Learning Chinese Musical Instruments & Peking Opera From Changkui Tang & Jie Yu
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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According to the American Community Survey for 2013, China was the origin to the highest number of Asians in the United States, at approximately 24 percent. According to the most recent estimates available from the United States Census Bureau for the 63 month period from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015, Florida ranks as the top 5 states within U.S.A. with fastest population growth rate. Given these two conditions, it is not surprising that one would find more and more Chinese Americans in our state of Florida as time progresses. And with it, we would all have the pleasure of becoming exposed to more Chinese culture through arts and music.
Some of the embassadors for Chinese culture, with decades of performance experience in Chinese arts and music, have lived quietly among us. Two of these embassadors are residents of Central Florida who have recently contacted me, two Asian American artists/musicians, more specifically Chinese American artists/musicians: Jie Yu ( Peking Opera performer) and Changkui Tang (Chinese musical instruments artist and professor in Dizi or Chinese bamboo flute/Chinese transverse flute, Erhu or Chinese 2-stringed fiddle, various Percussions, Woodwind, and Compositions). As many former visitors to Florida (including yours truly), once these two artists/musicians arrived in Florida from New York, they found the place where they called home and stayed for these past eighteen years.
Mr. /Professor Changkui Tang was the first-chair musician and director of the traditional music band at China Air Force Performing Troupe in Beijing, also a member of the Chinese Musicians Association, specializing in Chinese flutes, percussion, and composition. Professor Tang has performed bamboo flute, drum, string instruments, and various Chinese folk instruments for over 40 years and has won many awards at national music competitions and art festivals. He had been invited to perform in Thailand, Canada, and various parts of the United States (some of which took place in Florida) for many cultural festivals and special events. Changkui Tang and Jie Yu have both performed in Splendid China many years and also members of the Amerina Performing Group. Amerina Performing Group provided world class entertainment featured spectacular variety of breath-taking martial arts, folk dances, and Peking opera dances, in amazing costumes and award winning live Chinese music. This group focused on promoting Chinese performing arts and entertainment in U.S.A. and to support the culture and art exchange and communication between China and U.S.A.
To get a glimpse of Professor Tang’s playing of his Dizi, Erhu, and his sharing of his music with his students, please view these videos below:
The Erhu (Chinese: 二胡; pinyin: èrhú; [ɑɻ˥˩xu˧˥]) is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a Southern Fiddle, and sometimes known in the Western world as the Chinese violin or a Chinese two-stringed fiddle. It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the Huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A very versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, such as in pop, rock, jazz, etc. and makes a calm sound.
performers are the only focal points on Peking opera’s characteristically sparse stage. They use the skills of speech, song, dance, and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. The music of Peking opera can be divided into the Xipi (西皮) and Erhuang (二黄) styles. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies, and percussion patterns. The repertoire of Peking opera includes over 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history, folklore, and, increasingly, contemporary life. Below, is a video of Jie Yu’s Peking opera performance of Matchmaking of a Top Scholar 狀元紅,at the Orlando Chinese Professionals Association (OCPA) at Chinese New Year Gala 2012.
To get in touch with Changkui Tang or Jie Yu to inquire about music instruction (individual or group) or performance with/by Changkui Tang and/or Jie Yu for your special event(s), please feel free to email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 321-946-9750, 407-308-1490 .
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