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The travelling Chinese orchestra : for solo piano

by Diana Blom (2009, this version: 2010)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Lincoln Pang from the CD Works by Erik Griswold, Diana Blom, Mark Isaacs, Anthony Moles, Ros Bandt [and] Judy Bailey

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Shadows and silhouettes


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travelling Chinese orchestra


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The travelling Chinese orchestra : for solo piano / Diana Blom.

Library shelf no. 786.2/BLO 7 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

This short descriptive piece came from a visit to a Chinese restaurant in Canberra, the
menu of which was printed on pages from an Asian arts magazine. My menu pictured
eight Chinese earthenware musicians on horseback from the Tang dynasty 618-907. All
of the mounted musicians, maybe from Shaanxi or neighbouring areas, have moustaches
and are strikingly dressed in beige hoods, red robes, with red trousers tucked into black
boots. There are two drummers with their drumsticks, one musician playing the fife (dizi),
one playing the flute (xiao), another the transverse flute (yuè), one on pan-pipes (paixiao),
one on harp (konghou) and one on mouth organ (sheng).
When a travelling Chinese orchestra is passing through, the drums then the cymbals are
heard in the distance, sounding out of the silence. Next, the high woodwind ring out. As
the orchestra moves closer the melody is heard, the pitch rising gradually until the players
are present, playing at full volume. The melody, using an old Chinese scale, is
accompanied by the percussion. As the orchestra rides past, the pitch of the melody drops
a little and as the distance increases, eventually only the high woodwind and finally drums
can be heard.

Work Details

Year: 2009, this version: 2010

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium

First performance: by Lincoln Pang at Momentary Pleasures (Eugene Goossens Hall) on 4 May 2010


Performances of this work

18 Aug 2011: at Shadows & Silhouettes (Theme & Variations Showroom (Willoughby NSW)). Featuring Antonietta Loffredo.

4 May 2010: at Momentary Pleasures (Eugene Goossens Hall). Featuring Lincoln Pang.

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