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Culture Week of Traditional Chinese Music

The Moon Festival, which is the second most important event in the Chinese lunar calendar, fell on September 27 this year. In order to promote Chinese culture and celebrate this great festival, the Confucius Institute of Alfred University invited the famous Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra from Hunan province and arranged a series of activities on traditional Chinese music.

On September 22, the director and conductor of the Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra, Mr. Yulin Liu, gave an exciting lecture on traditional Chinese music in the Miller Performing Art Center with his five excellent musicians. These five musicians were Dizi (Chinese flute) player Miss Yi, Erhu (Chinese fiddle) player Miss Yan, Pipa (Chinese lute) player Miss Liu, Yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) player Miss Yi, and professional dance teacher and Peking Opera singer Mrs. Sun.

In the lecture, Mr. Liu gave a brief introduction to the history of traditional Chinese music and its development nowadays. After that, he presented the five typical traditional Chinese musical instruments. His audience, students from the art class, learned the structure of the five instruments, their timbre, characteristics, and other professional knowledge from the lecture. They also noted the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western music. Then the Tianhan Traditional Orchestra brought several famous solos and ensembles to the audience, which won the warm applause of students.

The lecture on that day not only brought beautiful music to students, but also provided a chance for the musicians and students to exchange their opinions about music.

On September 24, Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra arrived at North Syracuse. They gave two marvelous performances for the teachers and students at Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools. The varied programs, which included the famous traditional pieces “Strolling in Suzhou”, “Grapes Harvest”, and “Moon over the Peaceful Lake in autumn”, Peking Opera, and an introduction to Chinese musical instruments, amazed the audience, which responded with lots of applause. More than 400 students enjoyed the demonstrations. One student told his teacher after the performance, “I feel so calm when I hear the ‘Moon over the Peaceful Lake’.” The performance on that day was a big success, and many students asked for the musicians’ autographs afterward.

In these two demonstrations, students enjoyed traditional Chinese music, played the traditional Chinese musical instruments themselves, and gained some interesting knowledge about those instruments. All of these inspired them to learn more about China, and they all had a nice time.