Wednesday, June 21, 2017

聽古琴 看楚王夢 Listening the Qin Playing and Look at The Dream Of The Kings

六月二十日下午 5-6 pm

華美協進社聽古琴 看楚王夢

On Tuesday June 20, 5 -6 pm Peiyou Chang was invited by Mr. Michael Buening (Director of Programmiing) and Mr. Aaron Nicholson (Program Manager) at The China Institute, to perform and introduce the guqin music at the new office of The China Institute, located at 100 Washington Street, Manhattan New York to participate the Night at the Museums city festival.

China Institute is showcasing Dreams Of The Kings: A Jade Suit For Eternity: Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou. 

The music and talk was started with Michael's welcoming everyone and introducing the qin player. Peiyou played a total of 6 pieces (please see the program notes). There was a little bit of introduction of the guqin instrument and its philosophy in between each piece starting from the 3rd piece.

Music program notes:

南風暢 Song of the Southern Wind, from 1549 edition. 7 min.

This melody uses only five strings (the Qin has seven strings), thereby honoring the tradition of "Emperor Shun playing a five string Qin and singing the lyrics of Southern Winds." (Lyrics of Shun sang: Wind from the south brings the fragrance of flowers and grass, can release my people's dissatisfaction and irritations. Wind from the south coming at the right time, can bring abundant wealth to my people.) Shun was a legendary leader of ancient China around 2294-2184 BCE.

瀟湘水雲 Misty Clouds Over Xiao and Xian River, from 1722 edition. 12 min.

This melody is attributed to the Southern Song Dynasty (1128-1276 AD) Qin player and poet Guo Chuwang. Perhaps listening to this piece, one can imagine looking at a long Chinese mountain and water scroll painting, there is flowing water, blowing wind, misty clouds, and a drifting boat with a lofty atmosphere.

石上流泉 Stream Water over Pebbles, from 1864 edition. 4 min.

Clear cold water falls from a cliff, becoming a stream, trickles through a forest, over pebbles, splashing. Flowing without knowing where it came from and where it goes, but may carry a long history of stories that could rejuvenate every life.

平沙落雁 Wild Geese Landing on a Sandy Shore, from Master Wu Zhao-ji's (1908-1997) edition. 5 min.

This melody has been played by many famous qin masters for the last three hundred years. In the crisp autumn weather, the wind is silent over the level sands, The clouds stretch endlessly across the horizon, the wild geese calling. In this piece, one can hear the sound of geese taking off, landing, beating their wings in the wind, and calling to each other.

梅花三弄 Three Variations on the Plum Blossom, from Master Wu Zhao-ji's (1908-1997) edition. 5 min.

This melody has also been a famous piece over the last three hundred years. Mei Hua San Nong is so called, because the one melody is repeated in three different variations of harmonics in three different positions on the instrument. The Plum blossom can withstand rigorous winters and still bloom and dance in the wind. Its whiteness and fragrance are delicate and beautiful, and have been used to describe those who have a noble personality in Chinese culture.

采真游 Cai Zhen You, from 1549 edition. 8 min.

This title is taken from the book Zhuangzi 莊子. Zhuangzi (369-298 BCE ) is the Daoist philosopher. Cai Zhen You is a Daoist qin piece. It means “seeking or picking the truth.” The composer is unknown. This piece was written before the Ming dynasty. According to the footnotes of Cai Zhen You from Xilutang Qintong (a Qin hand book published in 1549), this piece was not handed down for many generations. The person who found this piece and wrote the footnote thought that this piece presents the image of an Immortal being who disdains the world.

About the Performer

Peiyou Chang was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She has been playing and studying the Guqin since 2000, and is most influenced by Master Wu Zhao-Ji (1908-1997) from Suzho, China. She was taught initially by Mr. Yuan Jung-Ping. Peiyou has participated in numerous Guqin performances and activities in New York, Japan, Taiwan and China, and has given lectures about the Guqin at Kean University World Music Culture class in New Jersey, and Trinity Memorial Church in Binghamton NY. Peiyou is devoted to Guqin music reconstruction, composition, promotion and performance both solo and ensemble. ( 


Sunday, March 26, 2017

3/25/2017 Binghamton Spring Guqin Yaji

It's a first time ever guqin elegant gathering (yaji) 古琴雅集 in Binghamton area NY. An unforgettable, comfortable, warm one, that I want to thank all the participants who came to the yaji, to help, to perform, and to enjoy.

Thanks to Renjie Song who brought a multi media system, we were able to display slides and video relating to the performances. Renjie also brought a drum to use in one performance.

Thanks to Jiawei Mao who took all the yaji photos, we have a wonderful record of our event.

Thanks to the performers: Bin Li, Michael Bretty, Yuni Han, Hongmei Zhang, Renjie Song, Yves Seban, Yixhan Zhao, Ralph Knag, and Peiyou Chang who were all well prepared, we were able to keep to our performance schedule.

Thanks to the short film producer, Grant Peterson's beautiful videography.

Thanks to Yves introducing to us a number of different teas.

Yaji Program

古怨 Ancient Lament, composed by Song Dynasty Poet, Jiang Kui (c. 1155 – c. 1221)  -- (Qin solo) Bin Li

良宵引 Song of a Pleasant Night, Wuzhizhai Qinpu (1722), scored by Wang Di (1926-2005) --  (Qin solo) Michael Bretti

角招 Jue Shao (Melody in Jue), melody and lyrics by Jiang Kui, qin arranged by Peiyou - (Qin/ Vocal/ Bamboo flute) Peiyou Chang /Hongmei Zhang/ Renjie Song

陽春 Sunny Spring, from Wumen Qinpu, based on DaHuanGe Qinpu, 1673 -- (Qin Solo) Yuni Han

南風暢 Song of the Southern Wind, from Xilutang Qitong, 1549  -- (Qin solo) Peiyou Chang

Reflections on a drop of tea --A Short Film by Grant Peterson / Yves Seban / Peiyou Chang


梅花三弄 Three Variations on the Plum Blossom, from ChungCaoTang Qinpu,1744  --  (Qin solo) Yixuan Zhao

鷗鷺忘機 Innocent Seagull, from Wumen Qinpu, based on ZiYuanTang Qinpu,1802 -- (Qin solo) Ralph Knag

長亭怨慢 A man on discontentment at the Tall Pavilion, melody by Jiang Kui, Qin arranged by Jung-ping Yuan in early 2000's  -- (Qin/ Recite/ Singing) Peiyou / Yves

白雪 White Snow from Shengqi Mipu, 1425, scored by Mr. Chen Changlin (1932- ) -- (Qin Solo) Hongmei

古曲【寒江残雪】 又名 【春思】Ancient melody, Cold River Remaining Snow (also called Spring Thought) -- (Xiao solo) Renjie 

印雪 Marks on Snow, newly qin composition by Peiyou -- (Qin solo) Peiyou 

Free activities

陽關三疊 Departing at the Yang Guan Gate -- (Qin/ Singing) Peiyou/ Jiawei Mao

新詩朗讀 New Poetry Recitation by the composer, Jiawei Mao

五月 May -- Jiawei Mao share her newly composed Poetry of memory her beloved Prof. Peter Browne

彩鳳鳴 Colorful Phoenix Majestic Sound-- A poetry Jiawei wrote of her memory of visiting the Tang Dynasty qin, Colorful Phoenix Majestic Sound which is collecting at Zhejian Province Museum, China. 

Reflections on a drop of tea

Yaji slides

Yaji Photos

印雪 Marks on Snow 

Peiyou Chang

Monday, February 27, 2017

NYQS 02/26/2017 3pm Yaji

Mingmei played: Flowing Water 流水, Jiu Kuang 酒狂 and her own composition 無題, based on a dream she had for some fingerings and developed from that. 

Guest: Ying Yao, a student of Lingnan teacher Chen Shijiang. Yao is from Boston (originally from Guang Zho, China) played Tong Tin Lake Autumn Thought 洞庭秋思. 

Peiyou played Song of Southern Wind 南風暢 from Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong 西麓堂琴統
And her own newly composition 印雪

Guest, Fan Xiao played Moon Over Guan Mountain 關山月

Ralph played Departing from the Yang Guan Gate 陽關三疊

Misty Clouds over Xiao and Xiang River 瀟湘水雲from Sheng Qi Mi Pu 神奇秘譜

Guest, Bill Mak played Wild Geese Landing on a Sandy Bank 平沙落雁  
Kai Gu Yin 慨古引

Another two attendant
Quest: Bin Li
Member: Elaine Sheng

Many thanks to Suzanne's warm hospitality and the delicious food and good tea. Members and guests also contribute delicious food. The meeting ended around 6:30pm. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2017


Veena (Saraswati vina) made with jackfruit wood 波羅蜜木

similarity with the qin: 7 strings with 13 dots. The thicker strings are away from the player and the thinner strings are closer to the player. 
There are tiny sound holes on the wood. The 13 dots on Veena thou is not for harmonics (the overtone sound positions).

The first day of 2017 is the day I first see a Veena and hear it in live. My mother-in-law's neighbor Sushma and her sister, who currently is visiting Vestal NY from London, both plays the Saraswati Vina. Sushma stopped for a while and now pick it up again. Her sister has been playing the Vina for 16 years. I did not know about this Indian 7 string instrument until mom one day mentioned to me that her neighbor plays a very interesting string instrument. Mom also told Sushma about me playing the ancient Chinese 7 string zither. So Sushma wanted to see my instrument and I also wanted to see her instrument. Finally mom made the arrangement for this small music gathering on the first day of 2017 for us to meet each other, while Sushma's family members coming visit her. I was so lucky to hear both the sisters playing. 

I am not familiar with this instrument, so I post some photos on my fb and some friends gave me really very nice info. I am posting them down here...

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Bill Mak 印度Vīṇā實際上指至少三種不同的樂器,古代印度的弦琴漢譯為箜篌,類似緬甸彎琴。現代的Vīṇā夾雜了不同文化的影響,帶點波斯和中亞色彩。

Peiyou Chang 這對印度姊妹有介紹到三種Vina. 同時也介紹他們學各種不同的音階, 每彈一曲必在一個音階內使用被允許用的mother音 and daughter 音 去improv.

David Badagnani The original instrument called "vina" in Sanskrit was probably an arched harp. The ancestor of the pipa, the kacchapa vina or kacchapi, was also a type of vina since the word "vina" came to mean any string instrument (as the word "qin" is used in China). The one Peiyou featured is the Saraswati vina which is similar to the sitar, but without sympathetic strings or movable frets.

The rudra vina which is a fretted tube zither and an extremely interesting instrument, especially needs the gourds for resonance since its body is so slender. Gourds are used worldwide for resonance on string and sometimes also wind instruments.

David Badagnani This is how the original kacchapa vina looked. It was transmitted north to the Buddhist kingdom of Kucha (Xinjiang) from Gandhara (North India/Pakistan/Afghanistan) before Sui times, and the Chinese in Chang'an then adopted it as the pipa.

(see the photo above)

Peiyou Chang Rudra veena:
I like this recording which has parts sound like guqin melody, especially bass tones.

LikeReplyRemove Preview17 hrs
David Badagnani Yes, it's very deep, slow, meditative, and spiritual. It's down to just a few players, like the situation of qin in the last century.
UnlikeReply17 hrs
Peiyou Chang David, do you know if they have their own music scores? I am wondering what it looks like.
LikeReply5 hrs
Ralph Knag I took a vocal class in this style last year - we used western notation. There are a few good books in English - and a new one is coming soon
LikeReply4 hrs
Ralph Knag I also took one class with Jeff Lewis:

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Peiyou Chang I believe using western notation is the modern development. I am wondering in the ancient time, what kind of score they were using?
LikeReply4 hrs
Ralph Knag Here's a discussion from my teachers:

If we choose to alter the position of the Sa within the scale, all the other intervals change accordingly. The character of the raga also changes. Therefore, if we choose to change the position of the Sa in any Raga, then each pitch in the scale of that Raga would also change. Sometimes these change...
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Ralph Knag The vina you recorded is Carnatic (southern). Dhrupad is a northern style
UnlikeReply14 hrs
Peiyou Chang Very interesting. Thanks Ralph.
LikeReply2 hrs