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The bamboo way

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-24 11:22

Wang Wei, a former bassist with Beijing-based China Oriental Performing Arts Group, started learning and researching about Chinese musical instrument made of bamboo in early 1990s. He has launched the country's first bamboo orchestra, which is going to give a show in Beijing on April 22.[Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

In 1999, Wang got a patent for his bamboo marimba from the State Intellectual Property Office and so far five of his bamboo instruments have been patented from the office.

He also gathered a group of musicians to form the country's first bamboo orchestra. The orchestra now has more than 20 members and most of them have at least a master's degree in music. Together they've released five CDs.

On April 22, the 70-year-old will lead the orchestra to give a show at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing, interpreting both Western classics, such as pizzicato polka by Johann Strauss II, and original Chinese works.

Audiences will see bamboo instruments of various sizes, shapes and designs from the longest 3.3-meter tube to the smallest 4.6-centimeter flute mouthpiece, which can produce wider sound ranges than piano key frequency.

"Though the orchestra was officially registered in 2007, we had prepared for it for decades. I want to set up a pure bamboo orchestra. All the instruments are made of bamboo, and the music we play is not modified by electronic music, so as to present the rich culture of Chinese bamboo instruments and Chinese music," says Wang.

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