Sounds very Chinese

Updated: 2008-07-14 15:28


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The music style of "Zhong guo feng", popularized by Jay Chou, has reversed the music market in China which was full of western style music.

"Zhong guo feng", which is literally translated as "China Wind", features traditional Chinese instruments and Western instruments, sometimes written in the Pentatonic Scale. Lyrics maybe in the form of Chinese poetry and discuss themes related with Chinese history and folklore. Each person has a different understanding about "China Wind", which gives us a feeling: when hearing the music, you will associate it with Chinese characteristics, Chinese elements and Chinese taste.

Sounds very Chinese 

 In the latest album of Ma Tianyu, a song named Qing Yi refreshes our mind with Chinese style. It originated from the famous play of Peking opera “Wu Jia Po”, and many characteristics of Chinese operas are combined in it. The most interesting thing is that in his MV, he plays two characters separately: Qingyi and Laosheng.

Hong Kong and Taiwan music field stirs up "China Wind"

These songs with Chinese-style are of course not the first. In the 1980s, there has been a "Northwest Wind" blowing in the Mainland. Several years ago, a singer named Dao Lang with his northwester style music was popular among Chinese. However, "China Wind" in the present Chinese music field mainly refers to Hong Kong and Taiwan musicians such as Jay Chao, David Tao, Lee-Hom Wang etc. After years of imitating and learning from western music like R&B and rap, they combine these western music elements with Chinese music elements and create a new style of music.

Jay: "A 'China Wind' song is a must in every of my album"

"A 'China Wind' song is a must in every of my album" Jay's promise is not a denial to his previous rap music, but meet the needs of current Chinese pop music market. Jay's "China Wind" music such as Faraway, Chrysanthemum Terrace always top the latest music download and CRBT download charts. From wife in his first album to Nunchucks and Drangon Fist, Jay let us know that Rap could be like this in Chinese way.

Jay's "China Wind" music cannot succeed without his lyricist Vincent Fang, who fill many of his melodies, such as Wife, Nunchucks, East Wind Breaks, Chrysanthemum Terrace, Faraway etc. In 2000, Chou began his singing career with his debut CD Jay. Since then, Fang has been responsible for more than half of the lyrics in all Chou's albums. Although Fang receives relatively little media limelight and he is known as "Chou's lyricist", the public recognizes Fang's individual talent. Fang said, "The ancient poetry flavor in lyrics is not accidental, one's characters and value are directly shown in his works. I have possessed a strong nationalist consciousness, always concerning about the subjects about nation, tradition and culture. When this cultural consciousness is combined with music, lyrics with so called "China Wind" element are naturally created.

Lee-Hom Wang, David Tao continue "China Wind"

Lee-Hom Wang and David Tao's songs accelerate the development of "China Wind" music, showing that "China Wind" is not Jay Chou;s personal preference. Tao's "Susan Said" in 2005 involved traditional Chinese opera element, which associate this R&B singer with Beijing Opera. Lee-Hom's new album has two "China Wind" songs: Zai Mei Bian(whose idea is from Kunqu Opera" The Peony Pavilion") and Hua Tian Cuo(which has a Beijing Opera background).

Actually, the predecessor of Lee-Hom's song Hua Tian Cuo is Beijing Opera. The song -which uses as much as 9 musical instruments-is unlike the previous "China Wind" songs which only add some Chinese music instruments or Chinese poetry. The song is even sung in the way of Beijing Opera. Different ways of singing, such as Rap singing, R&B singing, Beijing Opera singing are integrated in this album. In the previous "China Wind" music, lyrics play a major part, but in this album, singing is the protagonist.

Sounds very Chinese

Jay Chao promises "A 'China Wind' song is a must in every of my album". 

Worries about "China Wind"

Jay Chou, Lee-Hom Wang and David Tao perfectly combine the long history of China and pop music and announce that- Only that which is the world's, then will be the nation's. But at the same time, we should pay attention to their experiences: Tao moved to US when he was a teenager; Lee-Hom is an ABC; Jay studied classical piano from a young age. Western music has big impact on them, whose experiences cannot be copied. Their successors, such as JJ Lin and Kenji Wu, are following them lack of any innovation. While in the Mainland, because of the immature music market, musicians cannot accurately grasp the development of "Chinese and Western Combination".

"China Wind" also warn us that in the process of learning from western music, we should know and respect our national music. Otherwise, there will be more and more copying and plagiarism.

"China Wind" Music:

David Tao: Moon Represents My Heart, Susan Said

Lee-Hom Wang: Dragon's successor, Zai Mei Bian, Hua Tian Cuo, Heroes, the Sun and the Moon in Heart,

Anson Hu: Monk, Beauty, Rough Heroes

Jay Chou: Wife, Nunchucks, Dragon Fist, Grandfather's Tea, East Wind Breaks, Hair Like Snow, Chrysanthemum Terrace, Faraway

Bobby Chen: One Night in Beijing

JJ Lin: Jiang Nan, Cao Cao



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