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Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of JavaneseSundanese, and Balinese in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments used are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which register the beat. The kemanak (a banana shaped idiophone) and gangsa (another metallophone) are commonly used gamelan instruments. Other instruments include xylophonesbamboo flutes, a bowed instrument called a rebab, and even vocalists named sindhen. Although the popularity of gamelan has declined since the introduction of pop music, gamelan is still commonly played on formal occasions and in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian culture. Guqin: the instrument and its associated symbolism. With a history of more than 5,000 years, guqin has long been regarded as the crown of all music instruments in the country and the symbol of Chinese high culture. The length of the body of guqin measures 3 chi 6.5 cun (old Chinese feet and inches, about 120-125 centimeters), to symbolize the 365 days of the year. The guqin is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote “a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason,” as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as “the father of Chinese music” or “the instrument of the sages”. Guqin, the symbol of Chinese high culture. … Here, qin refers specifically to guqin, a seven-string Chinese zither. The pipa is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the Chinese lute, the instrument has a pear-shaped wooden body with a varying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26. Another Chinese four-string plucked lute is the liuqin, which looks like a smaller version of the pipa. Beijing Opera: Everything about Peking Opera is carefully structured with specific guidelines. The stories are of two general types. Civil plays are about emotions and relationships between characters. They might explore love or mystery. Martial plays focus on action and are filled with acrobatics and martial arts. Music is very important to Peking Opera. Certain story types are accompanied by specific types of music, which may include arias, percussion patterns, and fixed tune melodies. Fixed-tune melodies are familiar melodies to which a composer adds new words for a specific opera or story. Performances use an orchestra different from what we see in the West. The orchestra sits out of audience view, split into divisions called civil and military. The civil part of the orchestra, made up of string and wind instruments, accompanies singing. The military part, having many types of drums and other percussion instruments, accompanies acting, dancing, and fighting. Peking Opera combines singing, reciting or spoken word, acting, and martial arts. So performers need to be excellent singers, dancers, actors and acrobats. Operas are usually done in Mandarin, a Beijing dialect, and they don’t involve much in the way of props or stage sets. It’s all about the characters, their appearance, and performances. The shamisen is a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument derived from the Chinese instrument sanxian. It is played with a plectrum called a bachi. Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. In 2005, the “Kabuki theatre” was proclaimed by UNESCO as an intangible heritage possessing outstanding universal value. Kabuki, traditional Japanese popular drama with singing and dancing performed in a highly stylized manner. A rich blend of music, dance, mime, and spectacular staging and costuming, it has been a major theatrical form in Japan for four centuries. The term kabuki originally suggested the unorthodox and shocking character of this art form. Kabuki’s highly lyrical plays are regarded, with notable exceptions, less as literature than as vehicles for actors to demonstrate their enormous range of skills in visual and vocal performance. These actors have carried the traditions of Kabuki from one generation to the next with only slight alterations. Many of them trace their ancestry and performing styles to the earliest Kabuki actors and add a “generation number” after their names to indicate their place in the long line of actors.