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Music

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Submitted By kelly19891128
Words 1067
Pages 5
Shuang Cen
Nichole Poss
Music 226
01-28-2012
Backyard Ethnomusicology

If we observe meticulously what are happening in such small towns like Ashland, then lots of things are spring-like spewing out, of which, the creativity always goes along with cultural diversity. And it makes this small town forgotten by God more and more dynamistic and attractive. Among these new things happened in Ashland, different kinds of cultural music show an important position since there are more and more foreigners studying and working here, whose cultures are totally different from the traditional cultural in local. Without a doubt, music is one of significant aspect in their cultural life, which may includes holiday celebrations, religious beliefs and gathering activities, etc. The first experience is from my own country, China. As our student planer noticed, January22 is Chinese New Year; we call it the Spring Festival generally, since this is the beginning of spring. In recent twenty to thirty years, most Chinese families always get together for a family reunion dinner, and then watch the Spring Festival Gala held by China Central Television. In this year’s gala we watched last Saturday morning which was broadcast live, there was a very creative show performed by two young musicians, Leehom Wong and Yundi Li. The instruments they used were two pianos; they played a very famous Chinese folk music, Widely Dancing by Golden Snake. This piece of music usually was performed y Chinese traditional instruments, especially pipa, a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard. However, this time, they chose the western style instrument to play Chinese music, which was a big challenge and they did really good. The sound of this music is high; it makes the audiences to have a feeling of strong passion to celebrate the holidays. Since it is a Chinese folk music, the sound quality is rich and thin, when listening to it; the audiences always have a picture that plenty of people are getting together dancing, singing to welcome the season of spring. This piece of music have been performed for almost seventy years during the Spring Festival celebrations, because this music was created in 1930s, when China was drifted into World War II, Chinese people looked forward a peaceful living environment, they wanted to have a safe Spring Festival without enemy bombing. To remember this miserable time, this piece of music plays an important role in most Chinese minds, especially for those elders who suffered from the war. As a student studying abroad, who cannot celebrate the festival with their families, this piece of music brings us back the thought of our home. My friend studying in California sent me a clip of a piece of song at the Chinese New Year Eve; which was called Great Mercy. We listened to it all night to welcome the New Year, because we are both Buddhists. This song is one of the most popular Buddhism songs in East Asia. This song was sung by a male, who I believe is a monk, living in South Asia. The language he sung is Sanskrit, which is the origin language of Buddhism. The sound of this song is very soft and smooth, when listening to it, audiences will have an image of following water of a tiny creek, the wave is slow, and the water is clean. The main instrument performed is wood block, which is a typical Buddhism musical instrument, and most of Chinese folk music performed by it. The origin of this song was from Bodhisattva’s scriptures, which aimed to save the world and the people. On the basis of the origin, the song is not dynamitic, on the contract, the sound of it is very stable, the beat is low, and the intensity is soft. The whole stuff included this song is warm, which shows the purpose of the song. Among modern Asian Buddhists, they usually sing this song when they are doing holy worship for the Bodhisattva, when his birthday. And more and more Buddhists listen to it in their daily life; some play it in their cars, or download it to the MP3 players, etc. It is a reflection of the religious belief and a hope to a better life. The last observation was also in last week during Chinese New Year. The Chinese Christian Community invited Chinese students to attend their party to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Although the religious beliefs are different, lots of Chinese student went there. Before the party, we had prayed to thank God to give us such a wonderful life. Then several beautiful songs came out, the community members sung several Christian songs, and among them, the most impressive one is called Amazing Grace. It was a nice song, when listening to it, it makes audiences comfortable and no matter how huge trouble you have, this song can make you calm and your mind quiet. Although the only instrument was an old piano, the sound is soft, the range is pretty narrow, and the intensity is not that high, which makes it quite catchy. Because of the different religions, some of the attendance could not understand deeply the meaning of this song, however, the significance of this song had already been beyond the religious meaning. It shows that people are so satisfied for what they have got and their kindly thank to their life, they wish they will have countless happiness in their rest of life. Among these three experiences, I strongly find out that how culture affects music. Long time ago, what I thought about music was only for pleasure and entertainment. Before I started this project, my mind was blocked and I did not have a clue. I did not expect myself would be doing well of it since I did not believe the small Ashland could contain so many kinds of music. However, much you have tillage, and how much you will gain harvest. I believe Ashland will have more and more cultural diversity, and it will attractive to more foragers. As conclusion, music is not only the entertainment, it also show an ethnic’s background, culture, beliefs, etc. People could say they do like what kind of music or not, but, people cannot deny one kind of music. Every kind of music has its own culture and meaning, so every cultural should be alive in this world to make our world diversity.

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