Traditional Chinese Music Played With Pipa

Updated on August 28, 2017 in Chinese Culture
2 on March 25, 2015

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0 on March 25, 2015

There was a famous Chinese traditional poem which described how to play this traditional musical instrument Pipa (琵琶). 

“轻拢慢捻抹复挑” (qīng lǒng màn niǎn mò fù tiǎo)

Literally,
轻:light
慢:slow
复:again, repeatedly 

拢、抹、捻、挑 are four different playing ways. They indicate how your fingers play. 

There are various translations to help you understand :

  • Lightly she pinches in the strings, slowly she strums and plucks them.(杨宪益、戴乃迭 译)
  • She lightly plucked, slowly stroked and twanged loud.(许渊冲 译)
  • Pressing, sliding, stroking, plucking.(张廷琛、魏博思 译)


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