Chinese melodies strike a chord in the US
Updated: 2017-03-22


Representatives from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Confucius Institute of the University of Michigan pose for a group photo during the SCM delegation's visit to UM from March 5 to 11. [Photo provided to]

A group of teachers and students from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SCM) visited the University of Michigan (UM) in the US for several days of academic and musical discussions from March 5 to 11.

Representatives from the two schools found harmony on a range of issues, while sharing their ideas on best practice regarding student assessment, enrollment and school management.

The two sides' discussions of music were equally productive, with talks ranging from traditional Chinese musical styles and instruments to the development of modern art in China.


Professors from SCM share in-depth ideas on music with their US counterparts during their visit to the University of Michigan from March 5 to 11. [Photo provided to]

A lecture given by professor Zhao Weiping on the revitalization of popular music styles in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) aroused great interest among his US counterparts, while the leader of the Chinese delegation, professor Yang Yandi, gave an overview of the development of China's piano music over the past century and expressed his concern about the fusion and collision between Chinese and Western styles.

The Chinese visitors also impressed their US partners with various music shows, from the soft and gentle traditional Chinese melody of Moonlit River in Spring to the sonorous and forceful tunes of the General's Command and Chanting of the Iron Horse.

The most rousing part was a collaborative set of performances, which were written by SCM teachers and performed by a group of UM students, who incisively and vividly brought out the essence of the pieces while endowing them with a unique sense of modernity.

During the interactive section, the group from SCM even gave an impromptu rendition of the UM rugby team's anthem with traditional Chinese elements. Featuring classical instruments like the erhu (two-stringed fiddle), pipa (Chinese lute) and guqin (Chinese zither), the adaptation won prolonged applause from the US students and teachers.


SCM delegation presents the UM counterparts with various music shows during their visit to the school from March 5 to 11. [Photo provided to]

Copyright © 2014 Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. All rights reserved.