Notes and Editorial Reviews
The pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments. In form it resembles a pear-shaped lute, but the use of Western instrument names to describe Chinese instruments can be misleading. The term “lute” is, incidentally, also used by some to describe the horizontal plucked instrument, the Qin, an instrument for the scholar and gentleman in earlier times. The pipa is said to have derived its name from its sound. The pi was played from right to left, the pa from left to right, upwards. This form of instrument was foreign in origin but by the time of the building of the Great Wall of China, it had come into fairly wide use. The earliest surviving example is from the eighth century A. D., and certainly in the time of the Tang Dynasty (A. D.
618-906) it enjoyed very great popularity. Lam Fung has been well-known as a player of the pipa and the zheng. He has taught extensively in Hong Kong, and was Principal of the Western and Chinese Music Academy. He has been instrumental in promoting traditional Chinese music in Hong Kong as well as countries abroad where he performs frequently, particularly Singapore and Japan. He was leader of the plucked strings section in the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. He made a dozen of pipa recordings to great critical acclaim. He founded the Shatin Chinese Orchestra in the nineties and has been conducting their concerts frequently. Read less
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