PIECE: JASMINE FLOWER
|Jasmine Flower - Chinese Folksong|
Fig. 6.8 Turandot Poster
Jasmine Flower is a popular Chinese folksong, and is frequently played by erhu players. There are two versions of this folk song, one from the Jiangsu province, and the other from the Zhejiang province, and their melodies and lyrics are different. Although this arrangement of Jasmine Flower is based on the Zhejiang province version, it is interesting to note that the Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) used the Jiangsu version of Jasmine Flower in his opera Turandot (Puccini used it as a unifying motif throughout Turandot. The Jiangsu version was also used during the 2008 Beijing Olympics as the theme song for medal ceremonies).  
TECHNIQUE TIPS: Notice how the melody of Jasmine Flower uses only 5 notes: G,A,B,D,E. This is an example of the melody being structured around a pentatonic scale. Use smooth, flowing bows to play this delicate and lyrical melody. A few embellishments have been added to the music (grace notes), and you may want to experiment with adding more ornaments in the spirit of "jia hua" (meaning "add flowers").
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