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Bamboo flute expert revives traditional culture

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: April 19, 2023 L M S

The musical performance of Shen Yingbiao and Chen Chengbo — Memories of the Past at Red Cliff — captivated the audience on Saturday evening during a concert in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

They have shone onstage with their solid techniques as players of traditional Chinese musical instruments — the xiao and qin.

Memories of the Past at Red Cliff is one of the poems written by the poet Su Shi, also known as Su Dongpo, of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). He is one of the most recognized ancient Chinese cultural icons.

"Chinese literati love bamboo, and they are also fascinated by the bamboo flute. They regard it as a synonym for sophistication," Shen said. "The performance represents one of the traditional Chinese philosophies of realizing the harmony between man and nature."

As one of the representative inheritors of the intangible cultural heritage of Jiangnan bamboo flute, Shen has devoted himself to promoting the traditional instrument across the country for decades. He said he was crazy about bamboo flute since he was young.

Born in 1970, Shen learned harmonica, erhu, guitar and other instruments by himself.

The idea of founding a flute society occurred to him in 2001. "Its establishment aims to let more people know about the bamboo flute, which is an excellent traditional musical instrument, and to provide a platform for learning and communication," Shen said.

In the early days of the Qiantang Flute Society, located in the Gongshu district of Hangzhou, it struggled with finances.

The society and Shen gradually rose to fame in the field after seven years, as Shen gave lectures at many universities and played the flute in concerts.

In recent years, Shen has cooperated with Zhejiang University to establish a practice training base for college students, and has cooperated with the Chinese Traditional Culture Promotion Association to establish an education base for those who are interested in the instrument.

He has also given public lectures and held seminars and concerts to promote traditional Chinese musical culture and Chinese philosophy.

A bamboo flute is a vertical notched tube without a membrane hole. It can be used not only as an ensemble instrument with the guqin or used in traditional silk and bamboo bands, but can also be played solo.

Watch the video and enjoy the performance.

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