Plum Blossom Melodies
Also called Plum Blossom Prelude or Jade Imperial Concubine Prelude, Plum Blossom Melodies is more popular in the versions of flute music and lyre music. With plum blossoms as its theme, the music sings of persons with high moral integrity through depiction of the undaunted and indomitable character of plum blossoms that burst into bloom in defiance of the ferocious cold frost, chilling gales and drifting snowflakes.
Originally in the form of flute music called Plum Blossom Music, whose music score was first recorded in Mysterious Music Scores compiled in the Ming dynasty, it was flute music played by Huan Yin, the famous general of the Jin dynasty. Later the music was transformed into lyre version, Plum Blossom Melodies.
The first six of the ten-section music constitute the first part, in which the second, fourth and sixth sections repeat the first theme, exhibiting the static beauty of plum blossoms. The three variations in this part give the music its name of Sannong (Plum Blossom Melody in Three Variations). This arrangement elicits the effect of repeated chanting. The last four sections form the second part of the music, which portrays, with hurried rhythm and violent ups and downs, the plum blossoms dancing in the wind. The ninth section repeats the theme of the first part in vigorous and strong melody. The last section follows with slowed tempo and lingering sound, eliciting lingering aftertaste.
Elegant in style, Plum Blossom Melodies is favored by people for its sharp musical images and special methods of representation. It has been the most widely spread classic Chinese instrumental music.
SOURCE : cultural-china.com
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