DIY: Make Your Own Chinese Book!

By Stefania Miletti

I’ve always had a passion for books, the felling of the paper in your fingers, and the emotions that words can provoke, are my favorite things. So when I learned that I could make them, I was so excited! And thus begun my journey to learn all the different techniques to make books. 

I have to admit that usually I make European bond style books, but I was intrigued by the idea of learning Chinese binding methods, so after a bit of research and different trials, I think I got it. 

I’m going to keep this tutorial as simple as I can, but if you would like to know more about specific terminology or bookbinding tools and techniques, fell free to ask! 

The Tools You Will Need

  • Paper sheets, I used 40 A4 sheets 140 gms, but you can use whatever paper size and gms you want your book to be
  • Book cloth (if you don’t have book cloth you can use whatever fabric you have at home)
  • Cardboard 2mm (if you don’t have this particular height, you can use whatever you have at home, even cereals boxes)
  • Bonefolder, if you don’t have a bonefolder you can use a flat ruler
  • Ruler
  • PVA glue, better if liquid
  • Brush
  • Waxed thread, if you don’t have this you can use whichever thick thread you have or normal thread
  • Sewing needle 
  • Screw hole punch, or an awl in alternative, to make stitching holes in your paper

Optional:

  • Decorative paper
  • Book press, if you don’t have a book press any weight will do, for example a big dictionary or a pile of heavy books.

A Little Bit of Background

Chinese booking is an ancient art that as seen many different types of bookbinding techniques. One of the most known is the “stitched/stab binding”, which is not only traditional in China, but many East Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Many, including myself at the beginning, often confuse Japanese and Chinese stab binding. Although very similar, they are different. In fact, it is not a surprise that, like many other aspects of Chinese culture, bookbinding techniques were spread throughout Japan during the Tang dynasty. The Major difference between the two techniques is that in Japanese bookbinding, the distance between each sewing station is the same, while in Chinese booking usually the middle length is smaller than the others.

Japanese Binding
Chinese Binding


How to Create the Cover

I find that when books have a hardcover, it makes them more durable and easier to carry around.

For the hard cover, we start with the cardboard. As I mentioned before I’m making an A4 book, which measures, 210 × 297 millimeters, but I want my cover to be a little bit bigger than the paper, so that the angles of the paper do not get ruined.

  • Cut 2 cardboard pieces that measure 2 millimeters, more than the A4 size, on every side EXCEPT the side where we are going to stitch our book. So the overall measurements for each cardboard should be 212 x 301 millimeters.
  • Since we want our cover to bend, we need to cut out a joint piece. A joint piece is a small strip that we eliminate from our cover to allow it to bend. This joint piece is usually quite small. I measured 3 cm from the left and cut a strip of 4 millimeters wide. Do not throw the joint piece away! We’ll need it for later.
  • Cut 2 pieces of book cloth, of length 30.1 + 4 cm (2 cm extra for each side) and height of 21.2 + 4 cm (2 cm extra for each side).
  • Glue the book cloth to the cardboard. Tip: I would advise to help yourself with the ruler in order to glue all the pieces straight.
  • Now is the part where our joint piece come to place. Do not put glue on the joint piece but place it right in between the 2 pieces of carboard, and after you glue everything else in place, take it off.
  • With the help of a bonefolder, or a ruler, smooth the surface so that all air bubbles and excess glue are eliminated
  • Now the corners! For this part I think it’s best that I actually show you how to make them. They are called librarian corners, they are round, different from the normal pointy corners. I have to admit that are my favorite type of corners to make.
  • After you made all the corners, with the help of a bonefolder or a ruler, you can fold the sides.
  • Gently tap all the corners with the bonefolder or ruler to make them rounder.
  • Cut 2 pieces of decorative paper, to glue on the inside of the cover, that are the same size as the inside pages of your book, in my case A4 paper (210 × 297 millimeters)
  • Glue the decorative paper on the inside of the cover, and smooth with bonefolder or ruler to avoid air bubbles and wrinkles. Don’t forget to score the gap created by the joint earlier, so it can bend properly. 
  • Let it dry in the book press or under some weights and repeat the process for the back cover, and the cover is done!

How to Create the Text Bock

Now let’s dive into the text block. 

  • First of all, we need to mark for sewing stations. Taking a pencil, a ruler and a guide paper, mark 4 spots. Measure 2 cm from the edge of the paper and trace a straight line, this is where our stitching stations will be situated. Station A and D are around 2 cm from the border, station B and C are around 8.5 cm from the border.
  • Alling the guide paper to sections of papers (I did 7 to 10 sheets of paper per block)
  • Using a Screw hole punch or an awl, pierce the stations. It can be difficult but don’t be discouraged, because at the end the stations holes won’t be seen except the ones on the cover.
  • Once we pierce everything, including the cover, we can start sewing.

Stitching 

Now it’s time for the fun part! Take your needle and thread. I’m using a thick sewing needle and thick waxed thread. If you are using normal sewing thread, please double or triple thread it to give your stitching strength.

  • Take your thread and measure 5 times the height of the cover. With Chinese binding, it is better to have more thread than run out of it. 
  • Take a portion of the pages, and start from the bottom of C station hole, put a little bit of tape (one that does not ruin the paper), on the end, so that it stays in place. This will be where our final knot will be tied. 
  • Take the whole book and wrap with the needle around the spine and back into station C. Then move toward station D as shown in the picture 
  • Go through station D, wrap again the needle around the spine and through station D as shown below
  • Now wrap the needle around the head/corner of the front cover and back through station D
  • Go again first through station C, then through station B and finally through station A. Once reached station A, wrap around the spine with the needle and back into station A.
  • Wrap the needle around the head/corner of the front cover and back through station A
  • Then go toward station B
  • Wrap the needle around needle around the spine and through station B, and move toward C
  • Remember that at the beginning we took part of the papers and left part of the thread in between the pages to tie a knot in the end? Now, instead of pulling our needle all the way through station C, we are going to return the needle in between the pages where the end of the thread is. 
  • Ensure that the stiches are all tight and with the 2 ends tie a knot.
  • Cut the excess thread and we are DONE! 

Now you have a Chinese bound book!













About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact Chinain 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashionvia ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

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Peonies & Co.: The Enchanting Power of the Chinese Flower

Written by Maria Giglio

Attention boyfriends of the world, I’m about to tell you the secret to a woman’s heart: if you love her, bring her flowers. That’s right, that’s it. Every woman in the world has a thing with flowers… unless she’s allergic, of course. In any case, no doubt she will fall in your arms. But why? Well, for starters it’s the simplest gesture to show appreciation to your other half. Plus, because there is a mystic, millennial symbolic connection between flowers and women.

Many cultures worship flowers as a universal image of feminine grace, beauty and prosperity. For example, in Christian tradition the Virgin Mary is often associated with the lily, symbol of purity or referred to as “Mystical Rose” without thorn to represent her sinless nature. In Buddhist culture, the lotus is worshipped as a symbol of perfection and fertility; resembling the woman’s uterus with its rounded shape, this flower is known for its incredible beauty and the capacity to stay clean despite flourishing in swamps and wet habitats. The energising power of flowers and spring are immortalised in Botticelli’s eternal masterpiece La Primavera.

In Botticelli’s La Primavera, Flora (3rd figure on the right) personifies the rebirth of Spring wearing a floral dress

Naturally, this charming love story between flowers and women reaches one of its highest peeks in Chinese culture, where it has been widely celebrated over millennia by a prosperous artistic tradition.

Chinese blossoms

Since ancient times, the Chinese have cultivated a true passion for flowers, by decorating their public and private spaces with beautiful gardens. Interestingly, the Chinese word for flower is “花” (huā) and visually represents the magic of a flower in bloom. In fact, the character is a compound, growing from the radical for grass “艹” under which the magic joyful metamorphosis of a plant when producing flowers is represented by a cheerful character.

On the twelfth day of the second month of each lunar year, as soon as nature awakens, a Spring Festival is held in honour of百花深 (Bǎihuā shēn), the White Goddess of Flowers, to celebrate fertility. As in other cultures, Chinese people too associate flowers with women and beauty very frequently, although the symbology related to flowers is much richer and varied, as evidenced by traditional and tribal art and poetry production.

Pink peonies

King of Flowers

Among the many flowers linked to Chinese culture, peony is certainly the most treasured by Chinese people. The equivalent of the Westerners’ beloved rose, the peony is also known as the king of flowers (花王, Huāwáng), existing in two main varieties, the tree and herbaceous peony. The original Chinese word for the herbaceous peony was 芍药 (sháo yào) to refer to the medical properties of the flower. Shao (芍) means in fact a spoonful (勺) of plant (艹), whereas yao (药) means medicine. After a while, both the tree and herbaceous varieties were known as 牡丹 (mudan). This word consists of two characters. The character 牡 (mu) is composed of the radicals for ox (牛) and and earth (土). The character 丹 (dan) means either pill, probably referring to the healing properties ascribed to the peony in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or the typical colour red, as a typical variety of the flower.

An ancient passion

Up until the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 A.D.), the peony was renowned as the official national flower of China, as per appointment by Empress Dowager Cixi in 1903. As a matter of fact, Chinese passion for this flower sprang around 1,400 years ago. During the Tang Dynasty (around 600 A.D.) peonies started to be employed to decorate the imperial gardens and soon began to spread everywhere else in China. An imperial emblem of opulence and beauty, peonies were featured in paintings and textiles, as well as used in poetical allegories to celebrate the prosperity of the nation. Among the most valuable, the red ones represent wealth, while white peonies symbolize the beauty and cheerfulness of Chinese young girl.

Cultivating national pride

After the Cultural Revolution, the Peony is not recognised the official status of national flower anymore, though its fame and glorious reputation is unvaried in the heart of the Chinese people as it embodies the national hope for an ever-growing prosperity. Over the last twenty years people already expressed their willing twice by casting a ballot (one in 1994 and one 2003) for a renovated official acknowledgment by the Government of the peony as a national emblem. The proposal is still pending.

Although Chinese peonies can be found almost everywhere in the country, Luoyang (Henan Province, Eastern China) is certainly the best place to admire their beautiful blossoms. Renowned as the city of peonies, Luoyang offers a spectacular Peony garden showcasing over 500 varieties in full bloom. The garden is famous for hosting a peony high over 3 metres and as old as 1,600 years.

A view of Luoyang Peony Garden

Flowers in Chinese traditional fashion: take your pick!

The passion for flowers is vividly featured in the traditional apparel of Chinese people.

Back in the 60s Scott McKenzie used to sing “if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair”. If you insteadwant to wear flowers everywhere, check out our exclusive florid collection of handmade Qipaos!

Amongst the 56 minorities in China, Miao people hold pomegranate blossoms 石榴花 (Shíliú huā) particularly at heart. A national cultural heritage as enlisted by UNESCO, Miao embroidery features pomegranate flowers to symbolise the wish for prosperity. If you want a taste of this true textile rarity, check out these handmade bags that our Miao artisan partners have created exclusively for our costumers!

If you smell a nice deal… Discover these and more products on InteractChina.com!


About Interact China 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

Shape

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

Chinese Music 101: Wood Musical Instruments – Ancient and Modern Percussions

By Sari Xu

So far, we’ve discussed about silk, bamboo, stone, clay and skin musical instruments under the Bayin – 8 tones of Chinese traditional musical instruments. Wood, as one of the most common materials used in Western musical instruments, surprisingly, is not that widely used in China for its traditional tones. Most Chinese instruments under the wood category are of the ancient variety. I guess this is because in China, Silk and Bamboo are easier to access by the royal family, and the softer timbre they bring are more favored by the ancient literati and artists.

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Rather than being used in wind instrument like flutes, piccolos, and clarinets in Western music instruments, wood is mostly used in percussions in China. Muyu (木鱼), literally wooden fish, is also known as a Chinese temple block and could be struck with a wooden stick. It’s used by monks and lay people in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, usually during rituals when chanting, involving the recitation of sutras, mantras, or other Buddhist texts. It’s used not only in China, but also East Asian countries like Korea, Japan where the practice of Mahayana is prevalent.

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The Original Muyu

 

More interestingly, the original type of wooden fish is literally in the shape of a fish! Along with a large temple bell and drum, it is found suspended in front of Buddhist monasteries. When proceeding with various duties (such as eating, lectures, or chores), a monk and a supervisor utilize the instrument to call all monastics to go to their tasks. Historically, this was the first wooden fish developed, which gradually evolved into the round wooden fish used by Buddhists today.

Other than Muyu (Wooden fish), another block is also widely used till nowadays. Bangzi (梆子, or sometimes Bangban),a wood block smaller than a Muyu with a higher pitch, is very popular in use of the Chinese traditional Bangzi Opera as an accompaniment. Bangzi Opera, or Bangzi Xi, Bangzi Qiang, is one of the Top 4 kinds of Chinese Opera, originated from the ancient Western Qin Qiang (西秦腔, Opera of the Qin Dynasty, 221 – 207 B.C). The common point of various types of Bangzi Opera, is that they all use Bangzi – the wood block, to give the beat. A Bangzi is usually made of Jujube wood, red sandalwood, or rosewood. it’s also worth mentioning that, the two wooden sticks used to strike the bangzi are of various thicknesses and lengths in order to get different pitches.

Back at the ancient time, the wood instruments were also mainly used during rituals. Remember there is a struck string musical instrument called Zhu that we discussed about previously? Actually, there is another percussion instrument also called Zhu () under the wood category! It was used in the Confucian court ritual music in ancient China. It consisted of a wooden box (which was often painted red or otherwise decorated) that tapered from the top to the bottom and was played by grasping a vertical wooden stick and striking it on the bottom face. The instrument was used to mark the beginning of music in the ancient ritual music of China, called Yayue (雅乐). The instrument is rarely used today, with specimens appearing mainly in Chinese museums, an exception is that, in Taiwan it is still used in Confucian ritual music by the Taiwan Confucian Temple.

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About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Music 101: Bayin(八音) – Silk Musical Instruments 3 – The Struck String Family

By Sari Xu

Silk musical instruments, or nowadays more referred as string instruments, form the biggest category among the Chinese Bayin categories (8 tones), including – silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd, and skin. In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed about two large groups of instruments under this category: bowed string family and plucked string family. Other than these two groups, struck string instruments family also plays a very important role here.

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A Chinese Modern Yangqin with Hand-Carved Patterns

 

The most famous struck string is Yangqin (扬琴), which is sometimes known as Chinese hammered dulcimer. It used to be written as the characters 洋琴, which literally means “foreign zithers”, this is because it was derived from Iranian Santur. Overtime, the first character was changed to “扬”, which means “acclaimed”. Just like other string instruments Pipa, Guzheng, and Erhu, Yangqin and hammered dulcimers of various types are not only famous in China, but also very popular among Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, Iran, and Pakistan.

In terms of elements of construction, Yangqin also shares a lot of common points with other hammered dulcimers. As a member of the string musical instruments family, the strings are definitely the most significant element. Modern yangqin usually have 144 strings in total, with each pitch running in courses, with up to 5 strings per course, in order to boost the volume. The strings come in various thicknesses, and are tied at one end by screws, and at the other with tuning pegs. The pegs and screws are covered during playing by a hinged panel/board. This panel is opened up during tuning to access the tuning pegs.

Interestingly, though older Chinese string musical instruments used silk strings, which later formed the category as “silk instruments”, Yangqin, as one of the representative of Jiangnan Sizhu (江南丝竹, Silk and bamboo genre in Shanghai region), was traditionally fitted with bronze strings!

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The design of bridges on a yangqin is also a piece of art and more complicated than the bridges on a modern guitar from my opinion. There are usually four to five bridges on a yangqin called bass bridge, “right bridge”, tenor bridge, “left bridge”, and the chromatic bridge, respectively from right to left. During playing, one is supposed to strike the strings on the left side of the bridges. However, the strings on the “chromatic bridge” are struck on the right, and strings on the “left bridge” can be struck on both sides of the bridge.

Hammers are the most unique element of a yangqin and what form the “struck instrument” category. They are mostly made of another commonly used material in traditional Chinese music – bamboo! One end of the hammers is half covered by rubber. This brings two ways of playing the yangqin: with the rubber side for a softer sound, and with the bamboo side for a crisper, more percussive sound. This technique, known as 反竹(Fan Zhu), is best utilized in the higher ranges of the yangqin.Additionally, the ends of the sticks can be used to pluck the strings, producing a sharp, clear sound. Glissandos can also be achieved in this way by running the ends of the sticks up or down the strings! This means, once the player reaches the professional level of playing the yangqin, he or she could play this instrument as a yangqin, a guzheng, and a pipa at the same time!

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A Pair of Hammers

Other than the yangqin, Zhu (筑)was also a famous struck string instrument back at the ancient time though it’s no longer used. The instrument remained popular through the Sui and Tang dynasties (581 – 907), and was lost during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1276).

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Ancient Zhu Found by Archeologists

Now, let’s enjoy one of the traditional music pieces played by a yangqin soloist!

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Music 101: Bayin(八音) – Silk Musical Instruments 2 – The Plucked String Family

By Sari Xu

Silk musical instruments form the biggest category among the Bayin (8 tones), including – silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd, andskin. In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed one thirds of the silk tone – The bowed string family. Now let’s have a look at another well-known silk category – the plucked string family!

(A Uygur Bowed Instrument vs. A Uygur Plucked Instrument)

Other than the Xinjiang Uyghur musical instruments that we’ve introduced long time ago, some widely-used plucked string instruments include: Guzheng, Pipa, and Sanxian. Others like Guqin(古琴), Se(瑟), Konghou(箜篌,harps), and Ruan(阮) are less popular nowadays but very typical in traditional music performance especially for solo.

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A Guzheng (古筝)

The Zheng, or Guzheng (古筝), is known as a Chinese zither with a history of more than 2,500 years. The oldest specimen yet discovered held 13 strings and was dated to around 500 B.C, possibly during the Warring States period (475 – 221 B.C). Guzheng became prominent during the Qin dynasty (221 – 206 B.C). By the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) the guzheng may have been the most commonly played instrument in China.

During its long history, Guzheng has gone through many changes. The modern guzheng commonly has 21 strings, is 64 inches (1.6 m) long, and is tuned in a major pentatonic scale. It has a large, resonant soundboard made from Paulownia. Other components are often made from other woods for structural or decorative reasons. Guzheng players often wear fingerpicks made from materials such as plastic, resin, tortoiseshell, or ivory on one or both hands.

XieZiqiao_guzheng

Playing styles and Schools of Guzheng vary a lot and were first divided between Northern and Southern before being further subdivided into specific regional schools. Regional schools that are part of the Northern style include Henan, Shaanxi, Shandong, and Zhejiang. Regional schools included in the Southern style include Chaozhou, Hakka, and Fujian.

Examples of Northern pieces include High Mountain and Running River(高山流水) and Autumn Moon over the Han Palace(汉宫秋月) from the Shandong school. Southern style can be represented by Jackdaw Plays with Water (寒鸦戏水) from the Chaozhou school and Lotus Emerging from Water (出水莲) from the Hakka school.

Check out the famous Guzheng solo piece High Mountain and Running Riverby artist Xiang Si-Hua here!

The Pipa(琵琶), sometimes referred as the Chinese Lute, is another widely played 4-stringed Chinese plucked instrument. Ithas a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. It also has a smaller version called Liuqin (柳琴). Similar as Guzheng, Pipa also has a long history of around 2,000 years and existed in China as early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C – 220 A.D). Although historically the term “Pipa” was once used to refer to a variety of plucked chordophones, its usage since the Song dynasty (960 – 1279) refers exclusively to the pear-shaped instrument.

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Pipa (琵琶)

Several related instruments in East and Southeast Asia are derived from the pipa, which include the Japanese biwa, the Vietnamese đàn tỳ bà, and the Korean bipa. Interestingly, based on the Chinese, as well as records of these countries, we can easily deduce the evolution of Pipa during its long history! For example, the Tang-style Pipa (from Tang Dynasty 618 – 907) has a comparatively shorter neck, while the Ming-Style (1368 – 1644) has a longer neck and more frets. It also omitted the plectrum and could be played directly with fingers.

 

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The Ming Style Pipa on Record

 

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The Tang Style Pipa on Record

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of contemporary musicians and performers worldwide, Chinese and Western composers are both creating new works using Pipa and Guzheng.Undeniably, these two are always the best companion of each other, and I personally still love the traditional piece the most!

Check out this duo performance of Pipa and Guzheng! And this opus was originally created by Yi ethnic group called Dance of the Yi People!

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Music 101: Bayin(八音) – Silk Musical Instruments – The Bowed String Family

By Sari Xu

Silk musical instruments form the biggest category among the Bayin (8 tones), including – silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd, andskin. In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed a lot about the percussion instruments fall into the stone and skin categories. Today, we will look into the most common and well-known silk category and have a deeper understanding of the bowed string family!

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The Huqin Family

The bowed string family, nowadays, is more often referred as “Huqin” (胡琴) family, could be simply described as spike fiddles (vertical). The instruments consist of a round, hexagonal, or octagonal sound box at the bottom with a neck attached that protrudes upwards. They usually have two strings, and their sound boxes are typically covered with either snakeskin (most often the skin of python) or thin wood. Huqin instruments generally have two tuning pegs, one peg for each string. The pegs are attached horizontally through holes drilled in the instrument’s neck. Most huqin have the bow hair pass in between the strings. Exceptions having two strings and pegs include variations of huqin with three, four, and sometimes even more than five. These include the Zhuihu, a three stringed Huqin, the Sihu, a Huqin of Mongolian origin, and the Sanhu, a lesser-known three-stringed variation.

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The 3 Most Common Huqins

 

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The Typical Huqin Family

These may sound very new to you, no worries, let’s name some names of spike fiddles that you may be familiar with: 1. Erhu (二胡)– tuned to a middle range; 2. Zhonghu (中胡/中音二胡) –  tuned to a lower register; 3. Gaohu (高胡) – tuned to a higher pitch. 4. Dahu, Gehu – tuned to the lowest pitch; 5. Jinghu – tuned to the highest pitch for use in the Beijing Opera. To rank this typical spike fiddles by their pitches from low to high, the order should be Dahu, Gehu, Zhonghu, Erhu, Gaohu, Jinghu.

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The Beijing Opera Instruments Family

Though spike fiddles are dominating the main stream of Chinese traditional musical instruments (along with Guzheng, Dizi and Pipa) and modern Chinese orchestras nowadays, it actually has an ethnic minority background! Huqins are believed to have come from the nomadic Hu people, who lived on the extremities of ancient Chinese kingdoms, possibly descending from an instrument called the Xiqin (奚琴), originally played by the Mongolic Xi tribe. Nowadays, the Mongolian people also have a very similar version of modern Xiqin called Khuuchir, and so do other neighboring countries such as Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, etc.

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The Original Xiqin Painted by Artist Chen Yang back in Song Dynasty

Coming back to our most familiar Erhu, it also has several variations such as Jing Erhu (京二胡) and Erquanhu(二泉胡). Erhu, sometimes also called Urheen, Nanhu (Southern Fiddle, 南胡), is the most common form of a “Chinese violin” and two-stringed fiddle. It could be used either for a solo or in a concert (both small ensembles and large orchestras).

To be more specific, The Erhu consists of a long vertical stick-like neck, at the top of which are two big tuning pegs, and at the bottom is a small resonator body (sound box) which is covered with python skin (or other snake skin) on the front (playing) end. Two strings are attached from the pegs to the base, and a small loop of string (Qian Jin前襟) placed around the neck and strings acting as a nut pulls the strings towards the skin, holding a minute wooden bridge in place. Some fun facts about Erhu’s features including 1. its characteristic sound is produced through the vibration of the python skin by bowing; 2. there is no fingerboard; the player stops the strings by pressing their fingertips onto the strings without the strings touching the neck; 3. the horse hair bow is never separated from the strings (which were formerly of twisted silk but which today are usually made of metal)!

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The Construction of an Erhu

Jing Erhu, as you may tell, is the version of Erhu that designed for Beijing Opera (Jing Xi). It is lower in pitch than Jinghu (京胡), which is the leading melodic instrument in the Beijing opera orchestra, and is considered a supporting instrument to Jinghu. Erquanhu, is a slightly larger version of Erhu, and is used to specifically to play the most famous Erhu opus by Chinese folk blind artist A-bing called Erquan Yingyue (Moon Reflected on Second Spring).

Check out this Erhu performance of Erquan Yingyue below and try to feel the hopelessness and depression written in the melody:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDSXrP-WVlM

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The Typical Image of A-bing, the Blind Erhu Artist Who Composed Erquan Yinyue

In general, the Huqin family, especially Erhu, is a group of versatile instruments. Erhu is commonly used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, for example, in pop, jazz, and even rock music.

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About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Gardens: Meeting Point Between Beauty and Philosophy

Written by: Stefania Miletti

The traditional Chinese garden, known as Zhōngguó yuánlín (中國園林,中国园林), is characterized by the search for balance and harmony between human and nature, often with the recreation of a miniature landscape. These gardens try to recreate natural visual balances, for example by sculpting rocks as if they were eroded by atmospheric agents. 

Different types of gardens were built to adhere to the function they served: for example, the emperor’s gardens were vast and immense and therefore built to pleasure or to impress. More modest functionaries, scholars and poets preferred more intimate gardens with the scope to relax and escape from the real world.

A little bit of history

China has a long history related to building traditional Chinese garden that dates to 3,000 years ago. Many important figures, ranging from emperors and government officials to scholars and poets built their own. In the Yellow River Valley, the first Chinese gardens were created. Monarchs and members of the nobility harvested and planted fruits and vegetables in their gardens since the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC).

Chinese gardens deeply relate to both philosophy and to Feng Shui, with meticulous assortment of natural elements in relation to their historical-mythological, literary or symbolic meaning. In fact, it is curios that both landscape painting and Chinese gardens develop side by side in ancient china.

This link between gardens and philosophy leads, almost unsurprisingly, to the meticulous study of every element added to the garden, nothing is by chance, resulting in a combination between the landscape painter and the garden artist’s different points of view. 

Sacred Gardens and their Philosophy

A perfect example of Chinese Gardens and in particular the influence of philosophy in their design are the sacred gardens, which were built by scholars, drawing inspirations by three main philosophical streams of thought: Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.

Starting with the Taoism philosophy, which relies on the concept of Tao, which represents the path every being takes, the “becoming of everything”, which becomes reality with the two extremes. Every time one of the extremes is reached, a force pushes in the adverse direction and vice versa. Natural examples of this theory can be seen with the passing of seasons, or with the movements of the Sun and Moon. The decent person has been seen as one whose existence has been based on naturalness, not fortune or status. This philosophy is reflected in the gardens’ layout, with a more natural approach in the design, that allows humans to better connect with their surroundings.

On the other hand, Confucianism philosophy is more concentrated toward geometry, leading to the Chinese domestic and urban geometric order. The main theory behind Confucius ideas was that knowledge was the most important tool available to humanity in order to exceed, leading to the “good man” mentality. This was clearly reflected in the gardens’ design, that encompassed the most traditional virtues of sensibility and harmony between humanity and the Cosmo. 

Example of Confucianism influenced gardens, The Forbidden city

When Buddhism arrived in China, it developed into a monastic tradition strongly based on meditation. 

The importance of spirituality transposed into the design of the monastic gardens, elevating them from a mere functional meditation aid to a rich example of the spiritual values of Buddhism.

The tradition of meditation gardens is also a product of the melting pot of different philosophies, such as Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. In particular, the cult of the beauty of natural gardens from Taoism and Buddhism mixed with the Confucian appreciation for geometry. This shaped the gardens into idyllic landscapes, perfectly bonding inanimate rocks with live plants and water.

Example of Buddhism influenced park








About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact Chinain 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashionvia ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Medicating by Meditating: healing spirit and body with TCM

Written by Maria

If you live in a concrete jungle like London, New York or Hong Kong, you are certainly very familiar with stress, anxiety, and pollution that negatively impact the quality of your life. Your tight schedule makes you feel like everyday is the same as the day before. All this planning in advance causes an amount of stress that it gets harder and harder to bear. You feel like you’re about to crush and then it is Friday again. A pub crawl on Friday, some laundry on Saturday, and a lazy Sunday. Of course it will happen that some weekends are more exciting than others, but some are just extra hours of work. If you are lucky you will spend them on a Ryanair cheap flight towards an unknown small town where they barely understand you and you barely understand them. And it is Monday again. How to get out from this ordinary nightmare?

As I see it, we are all left with 2 options. We move to a desert island and leave it all behind. But what about your friends, your family, and all your fancy clothes? Also, human are after all social animals, we really need people to get by. And some pets too. And a sofa. Fortunately, there is another option. It only takes 5 to 20 minutes a day and, once again, it comes from the Far, far East. Just Meditate. Mind I said “Meditate”, not “Think”. Think involves our brain to function in a certain way: to formulate hypothesis, to plan, to take decisions, to supress our emotions. It involves stress. We have just agreed that we want to get away from that. So, what is meditation?

Origins

Meditation is a practice which involves full concentration, awareness of oneself and one’s surrounding, and the aim is to reach stillness of the mind and a deep status of mind-body relaxation to prepare it. In a way, meditation is the opposite of thinking, because we want to observe our thoughts, physical and emotional senses, as they were pictures in our minds.

Rooted in Hinduist tradition and dating back as far as 4,000 years ago, meditation arrived in China with the diffusion of Buddhism, although meditative practices are also very common in the Taoist tradition. 

In Chinese Traditional Medicine, Meditation has developed as a crucial as Acupuncture and a balanced diet, to favours the correct flow of Qi within and without body and mind.

Be Still: Meditation and Movement

In terms of techniques, stillness can mean many things. Stillness is about the mind, and it doesn’t necessarily imply that you only meditate in static positions, like laying down on the floor or sitting in a lotus pose with your legs crossed.

Yoga is a very popular choice. In Chinese tradition, Tai Chi and Qigong are the most common meditative movement practices. Apt for all ages and bodies, they engage in a sequence of slow, mindful bodily movements, to enhance balance, bodily control and breath. Such practices are great for your health, particularly for your muscular tone and your back.

To some meditation sceptics…

Now I can hear some of you saying ‘Do you seriously want to make me believe that if I lay down and tell myself not to think I will not think anymore? And isn’t it thinking about not thinking a thought anyway?’

See, that is the problem. A good meditator is one that focuses only on his breath. He does not impose himself what to think, he is not judgmental of losing his focus from time to time. When it happens, it only accepts it and comes back to his breath. It takes some time practice and time to appreciate the positive results of meditation. Some of us just call it patience. I prefer to call it commitment.

About patience…

‘What if I fall asleep while I am meditating?’, or ‘How can I not think not to fall, if I am standing upside down in a very odd Yoga position?’ are other kind of concerns. Well, if you fall asleep, you reached your purpose: certainly you have gotten relaxed, although you should maybe work on your awareness, trying to counting your breath to keep your mind active, though even and stable. Same when your practicing Tai Chi or Yoga. Just focus on your breath and keep tracking of your movement through inhalation and exhalation: it will naturally relaxing your muscles, thus encouraging a better withstanding of the pose; also, it will keep you distracted from feeling challenged, unbalanced, by the position, pain, stretch etc.

Meditation as Medication in Chinese and Worldwide Culture

Meditation practices spread throughout all the East because of their link to the Buddhist tradition, and were used as a form of healing alternative to religious rituals and conventional medicaments. Still today, especially in ethnic populations there is a diffuse belief that bodily illness is only a physical manifestation of spiritual illness, caused by a bad thought, evil demons, etc.

But apart from the mystic side of meditation, its benefits are undeniable. As I mentioned already, meditation is an engaging practice, which trains our minds to control emotions and impulses in a healthy way, without ignoring or supressing them. It helps keeping an even attitude through stressful times, or to certain emotionally-charging events in our lives. And it is commonly known that a calmer temper is good to keep our blood pressure steady, our heart rate at ease, and our anxiety and sleepless nights only a bad memory.

Not convinced yet? Based on Eastern practice of Meditation, the ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof (among his Guinness World Record gestures: a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow, a swimming several times half-naked under the ice for more than 110 minutes) developed a method to defeat our human frailty and enhance our resilience through the power of our minds and breath.

Personally, I am a big fan of Wim and can’t wait to join one of his crazy expeditions. But many of you may disagree. Believe it or not, scientists and doctors still pop their eyes in front of his extraordinary, super-manly health conditions. It’s not about magic, it’s just about commitment. Meditation is a way of life. To keep a steady mind clears the view from dusty confusion, facilitates decision, increases our self-esteem. It is not a surprise that there is a corporate trend to integrate yoga and similar practices in their employee schemes.

So what are you waiting for? Close your eyes and just breathe.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Ikat, the ancient art of cloud weaving

Written by Maria

Feeling blue today? If you know what Ikat is, you may agree that it is not necessarily a bad thing. Coming from the Malay-Indonesian word mengikat (to tie), Ikat is an ancient textile art particularly diffused in Southeast Asia, particularly in China, Indonesia and Thailand.

The technique is complex and time-consuming, mainly consisting in dyeing the cotton yarns before weaving.

Named after such technique, the Ikat fabric can come in a variety of colours and patterns, although one of the most popular variations is the blue-patterned one. Ikat weavers use pigments of indigo, the local plant which famously gives the characteristic colour to denim, to obtain the particularly dense, sky-like blue. This is probably why in Persia Ikat technique is known as abr brandi, which literally means tying the clouds.

Origins

Although its origins are highly debated, Ikat is probably one of the most ancient and unique textile techniques of Asia. The earliest historical record was found in China and dates back to the 6th Century, though there is track that the technique has been used in India at least since the 7th century and developed in other Asian Countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.

Surprisingly, Ikat has also widely flourished in Latin American countries such as Peru and Guatemala since ancient times, where it developed independently of the Eastern world.

Ikat was brought to Europe by Dutch and Spanish explorers from Asia and Latin America during Colonialism, started in the 7th Century.

The traditional patterns of Ikat used to be entrenched of spiritual meaning. In particular, Ikat used to be a symbol of wealth. Until recent times, in Southeast Asia only aristocrats were allowed to wear Ikat fabric. The rule, also sanctioned with death punishment, slowly disappeared because of the colonialist pressures to trade and diffuse the product abroad, which led to its largest diffusion in the 20th Century.

Process

Just like batik and tie-dye, Ikat is obtained with a resist-dyeing method, mainly by controlling the colour spread so that it does not reach all the fabric. The purpose is to create the patterns out of the contrast between coloured and uncoloured areas.

The difference between Ikat and other famous resist-dyeing techniques like Batik or Tie-dye, is that dyeing is applied before and not after weaving. First, the design is marked onto the yarns. Then, the unmarked areas are then tied with rubber, wax or other materials, to avoid that the colour penetrates them.

The yarns are then dyed with the use of a straw. Finally, the yarns are untied and woven in the loom. Dyeing is fundamental to the creation of the patterns. A variation of Ikat is double Ikat, where both the warp and the weft are dyed.

If you want to know more about Ikat, watch the following video to see how ikat is made! https://youtu.be/3OAnnvPEOl8

If you have fallen in love with Ikat, please have a look on our new sleek line of blue scarves on InteractChina.com. Enjoy!

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Music 101 – Skin Musical Instruments – The Drum Family

By Sari Xu

A quick review! As we discussed before, Chinese traditional musical instruments are divided into 8 categories, including – silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd, and skin instruments. Skin instruments – mostly percussion instruments, actually formed a big Chinese drum family for us to explore further.

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Chinese drums, or we called Gu (鼓), was first invented and used to send signals and accompany with dancing back in the primitive times. They were first made of stones, then clays, and finally wood covered with skin leather or paper on both sides. The sounding principle is very similar to foreign percussion instruments such as Western timpani and African drums. Just like African drums, Chinese drums are often used when dancing during celebration and events. The combination of powerful dancing and drumbeat is always inspiring and the best choice for showing the team spirit especially during the agrarian age. Therefore, different regions have different kind of drums which people use the most, and these gradually formed the huge drum family under the percussion instrument category in China.

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Da Gu, The Big Drum (大鼓)

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Flowerpot Drum, Hua Peng Gu (花盆鼓)

Generally speaking, people in Northern China prefer larger drums in terms of the size, while Southern China residents innovated various types of small drums and relative dancing.

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Book Drum, Shu Gu (书鼓), mostly used in Southern China

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Ban Gu, 板鼓, mostly used in Southern China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing the drum is more like an integrated performance rather than simply sitting still and playing a piano solo opus. Depending on the size of the drum, it could be hold in hands, tied on the waist or in front of the chest, even put on the head, shoulder, or under the arms. Of course, it needs to be settled on the ground if it’s a large one. It could be either beaten by hands or drumsticks, and one performer could play with 1 or several (10 at most) drums simultaneously. Regarding the appearance, Chinese drums are usually painted in the most representative Chinese red with the leather in its natural color. Check out this video for a Chinese drum group performance!

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Some typical dancing formats accompanied with drum performance include An Sai Yao Gu (An Sai Waist Drum), Wei Feng Luo Gu (Gong and Drum), Tai Ping Gu Wu (Tai Ping Drum Dancing), Hua Bo Da Gu (Huge drums with tiny symbals) and several forms of bronze drum dancing performed by the ethnic minority groups. Check out this performance of An Sai Waist Drum!

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Waist Drum, Yao Gu (腰鼓)

An Sai Yao Gu (An Sai Waist Drum安塞腰鼓) is one of the most amazing performances among the all and was also recognized as Chinese intangible cultural asset in 2006. It’s originated from Shaanxi Province and was used for communication and sending signals during wars back at Qin (B.C 221 – 207) and Han Dynasty (B.C 202 – 220). An Sai is a city in Shaanxi, which is a military stronghold located in the Loess Plateau. Besides delivering information, soldiers at ancient times also play the drums to cheer for the battle and celebrate the triumph afterwards. Later, this became a kind of folk dance in this region. Everyone likes this way of celebration during holidays or worships (praying for grain harvest in most cases) because the waist drums could make very loud sounds when a large group of folks playing together. The strong drumbeat, together with the red drums and red ribbon tied on the drums and sticks, inspire people to work harder, and staying united in Chinese culture. Though nowadays, people don’t support their lives mainly through farming anymore, this kind of art performance is preserved as a culture to be played during holiday celebration.

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Though it’s hard to count how many kinds of drums now exit in China, let’s have a glance at some of the representative drums in this big family!

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Row of Drums, Pai Gu (排鼓)

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 15 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!