LIFE / CULTURE
Traditional pipa concert held in Beijing, blending classics with modern jazz
Published: Jul 04, 2022 11:45 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao

A pipa concernt is held in Beijing by China National Traditional Orchestra on July 3.  Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao


A pipa concernt is held in Beijing by China National Traditional Orchestra on July 3. Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao

A pipa concernt is held in Beijing by China National Traditional Orchestra on July 3. Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao


Sunday evening saw a special concert featuring the pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument by China National Traditional Orchestra in Beijing. As well as classic pieces, the music also involved more modern jazz sounds. 

The concert kicked off with a pipa ensemble piece named Dream into Jiangnan. The music is based on folk songs of the Jiangnan area in southeastern China, which was one of the most prosperous regions in ancient China due to its trade in silk and advanced cultural development.

A pipa concernt is held in Beijing by China National Traditional Orchestra on July 3. Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao

A pipa concernt is held in Beijing by China National Traditional Orchestra on July 3. Photo: Courtesy of Fang Xiao


An instrumental quartet with pipa and piano titled Bloom was one of the most popular pieces with the audience, blending pipa strings and Western music in a collision of oriental elements and a jazz vibe.

The Spring of Tianshan Mountains saw 35 pipa performers on the stage, vividly depicting a joyful and lively scene of the Uyghur ethnic group singing and dancing at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains.

The pipa originated in the Qin Dynasty and flourished in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It has strong associations with Chinese national aesthetics, both in terms of the instrument's shape and its distinctive sound and musical style. Over the past 2,000 years, the skills of pipa performers have continuously developed and evolved, and the instrument is still loved by musicians across the country who use it to perform the classics and also in modern music compositions.