Cloud hands : a duet for guqin and zhong ruan
by Tony Wheeler (2014)
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Library shelf no. 785.712/WHE 2 [Not for loan]
Cloud hands, or yun shou, is a form of movement in taiji quan (t'ai ch'i chuan) and some other Chinese martial arts, which is used in combat to deflect an opponent's attacking punch or strike. Its main characteristic is that although appearing to be a very soft and fluid movement, in essence it possesses a high degree of internal strength which is transmitted to the opponent. Various aspects of yun shou are expressed in this piece: the rhythm is relatively free and flowing; the interplay between consonant and dissonant intervals reflects the idea of strength within resilience. Harmonic materials are based around the somewhat free and creative use of a twelve-tone serial row. The repeated, rhythmic accompaniment riff in the middle section is also derived from the tone row.
Instrumentation: Guqin, zhong ruan.
Duration: 9 min.
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