinese state ideology and policies. First full-fledged Chinese conservatory curriculum in zheng was established at Shenyan Conservatory in 1950. The Zheng Tradition in Communist China (1949-1965) On the Golden Hill of Beijing CD Ex. #3-26 Sung by Deng Haiqiongs Mother, Li Xiuqin with zheng accompaniment by Haiqiong. Melody is a Tibetan folksong

Invokes several standard themes of Chinese communist rhetoric: The literal and metaphorical glorification of Mao Zedong and the CCP The rationalization of CCP policies regarding Chinas ethnic minorities The emancipation of the peasant masses The ideal of building socialism for China Zheng: The Genuine Folk Instrument New works for solo zheng composed.

Additionally, these pieces were linked to titles and programs descriptions of what the music was properly supposed to represent and evoke. 1958: Government initiative to increase the official stature of Chinese music led several talented pianists to switch to the zheng as their main instrument. Return of the Fishing Boats. Fan Shange The virtuosic, pianistic potential of the zheng was greatly developed by this new generation of performers. Pieces became technically demanding 16 string zheng expanded to the 21 string zheng Spring on Snow Mountains by Fan Shange CD. #3-27

Tibetan folksong is the melody but the piece has little to do with traditional Tibetan folk music. Socialist program: Describes a scene of Tibetans happily singing and dancing in their beautiful, mountainous land in a spirit of welcome toward Chinese communist rule. Highly developed two-hand playing technique. Two-part texture. RH melody and LH arpeggiated chords with tons of ornamentation. 1:02-End First portion of concluding section of piece, in which the melody and lively rhythm are intended to evoke an image of happy Tibetans performing folk dances. Episode Recap Western music was prized as an adopted icon of Chinese modernity in what era? Republic! What composer thought that traditional Chinese musics and

instruments should not be discarded, but reformed and modernized? Who gained political control of China in 1949? Liu Tianhua! Mao Zedong! A socialist program is: Descriptions of what the music is properly supposed to represent and evoke according to the Chinese Communist Party. Previews to the Next Episode

Cultural Revolution Era Period of Openness Brutally Oppressive Policies Deng Xiaoping New wave Chinese composers and the Zheng in popular culture.

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