Each category of character has certain conventions in

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Unformatted text preview: years ago. Today one of the most popular idiophones is the Yunluo, which is a frame of ten gongs. Aerophone instruments include both wind instruments such as the Dizi (a transverse flute in which the performer blows across a hole in the flute, but containing a membrane that gives it a buzzing, nasal tone) and reed instruments such as the Sona (a Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 10 flared bell instrument originally from the Middle East). One of the most interesting and oldest of the reed instruments is the Sheng, which is a type of mouth organ that comes in many different sizes, but usually with 17 pipes played by blowing through a mouthpiece at the side. Impact of The People’s Republic of China on Traditional Music After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, attitudes toward traditional music changed. Mao Zedong believed that art should serve the common people and not the aristocracy. He also understood the importance of music for political and propaganda purposes, and therefore sponsored the composition of a whole repertoire of new “revolutionary” songs. Because the government also viewed a lot of traditional folk music as feudal and superstitious, they restricted it. In order to modernize Chinese music as well as create a more universal, pan- Chinese style, regional music was modified and given more contemporary harmonies and instrumentation. There was also an active campaign to develop and standardize the manufacture of musical instruments. This included modifying them to accommodate Western tonality and harmony, which was achieved by giving some instruments frets or keys. A second outcome was to add traditional Chinese instruments to a Western- style orchestral performance. Yet another development was the establishment of Western- style conservatories of music, largely influenced by China’s relationship with the Soviet Union. By the early 1960s, the cultivation of Western music had reached high standards and many performers began to win prizes at international festivals in Europe and the United States. In Stylistic Categories, we will take a closer look at one of the most famous Chinese music genres, Beijing Opera, as its history reflects both Imperial China and the impact of the political changes in the twentieth century. Today, every language and dialect group of Overseas Chinese in the United States have musical, dance, instrumental, and singing groups, mostly of amateur status, who practice and perform for their own community. Also, for many arriving immigrants in the last several decades, recordings of popular music from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan constitute the music of choice and these recordings are, except for the lyrics that are sung in a dialect of Chinese, for the most part indistinguishable from the international popular music of other cultures. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: “WE ARE THE CHILDREN” PERFORMED BY CHRIS KANDO IIJIMA, JOANNE NOBUKO MIYAMOTO, AND “CHARLIE” CHIN This is a song from the first album by musicians who consciously attempted to create something that they felt could accurately and legitimately be labeled Asian American Music. The album is A Grain of Sand, and it contained the music and songs of three Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 11 artists: Nobuko Miyamoto, Chris Iijima, and Charlie Chin. This song is western in musical style, but “Asian American” in terms of the political and social content of their lyrics. Rhythm: Quadruple meter Melody: Notice that there are two melodies, however which is the “main” melody and which is the “harmonizing” melody is not obvious, although based on the harmony the main melody is sung...
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