Strings of Asia series explores the uniqueness of the zither of the Far East

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The Asian Music Circuit presents the Strings of Asia series over the course of three evenings on October 7 and 14, and November 25, 2009 at the Asian Music Centre.

Ji-Eun Jung, Dr Ayako Hotta-Lister and Sun Zhuo will explain the differences and similarities between the Korean, Japanese and Chinese string instruments and delight the audiences with a short performance.

In its early history in China, the guzheng was used in ensemble music and to accompany singing. It became an important court instrument during the Sui Dynasty, only to be scorned by the madarins during the Ming Dinasty (1368-1644) as a pastime of the lower classes. Although many of the ancient songs are lost, the guzheng is still playing a major part in many regional musical styles in China.

The zither was introduced from China to Japan in the 7th century where it was regarded as one of the sacred instruments. It's connection to status meant that the koto was the musical instrument on which emperors played. It had gradually moved to be regarded as a musical instrument for songs and dances and its music, particularly in the form of ‘high culture’ is mastered only by a few experts.

In Korea too, the ancient kayagum was the instrument used at court to entertain the aristocracy. It then developed into the sanjo and it became associated with folk and virtuosic music, while a third type of kayagum is used for modern compositions.

Wednesday 7 October, Korean Kayagum Recital presented by Ji-Eun Jung
Wednesday 14 October, Japanese Koto, presented by Dr Ayako Hotta-Lister
Wednesday 25 November, Chinese Guzhen, presented by Sun Zhuo

  • Location: Asian Musci Centre, London, W3 7SP
  • Time: 18:30 to 19:30

For more information, please contact Asian Music Centre:
Sara Bigatti at or phone: 020 8742 9911

EthnicNow/ Expatica

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