Occasionally I ask around about what type of music is Chinese, but I never seem to get an answer. I also hadn’t taken the time yet to do any researching on my own, other than asking people. I got my first little intro to Chinese music and instruments yesterday after dimsum, when we decided to take a walk through the Columbus Street Park on Bayard and Mulberry.
As we approached the park, I was surprised to hear music. I heard a reed instrument that sounded very much like what William Parker was playing the night before. It turns out it was indeed the same instrument, a suona. Aha! So I have heard some Chinese instruments before. My friend also pointed out the erhu, a one-stringed instrument played with a bow. I can’t remember what other instruments were in that ensemble because we were soon pulled over to another ensemble, where we stayed a little longer.
The 2nd ensemble was entirely a string band. I was immediately reminded of my string theme lately, or that I’m noticing strings a lot more these days. Now I see that they are called sanxian, but at the time we thought they looked kind of like banjos. There was also an erhu there, maybe 3 of those sanxians of different sizes, and a good old regular looking violin. I’m not sure if that would be in traditional Chinese music, but it seems everyone likes the violin. I was remembering my Indian adventures a few nights ago.
Anyway, it sounded pretty good and I’m looking forward to going back again when the whether is better to hang out and listen more.
I also stopped copying links for later. It looks like there is a multitude on info on Chinese music on the net. I’ll have to spend some time before I eventually go there in search of tea.