How can A Bing's Erhu song be played well?

141 views · Organized by 袁城 on 2022-06-28

A Bing's erhu music is a swan song that gathers the essence of Chinese folk music and is naturally revealed after the fusion. When I played it, I especially felt the characteristic of "hibiscus comes out of clear water, and natural decoration is removed". The huqin used by A Bing with the tuning G and D was called Tuoyin huqin in the past. This kind of huqin is not used for playing the main tune, and there is no (or very little) change of the handle. It is only used in one position. . However, through the hands of A Bing, he played such a beautiful and deep melody, and used a very high position. It can still be said to be "unprecedented before, and no one will come later". In teaching, I often compare A Bing's music and scores to the relationship between milk and milk powder. Milk is made into milk powder for ease of carrying and storage. In this process, some valuable components are bound to be lost. Similarly, when A Bing played these pieces, he did not put the structure, notes, rhythm, etc. of the music in his heart, but only described the feelings in his heart with the sound of the piano. Therefore, "Erquan Reflecting the Moon" originally had the saying "Yixin Song". Later, for the dissemination and research of the music, the recording was recorded as a score, and the essence of A Bing's erhu can be said that it cannot be clearly expressed on the score. Therefore, if you just play these pieces in a note-like manner, at most they will be as tasteless as dry chewing milk powder. Therefore, in order to play these pieces well, we must first completely "dissolve" the notes into the music. Although A Bing's erhu melody is very beautiful, it pays more attention to fortitude and depth, which is determined by A Bing's hardships. When we play, we should pay special attention to reproduce the image and character of A Bing, and we should not play the tune too gorgeously and lightly. At present, there are many adaptations of "Erquan Yingyue" popular on the music stage, such as: violin solo, string ensemble, etc. They all focus on smoothness and beauty in music, but appear fortitude and depth. In addition, some of A Bing's unique erhu playing techniques are not easy to be used on other instruments, which also makes these arrangements lose a lot of the charm of the original music. But like many dairy foods, they have their own flavors, and there are still some excellent works in the many adaptations, which are refreshing to hear.

How can A Bing's Erhu song be played well?

Playing the "Erquan Qin" requires a solid foundation, especially the requirements for bowing, which are even more stringent. Otherwise, it goes without saying that the verve of the music cannot be played, and even the strings cannot vibrate normally, and can only make an extremely unpleasant sound. Therefore, before students learn A Bing Erhu music, it is best to have a basic training of "Erquan Qin". Focusing on the bow movement, it is required that the Qi sinks into the Dantian, the bow pressure is appropriate, and the bow speed is uniform. In the aspect of finger pressing, it is mainly to master the techniques of fixed portamento and multi-tone pressing with one finger.

A Bing Erhu has three unique playing techniques. The first is a robust straight portamento. Whether it is "Erquan Reflecting the Moon" or "Ting Song", most of the portamento is in a straight line (that is, sliding up and down decisively, without turning in the middle), which requires close cooperation of both hands and simultaneous movements in order to play a strong pitch. Even in the fixed portamento of slurred, the left hand slides fast and straight, and the right hand is matched with a wave bow, which makes the pronunciation distinct. This portamento is the embodiment of A Bing's resolute character. The second is to play the fixed handle, with one finger pressing multiple notes. Because A Bing often hangs the erhu on his body with a rope to play standing up, it is not convenient to change the handle, which forms a whole piece of music played in the same handle, and uses one finger when encountering a sound outside the handle. Played out stretched, and the music mostly paused slightly when changing bars. This kind of pause is not only the need of the playing technique, but also the characteristic of the music. From this alone, we can see the mystery of A Bing's "ingenious workmanship", which is amazing. Due to the fixed handle, the tone played with one finger stretch is usually slightly higher, but this is exactly in line with the principle of "auxiliary tone tends to the backbone tone" in the beauty of rhythm, and it sounds very pleasing to the ear and strong and powerful. If you play these notes accurately with the replacement bars, you will feel weak and unsmooth, which will lose the character of A Bing's music. This is another neat trick. The third is the use of irregular accents.

The accent of A Bing's erhu is not a regular rhythm accent, but absorbs the rhythm characteristics of folk gongs and drums, and even the long notes use wave bows to play their inherent rhythm. Another ingenious thing is that the use of a large number of irregular bows makes most of these accents fall on the bow, so that the music and techniques are integrated, changeable and orderly. Therefore, some people call these accents bowing accents, and others call them accented bowing. The stress of the music and the bowing of the technique are cause and effect of each other, and they are completely integrated, which is both original and natural. This kind of artistic realm that we have been pursuing for many years has been swept away by A Bing, which makes us have to deeply admire A Bing's profound musical skills.

"Erquan Reflecting the Moon" is A Bing's representative work, which embodies A Bing's resolute character, grief, anger, struggle, and struggle, as well as his longing for a better life in the future. Part of its musical language material comes from the tones of tin opera and folk songs in Wuxi, and part from Cantonese music. The introduction is a sigh tone formed by absorbing materials from the tin opera reed adagio passing through the door.

The theme of walking in the next four bars is sad and heavy, and the performance is relatively stable. Then the theme of the protest was presented for the first time, requiring vigorous and weighty performances, with particular attention to the use of linear portamento and fixed-hand playing techniques. After a period of passionate performance in the high position, it is terminated on the sound signature. The pitch of the next sentence suddenly dropped an octave and entered a two-bar crossing phrase, which temporarily calmed the high emotions and required a smooth and relaxed performance. The theme of struggle is presented for the second time, which is more exciting than the first time, and lasts longer on the high position. The trembling bow on the feather tone forms the first small climax of the music.

Special attention should be paid to the sfp in the performance of the trembling bow, and then the homophonic crescendo again and again, and finally comes down to a strong push bow, which vividly shows the situation of A Bing's struggle in suffering. Like the first presentation of the protest theme, this paragraph ends with the sound sign. This form of closing head and tail is also one of the typical structural forms of Chinese folk music. When used in "Er Spring Reflecting the Moon", it seems very natural and appropriate, and there is no sense of application. After the two-bar small crossing, there is a four-bar large crossing, which should be played wider to show that A Bing is still full of confidence in life. According to Wang Guotong's abridged notation, the following thirty-three bars can also be omitted, and the fifth presentation of the protest theme can be played directly. This is the climax of the piece. After the melody climbs twice, the highest note of the whole piece is played with the strongest intensity.

This is an angry roar, a cry of life, to smash this old cannibalistic society to smithereens. When playing, pay special attention to the foreshadowing of the climax. The process should not be too fast, and the strongest point should be reserved for the eruption of the climax. Due to the extremely high position here, it is impossible to play the volume very strongly, so it is mainly based on breath to win. So that the sound is erupted with breath, and the climax is supported by emotion, so as to achieve the ideal performance effect. After the climax, the pitch dropped abruptly by two octaves, creating the momentum of falling from the cliff to the abyss, as if suddenly pulled back from the fiery fury back to the cold reality. These four bars should be played in a particularly quiet and mellow way, and you want to be speechless.

Finally, there is the epilogue. Although it is the sixth presentation of the theme of protest, this time it will be played lightly and imaginatively to express A Bing's longing for a better life in the future. At the end, the whole song ends in the tone of questioning, as if asking the heavens, why are the fools and the virtuous, and the rich and the poor are not fair? These sounds should be played in an intriguing manner, the breath should be raised, and then gradually fade away.

Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Erhu (Pinyin: Erhu) originated in the Tang Dynasty, called "Xiqin", and has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Erhu, or Erxian Huqin, also known as "Nanhu" and "Omzi", is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments (wiping strings) in the Chinese national musical instrument family.

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