Home > Culture News

Master craftsmen in tune with history

Updated : 2022-09-28
(China Daily)

eruh2.png

From left: A craftsman works on a peg for an erhu. A piece of snakeskin is stretched over an erhu soundbox. CHINA DAILY

Another sophisticated technique during the erhu-making process is stretching snakeskin over the sound box.

"The depth of sound matters to erhu and good snakeskin can make the sound more powerful," Huang said. He added even a top artisan can only cover snakeskin on 10 instruments at most in a day. The thickness of each piece of snakeskin, the ways of binding and trimming, and different woods the instrument uses will result in changes in tone. Any error in the process will lead to unwanted turbulence.

In 2010, Meicun was titled the "hometown of erhu craft in Jiangsu". In 2011, erhu making in Meicun was placed on Jiangsu's list of intangible cultural heritage. Lu Linsheng, who is deceased, won the title of heir to Jiangsu's intangible cultural heritage. Artisans including Huang, Wan and Bu Guangjun won the title of Wuxi intangible cultural heritage heirs.

Meicun was honored as the "hometown of Chinese erhu" by the Chinese Musicians' Association in 2011. In 2012, erhu-making masters and erhu musicians in Meicun visited Boholt, Germany, where they entranced the international audience with traditional Chinese arts.

The town has also integrated erhu into residents' daily lives. In November 2017, an art center named after erhu artist Deng Jiandong was opened. One month later, Meicun signed agreements with the Jiangsu Provincial Musicians Association to host youth erhu contests.

There are a large number of erhu lovers in Meicun, who have passed the Grade 10 exam, the highest level for amateur erhu performer, Huang said. Local erhu performing groups, such as Hongteng Folk Orchestra, often receive invitations to stage erhu performances outside Meicun.

Erhu, shaped like an upside-down hammer, can be traced back to the instruments of northern China's nomadic tribes that were introduced to the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

The instrument has a profound connection with Wuxi, which is the hometown of Hua Yanjun, a blind street musician. His masterpiece Erquan Yingyue, or The Moon's Reflection on the Second Spring, remains one of the most frequently played erhu solos across the nation. Liu Tianhua, another legend in traditional Chinese music history and the leader of an academic school of erhu artists in China, was a native of Wuxi. He composed pieces such as Beautiful Night, Autumn Moon over the Han Palace and Marching on the Bright Road.

yinruowei@chinadaily.com.cn

8.03K
Videos
 
302207492_1420636541790445_2002642088685397129_n.jpg

Wuxi under the lens of foreign photographer

631041e5a310fd2bec9f4b30.png

Breeze from Taihu spotlights Wuxi's cultural heritage

640 (1).png

Wuxi to celebrate upcoming festivals with fireworks

微信图片_20220428131948.jpg

In pics: A salute to all workers out there

News
Sports
Videos
Photos
Business
Biz Updates
Industries
Development Zones
Companies
Travel
Attractions
Dining
Accommodation
Shopping
Entertainment
Transportation
Maps
Culture
Culture News
Heritage
Museums
Events
Services
Visa
Marriage
Healthcare
Jobs
Education
Useful Info
Government
Mayor
Departments
Districts
Policies
About
Overview
Statistics
Sister Cities
E-books
Copyright © China Daily. All rights reserved.
The Information Office of Wuxi Municipal People's Government.
Presented by China Daily.