ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center’s Arts Education Network
Chinese music dates back thousands of years and sounds different from Western music thanks to important differences in tone, musical scale, pitch, instrumentation and individual instruments. With instruments crafted from a wide variety of materials, including, bamboo, silk, gourd, clay and stone—-and played in a diverse range of styles, from single voices to richly melodic orchestral pieces--Chinese music is as varied as the people who create it. ARTSEDGE, the online arts education project of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, has created this series with classrooms in mind. Each story explores a different aspect of Chinese music—the endangered music of the Yunnan peoples; the traditional sounds of the pipa, bamboo flute, qin and other Chinese instruments; and the creative space between them, where sounds ancient and avant-garde intersect.