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Hong Kong: Instrumental Music

Various Artists
Hong Kong: Instrumental Music

“The warrior takes off his battle armor” and “Graceful steps of a lovely lady” are two of the nine compositions in this collection, recorded in the British crown colony of Hong Kong several years before its return to China in 1997. The album features solo music and small ensembles, which are more typical of Chinese traditional music than larger orchestras. The eight instruments heard here—those most commonly used in such music—are the p’i-p’a (pipa), a four-string lute dating to Chinese antiquity; ch’in (seven-string zither); yang-ch’in (butterfly zither); shêng (mouth-organ); hsiao or tung-hsiao (vertical bamboo flute); ti or ti-tzu (transverse flute); êrh-hu (two-string violin); and chêng or ku-chêng (16-string zither). The liner notes feature Chinese, English, and French translations of the song titles, as well as a brief history for each track.

This album is part of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music. More than 125 albums are being released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to make the series publicly available, including a dozen never-released albums of musical traditions from around the globe.

Track Listing

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Pa wang shih chia (The warrior takes off his battle armour) Lui Pui-Yuen 7:12
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Shu Mu mu yang (Shu Mu as a shepherd) Tsung Seung 4:45
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Chiang ho shui (Widow mourning beside the murmuring river) Tsung Seung, Wong Kuen 7:00
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Ko tzu fei (Pigeons flying) Wong Kuen 4:57
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I ku jèn (Thinking of an old friend) Tong Kin-Woon 7:30
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Pu pu chiao (Graceful steps of a lovely lady) Hsiao Ming 4:10
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Huan lo ts'ao yuan (Happiness upon the grassy plain) Tsui Wah-Nam 3:52
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Kao shan liu shui (High mountain and running water) So Chun-Po 5:42
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Kao shan liu shui (High mountain and running water) Lui Pui-Yuen 2:53