Fusing East and West through music

Updated: 2016-02-06 04:08

By NIU YUE in New York(China Daily USA)

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Fusing East and West through music

China’s deputy consul general in New York, said musical innovation and cross-cultural communication such as this concert could foster more understanding between the people of China and the United States.  PHOTO BY LONG YIFAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

“Traditional Chinese music should not be confined to the label of high arts either,” said Yang.

She said most of the audience members at the concert were professionals and students of musicology.

Yang said that many listeners of traditional Chinese instrumental music view it as a “high art” that tends to be inaccessible to general audiences.

However, the fusion music of both Chinese traditions with Western elements has made a big difference.

According to the box office at Carnegie Hall, more than 95 percent of the tickets had been sold out. Although most in the audience were Chinese, some local American listeners also attended.

Barbara Charton, professor of musicology at New York’s Pratt Institute, said she was attending the concert for the “unprecedented and unique” tones and melodies.

Charton said she appreciated the young Chinese musicians who were experimenting with something new.

“Jazz was a mixture of American black music and country music,” she said. “So another fusion of jazz and Chinese traditional music must be academically new.”

Sun Hongtao, executive director of the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, one of the sponsors and presenters of the concert, said Chinese traditional music remains a subculture that primarily caters to Chinese in the US, but more performances and concerts have been held in the US recently, “a sign of higher popularity”.

“It was a recognition of Chinese traditional music in the US,” said Zhang Meifang, China’s deputy consul general in New York.

Zhang said the fusion of music could bring a vitality to the relationship of the Chinese and American people.

Long Yifan in New York contributed to this story.

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