Popular Chinese Piano Pieces: Scenes from China & Music of Wang Lisan | Marco Polo 8225848

Popular Chinese Piano Pieces: Scenes from China & Music of Wang Lisan

Label: Marco Polo

Cat No: 8225848

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 9th September 2016



In recent years music written for the piano in China has relied heavily on folk-song for its thematic material. It has continued the tradition of programme music, in a country where abstract art is a foreign concept. Music has normally been used to give a picture, often of the idyllic countryside, and this is what the composers of the present sets of piano pieces have attempted.

In common with other cultures much of Chinese folk-music is based on a five-note scale, which can be represented on the black notes of the piano. These five notes are capable of variation, in that any one may serve as a possible starting and finishing place. In modern terms, of course, the scale may also be transposed, keeping only the relative intervals between the notes.

Contrary to popular belief abroad, the twelve-note scale, the chromatic scale in equal temperament, that was first used in the West in the time of J.S. Bach, was long known to the Chinese, whose knowledge of acoustic theory was in advance of Europe.

Nevertheless it is the pentatonic folk-tune that has come to dominate contemporary Chinese music, and its foreign imitators.

1979 recordings

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