This song is western in musical style but asian

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Unformatted text preview: , metal, wood, fire, and water. Other manifestations of the importance of five are the basic colors (red, blue, yellow, white, and black) and the basic directions (north, east, south, west, and center). The number five was also associated with the Emperor, and Tiananmen Gate, which is the main gate leading into the emperor’s Forbidden City (housing the imperial palace) had five gates. The five- tone pentatonic scale, therefore, is traditionally considered important for reasons beyond just the sound. Similar symbolism is associated with other aspects of performance, so much so, that the emperor himself was responsible for performing many yearly rituals accompanied with the correct music to ensure the welfare of the nation. Structural Characteristics of Traditional Chinese Music Melody, Rhythm, and Harmony Melodic contour, especially vocal melodies, is closely correlated to Chinese language. Rhythmic organization can be free, additive, or divisive/metrical depending on the style. Traditional melodies draw on the primary Chinese pentatonic scale, the most common Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 9 of which arranged in an ascending order is equivalent in terms of relative pitch to C- D- F- G- A. Instrumentation, Texture, and Form Chinese music is primarily vocal. Each region has its own vast collection of folk and narrative songs, and the combination of long, epic tales sung over the accompaniment of one or a few instruments is deeply rooted in Chinese musical tradition. Texture can be monophonic, homophonic, heterophonic, or polyphonic, and formal structures can be simple patterns of folk music to highly complex structures in opera. Given its size and diversity, it is understandable that China has a great number of instruments. The Chinese classify instruments into eight categories based on the material of their construction: wood, bamboo, gourd, stone, clay, metal, skin, and silk. As with the number five, the number eight also has significance, and it is important for a complete traditional ensemble to have all eight categories of instruments represented. Ensembles are frequently identified by the material classification of the instruments that are dominant, such as “silk and bamboo ensemble.” The most important chordophone instruments include two categories of zithers: the zheng (a small, high- pitched zither with moveable bridge), and the Qin (a bridgeless zither with seven strings) that was originally played by the scholar class and hence is used to perform sophisticated, introspective music. The Qin is one of the world’s oldest instruments still played. Musicians are able to create a variety of timbres by plucking the strings, pulling them to bend the pitches, and depressing them lightly to produce the bell like tones of harmonics. Another important chordophone and the major concert instrument in modern China is the pipa (a pear- shaped lute with four strings that are plucked). The early versions of the instrument appeared in the Qin dynasty and had a long neck, leather surface, circular sound box, and was played upright. Today the body is semi- pear- shaped with fretted neck curves. There is also the erhu, the category name for many regional variations of two- string bowed fiddles. The erhu can have a hexagonal or octagonal sound box, has snake skin covering one end, and an open carved vent on the other with a long neck. It is played upright like a cello. Idiophone and membranophone percussion instruments are also very important, and include bells, gongs, cymbals, clappers, and wooden- framed barrel drums. One of the most fascinating is the ancient sets of bronze bells called bianzhong bells that are believed to have been used to produce polyphonic ritual or court music between 2,000 and 3,500...
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