Nǐ hǎo, wǒ xiǎng wǒ bókè shàng de yīnyuè, jìnyībù gǔwǔle wǒ, suǒyǐ méiyǒu huò zuò shénme, huānyíng de yīnyuè wǒ de tóngnián línggǎn.
(Hello, I thought I’d blog about music that has inspired me and so without further or do, welcome to my childhood inspiration of music.)
Well I’ll finish in English shall I? As a child my brother would buy these strategy games imported from China – America – England in which it was the only thing that occupied my time when I wasn’t at primary school or playing football. I’ve posted some music from the most recent of the franchise but here’s my experience with music from China!
Children in my city we’re just being introduced to a new wave of rap and pop, around 1998 + was filled with a change in music form… it was getting terrible, very terrible! As all of this was going on I was oblivious not knowing conversations of Kylie Minogue or Ronan Keating, I was about 16 when I first took an interest into bands and solo artists but the time between me being 7 – 16 all i knew was traditional Chinese scores and how they made me feel.
These scores could range from being very anxious forcing me to concentrate on tactical awareness such as (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAIAK3i5Jzc).
See what’s really going on when getting that traditional Chinese sound is the use of 3 Pentatonic shapes giving off different colors, the use of these in the recording are used by modern instrumentation though (modern orchestra) and are neglecting traditional instrument from China I.E Pipa. There have been many dynasties giving off there influence of where the music should go but as an example of what you’ll hear in the recording I’ve comprised just three:
– A. Yu Colour/ mode = A/ C/ E/ G/ A | Jiao Mode = E/ G/ A/ C/ D/ E
-B. Zhi Colour/ mode = G/ A/ C/ D/ E/ G | Gong Mode = C/ D/ E/ G/ A/ C
-C. Shange mode = D/ E/ G/ A/ C/ E
Okay so for another example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdCOKgMFCBI)
In this we see vocals and the orchestra using a very western usage of tones but then at 0:32 we come to a solo piece where an Erhu is playing accompanied by string section and then eventually vocals bringing you into another repeat of the beginning but this time staccato rhythm from brass section.
Here’s an example of an Erhu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxlz1jBEoL8). An ehru is a Chinese instrument that has two strings. It is played by using a bow to resonate the two strings while fretting the neck of the instrument to change its pitch, much like a violin. However, the Erhu is not held; instead, it rests on the floor and the player sits next to it. Tuning these two strings is much like tuning a guitar or violin and is accomplished through the tightening of tuning pegs and is usually tuned to D or A.
To end on a good note, these links are from a film called “Red Cliff,” which is a blockbuster devoted to the fall of the “Han,” dynasty which I used to study and are both great demonstrations of how my musical inspirations as a child weren’t poisoned by charts or drum machines (not that there’s anything wrong with that) so here’s a link to a beautiful piece of music. There’s a specific point in which I love hearing 2:43 on the first track but go ahead and indulge yourself to both!
I’d love to talk about the history but it doesn’t fit the itinerary of what this blogs actually for, I hope you click on the links, you might like it!