Appreciation of traditional Chinese pipa music 欣赏中国传统民乐琵琶

Do you want to try a music genre different from what you're used to listening to? Pipa music is an option for people who would like to be a little more adventurous in their music appreciation.

The opens a new windowPipa opens a new window琵琶 is a four-stringed pear-shaped plucked traditional Chinese music instrument. It is believed that the pipa originated in West Asia. It is first recorded in Chinese texts in the Han Dynasty around the 2nd century A.D. Bai Juyi, a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty (7th -10th century), wrote a well-known poem entitled Pipa Songopens a new window 琵琶行 to express his disappointment at demotion and departure from the capital. In the modern era, ordinary people are familiar with the pipa as it is used as an accompanying music instrument in the Pingtan 评弹,opens a new window a popular secular musical/oral performance art that originated in the area close to Shanghai.

The pipa is not only popular in China but has also increasingly gained attention in the other parts of the world, thanks to performances by Chinese musician groups like Shen Yun 神韵opens a new window. On 29 September 2017, Wu Man, the world’s premier pipa virtuoso, worked with celebrated chamber ensemble, the New Zealand String Quartet, and performed a concert in Wellington.opens a new window

For members of Christchurch City Libraries, listening to pipa music at home is easy. Naxos Music Library Worldopens a new window provides access to popular streaming pipa music. 

Pipa music on Naxos Music Library Worldopens a new window

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