The Year of The Monkey

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With a lifespan of over 2,000 years, the GuZheng is one of the most favored instruments in traditional Chinese folk music.

But the popularity of rock and pop music among young people has created the fear of losing this distinct and ancient sound. Chen Yirong is one of today’s most talented players. She has made it her mission to inspire a younger generation to listen to the classical sounds. She has incorporated popular sounds into her sessions and amplifies the sound for large audiences. This video was taken at a concert Ms Chen gave at Albany State University to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The Guzheng is a traditional Chinese instrument dating from the Qin dynasty (c. 200). It is the ancestor of the Japanese Koto as well as several other zither-like instruments found across east Asia. A modern Guzheng typically has 21 strings over movable bridges. These are mounted on a large resonant half-tube box made of wu-tong wood, and the instrument is typically about 1.63m long. The strings are tuned by both moving the bridges and by adjusting tuning pegs.

I was fortunate enough to take this photo with Y. Chen and college student N. Corripio.

Listen more: Yirong Chen https://youtu.be/jAIc7_hre3k via @YouTube