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Music Family

I Kid You Not #8 | The art of Chinese string instruments

Four young masters (of music) keep us on a string


Published: 2 Sep 2021

Time taken : >15mins

...music is not really something you have to learn but you can feel emotions just by listening to it.

In this episode, Justus and Yi Ming pair up to talk about the erhu, while Anne and Marianne show you the ropes (or should we say strings?) for playing the pipa and yanqin respectively. The four young masters take you all the way back in time to the Silk Road and the Tang dynasty when the pipa and erhu were first introduced to China, and when the yangqin first appeared some 400 years ago. They'll also show you nifty techniques and basics, while explaining how Chinese instruments have an uncanny ability to mimic different types of sounds of nature, animals, even battle, and evoke emotions—sadness, excitement, longing and so forth. The kids wind things up with the performance of a specially arranged folk song titled Jasmine Flower 《茉莉花》.

Justus Teh
Li Yi Ming

Anne Altorfer-Ong

Marianne Wang

Through the music and instruments of varied cultures and traditions, kids understand more about people who come from different backgrounds, while reconnecting with their own roots. This opens their minds from a young age, showing them the unique ways in which others might see the world. As they grow up, the kids are able to observe and appreciate different points of view, allowing them to effectively navigate the diverse world we live in.

Acknowledgement by:

Special thanks to

Kok Jun Phang

Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO)

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