Music and tradition in tune at guqin concerts
The melodies of the guqin, a plucked seven-string Chinese instrument, resonated in Longhua area in Xuhui District on Friday and Saturday.
Four guqin concerts were held at Longhua Temple to promote traditional Chinese culture and music, featuring more than 20 acclaimed guqin musicians. Also on display were 18 precious guqin instruments dating back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Musicians included Ding Chengyun, an inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage of guqin, and Zhao Jiazhen, director of the guqin committee of China Nationalities Orchestra Society, a doctoral supervisor at the Central Conservatory of Music, and an inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage of guqin.
Chen Leiji, a guqin musician who performed at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will also perform.
Due to attendance restrictions, the concerts are also broadcast live on https://w.yangshipin.cn/video?type=2&vid=2010870101&pid=600089344 and https://w.yangshipin.cn/video?type=2&vid=2010870401&pid=600089351 for Saturday's performance.
Due to the development of COVID-19, visitors from outside Shanghai or returning to the city are required to show their negative nucleic acid test report to gain entry, according to the Xuhui District Culture and Tourism Bureau.
Chinese guqin, with a history of more than 3,000 years, is a representative of Chinese music tradition.
Guqin and its music was proclaimed by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003.
"I hope to promote old and traditional guqin culture, which is an important part of the traditional Chinese culture, and it prompts me to perform here," said Wu Zhao, 86, a guqin expert and scholar who will deliver a performance on Saturday night.
"After guqin was inscribed on the Representative List of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, it is favored by an increasing number of young people, who should pass the guqin art from generation to generation," said Wu.
"There is a trend that the younger generation is learning guqin with the popularization of the traditional art, which is significant for its inheritance," added Zhao Jiazhen. "Some start learning guqin at five or six years old, and young musicians are even more outstanding in terms of their skills as they learn from childhood.
"Most of our students come from families who have a strong interest in traditional Chinese culture," she said.
Xiang Yu, 18, has learnt the art since he was 8 years old.
"I was fascinated by the music since my childhood, thus I decided to have a try," he said. Xiang's father makes guqin.
"Unlike modern musical instruments, guqin art requires you to take time to understand and feel the emotion of ancient players and learn the history and background behind songs," he said.