Related News

Home » Metro

Guangxi week keeps the beat

GUANGXI Zhuang Autonomous Region's cultural week at the World Expo started with music.

But not just any music. The musicians played some traditional instruments that were invented way back in China's Warring States Period (476-221 BC).

Eighteen Chinese women in ethnic Zhuang costumes started the week with a bang, giving a percussion performance at Baosteel Stage. The performance imitates a Zhuang wedding ritual from 2,000 years ago.

Of the 18 bronze drums, 10 are the same size and placed around the stage's periphery while the other 8, all different sizes, are in the middle.

A wooden barrel is placed under each drum to make the sound richer, according to one drummer.

The women use their hands to strike the drums.

The instruments are ancient and rare and are being exhibited to the public for the first time, said Lu Hao, chief director of the region's culture week.

During the Warring States Period, people played drums to encourage warriors and for celebrations, he said.

Nineteen-year-old Qin Siyi, who played one of the eight drums in the middle, said that good cooperation between musicians is the most crucial element to a good performance.

She said the other performers are around 19 years old and that they all learned to play when they were children.

The drum performances will be held daily at 11:30am and 4pm at Baosteel Stage through Friday.

Meanwhile, 55-year-old Su Chunfa played a dragon-shaped, single-string instrument that was 4 meters long. He touched different parts of the string to create different tones. Su also used a horn installed on the instrument to control the high and low of the tones.

Su said the instrument was popular among fishermen of the Jing ethnic group, one of the smallest Chinese minority groups.

He said men would play the single-string instrument while women would dance after the men had returned from the sea, Su said.

This tradition dates back more than 1,000 years and was still followed now.

Su allowed some visitors to try to play the instrument while telling stories about the minority group.

Guangxi's cultural week will also feature traditional dances, a parade and stage shows.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend