All About Guzheng/Pipa

Looking to grow that little Mozart or Chloe to their full potential? Find out how others are doing it here.

All About Guzheng/Pipa

Postby Poonie » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:24 pm

Anyone out there have children who are learning guzheng or pipa? Care to share some of the frequent complaints about learning these chinese musical instruments?

And if they had previously learnt piano do they find these chinese musical instrument much easier or difficult to learn?

Poonie
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:59 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby schellen » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:31 pm

Just 2 cents from me (who has very little guzheng and piano experience):
1. Guzheng and pipa need very good posture, more so than piano cos you need more "strength" to pluck the strings. If you have bad posture, you will feel the (bad) consequences very quickly.
2. Guzheng and pipa use different score (numbers instead of the "beansprouts") so I think if you have piano background, it will help in discipline and rhythm.

Hope this helps.

(If you want guzheng for your child, and you're not sure whether you want to invest in lessons and an instrument, maybe can ask your child to join Chinese Orchestra CCA first, if the school has one. THis way, you can gauge the interest level while the lessons and instrument are still FOC.)

schellen
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2102
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:17 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby Guest » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:10 pm

Guzheng is a lovely instrument to learn and it is simpler than pipa.
The difficulty is of course in the pressing of the note if the child is still not strong enough yet and hearing abilities like in violin. But if it is learning for fun, it should be fine and as they grow, they will be able to overcome the difficulties.

With piano background or musical background with good ears, it will be easy to pick up as some notes are not defined directly on the strings, need hearing power to get the right pitch. As what schellen says, the musical notes are in "jianpu" in numbers and not the piano musical notes so there are 2 sets of standards to learn.

The other good thing about guzheng is that there are alot of opportunities for the player to have free play in the way the music is played. It is not as strict as in piano playing so it can promote more musical talent to be unveiled.

I suppose ultimately the main issue lies in practice time as schoolwork piles up. :)
Guest
 

Postby MMM » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:20 pm

Hi,

Ask your child what does he/she prefers.

My bil is the rather traditional chinese man type who likes/ prefers the chinese culture. He insisted that my P6 niece picks up guzheng rather than piano. That was few year ago when she 1st started. At her father's insistence, my niece is still learning and has gone for her grading exams. She can play well but she is always complaining to us it's good that our kids (her cousin) can learn piano as her father doesn't allow her to learn piano and she just don't understand why he must let her learn guzheng. She also told us that if she had learnt piano, it would be easier for her to learn other instruments since the notes reading would be similar.

MMM
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 4734
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:28 pm
Total Likes: 77


Postby nmhmum » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:50 pm

Hi,

My child is learning guzheng as a CCA now. Actually wanted to start her with Piano initially. But since the school provide guzheng as a CCA, I let her try out first. Can anyone advise whether I can let her join guzheng and piano at the same time?

nmhmum
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:47 pm
Total Likes: 0



Postby sashimi » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:03 pm

Speaking as someone who's had the honour to play in a Chinese Orchestra, a wind band and a symphony orchestra - it's helpful to be exposed to both. Traditional Chinese music is very different from western music, *in general*. For example, as ks2me mentions, Chinese music is more "free" and open towards variation. In fact, it's not good at all to play Chinese music in "western" style (traditionally speaking).

Chinese music does, however, have a kin in the form of Baroque music - both kinds of music value the ability of the performer to embellish, ornament, and add on to the written score.

When we think of learning piano, or playing in a band, there is no space for variation or embellishment, in general. In fact, in many contexts, it's simply not allowed. Whereas Chinese and Baroque music come alive only when you embellish.

I think it's good for anyone, child or adult, to appreciate this.

.... and I can go on and on - not all western music is strict, eg. also got Jazz, pre-Renaissance music, ethnic, etc. etc. etc.

sashimi
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
Total Likes: 1


Postby nmhmum » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:37 pm

Thanks sashimi for your view. :D . Guess it will be very difficult to learn guzheng and piano at the same time as they are from different group.

nmhmum
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:47 pm
Total Likes: 0


Guzheng/Pipa vs Piano

Postby Poonie » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:50 pm

Thank you for all your contributions.

My daughter has been learning piano for a few years but lately her interest seems to be waning. After seeing someone played on a guzheng and another one on pipa she told me that she would like to learn. I was afraid that she is jumping from the frying pan to the fire. But after hearing your views I may let her try guzheng. As for piano I'll tell her that there will be no more exams maybe that will bring back her interest

Poonie
GreenBelt
GreenBelt
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:59 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby schellen » Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:41 pm

nmhmum wrote:Thanks sashimi for your view. :D . Guess it will be very difficult to learn guzheng and piano at the same time as they are from different group.


Ya, learning 2 different styles at the same time is already headache, some more there are 2 different ways of reading the scores. And the "western" scale and "chinese" scale are different. (If you don't know what I mean, ask someone to play the scale for you on a chinese instrument and then on a piano.

schellen
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2102
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:17 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby phankao » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:00 pm

schellen wrote: And the "western" scale and "chinese" scale are different. (If you don't know what I mean, ask someone to play the scale for you on a chinese instrument and then on a piano.


The scales are the same lah. Different scores only. Although i know of a boy who prefers to play his chinese instrument using wuxian pu (5-line score).

The major difference would be that jianpu notation uses a style of "moving solfege", that is, 1st note of G major is "doh" (shown in jianpu as "1"), and so is 1st note of C maj, F maj, and so on.

I know since i play the piano & violin, but hv chinese-instruments that our kids play too.

My boy who plays the violin has little problem reading both jianpu & wuxianpu. I find it tough to read wuxianpu tho', so i was shocked to hear one mom in my boys' school comment that jianpu is easier to read, to which my boy said "ask her try to read, lor!!!"

As for playing both western & chinese, its possible. I know many who do. Personally, I wouldn't encourage any large instuments tho. The guzheng itself takes up so much space! On the other hand, the Pipa is large & heavy to hold too.

As for posture...playing of all instruments need good posture.

Just something to note.

phankao
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 5647
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:52 pm
Total Likes: 6


Next

Return to Music, Singing, Dancing, Speech & Drama