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Today we will learn about the pipa(Chinese character).The short-necked, pear-shaped East Asian lute called the pipa is one of the most, if not the most favored, Chinese musical instrument in China today.Sometimes we called it as the Chinese Lute.Though West Asian origin, the pipa obviously was popular in China in the 200 AD. But the first Chinese song was written about pipa dated back at least to 200 BC.
The famous Xi Liu who wrote from Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) had explained the instrument in his book. Its bright timbre, rapid rolling tremolo and the special vibrato and semi-tones — created by flexing its strings.The meaning of names – On musical devices, that the name of the instrument pipa firstly referred to two finger techniques. The two Chinese characters p'i and p'a stood originally for the two movements, i.e. plucking the strings forwards and backwards, respectively. It is commonly known now that the term "pipa" used to be the general name for all pluck-string instruments of the ancient times.
The pipa is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument which has a pear-shaped wooden circular body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. Its body, by conventional Chinese ancient measurement, is three feet five inches, representing the three powers:Heaven, the earth, and man, and the five elements—metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Meanwhile, the four strings represent the four seasons:spring(Chinese called cun),summer (xia),fall(qiu),wniter(dong). The contemporary pipa has 29 or 31 frets, 6 on the neck and the rest of the body of the instrument. The four strings run from a fastening on the belly of conical tuning pegs in the sides of the bent-back box.
Yes,it’s time to tell a story about the instrument to you.That’s a love story as follows.
In Tang Dynasty(Chinese ancient dynasty),one day a low class officer found a box when he was fishing by the river out of the palace.Suddenly he discovered there was a beautiful girl in the box and he saved the girl because he was a pity man.Then the girl told him that she was a pipa player of the palace.The girl was infuriating the king so the king commanded the soldier to hang her.But the girl’s friends took pity on her and then put her in a box.After that they put the box into the river and hoped the river can take his body to other places.
That’s why the girl can be saved and is under a rebirth.The girl thanked the officer and married with him because the man was unmarried.But the girl said that those were two famous pipa:Da Hu Lei and the Xiao Hu Lei which played by her.She had put the pipa Da Hu Lei to repair and others didn’t know it because he was “dead ”.So the girl took the pipa came back.But unfortunately when they played the pipa in the officer’s birthday, one man discovered it because the pipa sounds is great.The man said at the king about this.But the king had regretted about killing the girl.He thought that it was an amazing thing and it maybe the God’s meaning.So the king saved them and gave them some gifts to hope they have a great life.
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