The girl who laughed too much, too loud

March 8, 2007

Sacrificing Art for Money

Filed under: Culture, Sentiments, thoughts — elyseeteo @ 3:18 am

Yesterday I trotted the long way back to the MRT.

At that underpass, I saw this familiar lady playing the Pipa (a traditional chinese instrument). Note that the lady below is NOT her! I did not take a picture of her.

Pardon me!! Couldn’t resist some blah blah blah about Pipa:

The pipa is a four stringed lute with a pear-shaped body. Its short, bent neck has 30 frets which extend onto the soundboard, offering a wide range (3.5 octavos). This instrument appears in texts dating up to the second century B.C. There are a lot of written texts of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) about pipa music played and the stories that inspired the composition for those pipa pieces. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments, and has maintained its appeal in solo as well as chamber genres. The pipa technique is characterised by spectacular finger dexterity and virtuosi programmatic effects. Rolls, slaps, pizzicato, harmonics and noises are often combined into extensive tone poems vividly describing famous battles or other exciting scenes. The instrument is also capable of more lyrical effects in pieces inspired by poetry, landscapes and historical themes. Pipa music has been loved by Chinese people through centuries and there used to be a large repertoire of pipa music, a lot of them were lost, and some of them were handed down from generation to generation through individual artists and scholars.

So anyway, I remembered her from last week, she was performing the chinese classics. And I was captivated by her performance.

I said to Chloe, who was beside me: ‘This girl has the skill!’

And she did! Her tactics was great and she played those really difficult classics flawlessly.

I was moved.


And yesterday…

Her pipa was singing a very different tune. I am sure you all know this tune ‘Yue liang dai biao wo de xin’. Yes a pop song. Not a new pop song, but still.

No tactics. No climax. No emotions.

Her pipa performance was lifeless.

If not, with a tinge of sadness.

Because Art was sacrificed. For Money.

I wonder what are your thoughts on Art for the masses. When the masses are not able to appreciate art and culture?


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