The formation of the Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments of a new type in the 1920s-1930s

Yang Yan
2018 Problems of Interaction Between Arts, Pedagogy and the Theory and Practice of Education  
Background. The history of the development of orchestral music for Chinese traditional instruments covers more than a thousand years. During this time, the traditional orchestra has undergone significant changes. In the article the modern stage of the development of the orchestra of a new type is considered starting from the 1920s, when its modification began and integration with the principles of the Western Symphony Orchestra. The modernization of the Chinese orchestra of traditional
more » ... ts began in the twentieth century after the overthrow of imperial rule and the emerging changes in Chinese society. Nevertheless, the process of integrating the Western musical traditions was carried out in China for several centuries, which prepared the ground for the qualitative changes that began in the 20th century in the field of national musical art. The development of orchestral music for Chinese traditional instruments is not sufficiently studied today in musicology. One of the little studied periods is the initial stage of the formation of the Chinese orchestra of folk instruments of a new type in the 1920s – 1930s. Objectives. The purpose of the article is to reveal the prerequisites and specifics of the formation of the Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments of a new type in the 1920s and 1930s, to determine the role of outstanding Chinese musicians in the process of modernizing the orchestra and creating the appropriate national repertoire. The methodology of research is based on musical-historical approach combined with musical-theoretical and performer analysis. Results. The first shifts in the integration of Western and national traditions in Chinese traditional orchestral music became possible thanks to the activities of the music society "Datong yuehui", as well as the emergence of higher professional musical institutions in China and the training of Chinese musicians abroad. The most important role in the formation of the Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments of a new type was played by outstanding musicians Zheng Jinwen, Liu Tianhua, Zheng Tisi. Zheng Jinwen was the initiator of the creation of the society "Datong Yuhui" in 1920. He began the process of standardizing various Chinese instruments with the goal of unifying their sound tuning fork. This was necessary for a well-coordinated game in the orchestral ensemble. The musician modernized and developed new methods of tuning traditional instruments for flute dizi, multi-barrel sheng and expanded the orchestra to forty people. Zheng Jinwen adapted the national repertoire to a new type of orchestra, performing as an author of orchestral transcriptions of ancient music for traditional Chinese instruments. Liu Tianhua became the creator of the Society for the Development of National Music at Peking University (1927–1932). The musician reformed the old system of Chinese notation "gongchi" based on hieroglyphs, modernized it and adapted it to the Western musical notation. Substantial achievement of Liu Tianhua was a significant modification of the erhu with the replacement of strings by metal, changing the settings in accordance with the standards of Western stringed instruments. As a result, the erhu acquired the status of a leading or solo instrument in a new type of orchestra. The activity of the first modern Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments, the musical collective of the Broadcasting Company of China, created in Nanjing in 1935, had a great importance. In 1937, from the Second Sino-Japanese War, the orchestra was transferred to Chongqing, and after the victory of the Communists in 1949, he moved to Taiwan. One of the orchestral musicians, Zheng Tisi, played an outstanding role in the formation of this group. The musician carried out the reformation of this orchestra in the field of tuning instruments. The range of the orchestra was expanded by the introduction of additional wooden string instruments dahu and dihu, having a volumetric sound-board and tuned an octave below the violin erhu. Their purpose was to fill the lower register, alike to the cellos and double basses in Western orchestras. For the first time the post of conductor and his assistant was introduced by Zheng Tisi, which was also able to attract professional composers to create a multi-voiced orchestral national repertoire. The innovations of the outstanding musician made his orchestra a role model for all subsequent similar contemporary Chinese orchestras. Conclusions. The process of forming a Chinese orchestra of traditional instruments of a new type in the 1920s and 1930s made it possible to modernize Chinese traditional folk instruments and the ancient Chinese notation system in order to adapt Chinese orchestral music to the integrative processes in musical art. Orchestral music was reformed in accordance with the principles of Western European symphonic and conducting art. In this process, outstanding highly professional Chinese musicians who contributed to the development of orchestral music in their country and the creation of a corresponding national repertoire played the leading role.
doi:10.34064/khnum1-50.12 fatcat:wfsthqfftjbelixgirprizjvui