Jazz in Shanghai, China: A Study in Contrasts

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China in 2004 is a land of contrasts: rural vs. urban; ancient vs. ultra-modern; flowering fruit trees and resplendent spring flowers vs. omnipresent, eye-burning smog; profound poverty vs. promise and plenty. The contrast between East and West is particularly evident in musical traditions. The Chinese have been using music in court and religious ceremonies for more than 2,000 years. Traditional music uses the two-string erhu ; seven-string qin ; lute-like pipa ; the sheng (a mouth organ made of seven bamboo pipes); flutes, called the xiao and di ; and percussion, to create music on a basic five-note scale (F, G, A, C, and D); the music has no harmony. The Western world, on the other hand, uses a variety of very different instruments (keyboards, strings, winds, brass, and percussion) to create harmonic music on an eight-note scale. With the creation of a global environment, nearly all countries have experienced the melodies, harmonies and rhythm of American jazz, and China is no exception. Nonetheless, for us, listening to jazz music in Shanghai was an experience in contrasts, as well.

General information

Author J. Robert Bragonier
English title Jazz in Shanghai, China: A Study in Contrasts
Publication All About Jazz
Date of publication 2004 exactly on 2004/05/24
Original URL The original article was posted on http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=2073

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Keywords & Genre

The following keywords / genres apply for this article:

Shanghai, Jazz

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