Different values

I’ve written a series of posts on the various ways of playing Chinese fiddles:

And some related articles:

Much of my work revolves around trying to understand the mindsets of rural Chinese dwellers, as in that last post. Now I come to think of it, that’s almost an incidental definition of ethnography. But it’s not entirely a contrast between urban and rural: the difference between traditional style in literati and folk genres (both part of a long imperial tradition, and closely related) seems slight, whereas the modern conservatoire ethos—romantic and Westernized—is quite remote from both.

The term yijing 意境 has a rather more arty literate feel than the trendy English “mindset”, more like “aesthetic”, and in talking to educated urban Chinese I use it quite often to illustrate the issue. But—ironically illustrating the issue further—I don’t quite know how rural Chinese people might express it, though they have plenty of terms to describe different ways of performing within their own style.

Learning with the Hua band, 2001

Learning with the Hua band, 2001.

24 thoughts on “Different values

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