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Guangdong Music-New Year Special

Updated: 2014-02-08 Source:Radio Guangdong's English Service Author:intern
In today's programme, we will bring you classic Guangdong music pieces rejoicing the Chinese New Year.
We begin with the 'Universal Celebration'.

Universal Celebration
Universal Celebration was composed by Chen Pingjia during the 1960's. This enchanting song has gained universal notoriety for being one of the dynamic pieces to play during traditional Chinese celebrations. The harmonies emanating from the traditional Chinese instruments, the drums, gong instruments, flutes and erhu combine to create a melodic festive flow of rhythm.The melodies personify the scene of a group singing, dancing, chattering and are busy preparing to celebrate a vital success, or, a most important festival or carnival.

(photo by www.canon.com.cn)

Happiness was composed by Liu Mingyuan in 1958.
The Spring Festival is an important time for Chinese people, with families being reunited all over the nation. Happiness goes hand-in-hand with the New Year Celebration, making it the most widely spread song in Guangdong. Two pieces of folk music in Shanxi Province are absorbed in Happiness and the fresh elements make the new tune a masterpiece of the school of Guangdong Music, and even in the history of China's traditional music. Happiness is known for its remarkable structure. With the performance of Erhu and flute, the tune is lively and vivid and very easy to remember. Since we are celebrating the Spring Festival, this piece of work would be a good choice to play to add to the happiness of families gathering and parties with friends. 

(photo by news.xinhuanet.com)

Stepping High
Written by Lv Wencheng in the 1930's Stepping high has become internationally famous. The choice song for when the athletes entered the stadium at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing, this piece presents an atmosphere of optimism and vitality. With a light yet fast and bouncy melody, the music sets the tone for making wishing during the festive period; a time for making progress and believing in oneself. With the performance of Gaohu, in instrument of Erhu family, the high-pitched tune is quite delightful.

 (photo by music.chinese.cn)

Golden Snake dance
This piece is adapted by Nie Er, the composer of China's national song, in 1930s; it presents Chinese people's excitement in celebrating. Celebrations can't be held without songs and dances. So the Golden Snake Dance, one of the most cheerful tunes of the Guangdong Music School, is a must-have song in the Spring Festival. Compared with another piece, the Universal Celebration, this melody is much more exciting with more powerful due to the drum beats.

(photo by www.nipic.com)
Dragon Boat Racing
Composed by He liutang (her lew-tang) in,this piece embodies the psyche of a Chinese dragon boat racer.In south China, it is a tradition for villages and cities to hold dragon boat races at the Dragon Boat Festival on the 5th of May in the lunar calendar. When the race starts, paddlers fight to compete with other boats so as to win good luck. Large crowds of people shout by the riverside as the race goes on.Perfectly assembling the scene, this piece of music, titled, Dragon Boat Racing, has become one of the most wide spread pieces of Guangdong Music.At the very beginning of the song, the suona horn performs as the starting gun. Then the rhythm of the tune becomes faster with the performance of drums to imitate the racers' competing with each other, trying to catch up with other paddlers or to keep their advantage untill they reach the finishing line.The tune ends with suona horn again to echo the beginning of the music.

(photo by music.chinese.cn)