Music around the World: Asia

China

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Some interesting information

China is one of the biggest country in the world. Here you have some information about this country:

  • The capital city is Beijing.

  • The largest city is Shanghai (with a population of 24 millions)

  • Population: 1347 millions.

  • Languages: Mandarin, Wu and Cantonese.

  • Currency: Yuan (1 yuan=0’12 €) 

  • Religion: Syncretism of Confuncianism, Buddhism and Taoism.

Did you know...

  • Chinese cuisine is highly diverse: Rice, noodles, soybeans (tofu) and wheat are the staple food, but pork is the most popular meat.

  • Cuju is an ancient Chinese ball game. It is a competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net. The use of hands is not allowed.

  • Wushu (known in Europe as Kung fu) (武术) are fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. 

  • The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials. Its measure is 21,196 km!

  • The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. 

  • A well-educated Chinese reader today recognizes approximately 4,000–6,000 characters; approximately 3,000 characters are required to read a Mainland newspaper. 

Chinese music instruments

  • 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 arying number of frets ranging from 12 to 26.  

  • The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". 

  • The xiao is a Chinese vertical end-blown flute. It is generally made of dark brown bamboo (called "purple bamboo" in Chinese). The xiāo is a very ancient Chinese instrument.

  • Peking opera or Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. Masks are used in the opera; each color has a different meaning.

Japan

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Some interesting information

The Capital City is Tokyo (with a population of 9 millions)

Its total population is 126 millions of people!!

It's an archipelago of 6852 islands.

The actual emperor is Akihito

Official language: Japanese

Currency: Yen (1 yen=0.0071€)

Religion: Buddhism, Shinto (1% Christians)

Did you know...

  • Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods, typically Japanese rice or noodles, with a soup — dishes made from fish, vegetable, tofu and the like – to add flavor to the staple food. They eat more fish than meat. They even eat seaweeds, for example, in sushi.

  • Anime are Japanese animated productions usually featuring hand-drawn or computer animation, with a style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastic themes. The anime industry consists of over 430 production studios including major names like Studio Ghibli, Gainax and Toei Animation.

  • The Sumo is a competitive full-contact wrestling sport where a wrestler attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring.

  •  Kendo: meaning "Way of The Sword", is a modern Japanese sport/martial art, which descended from swordsmanship  and uses bamboo swords, and protective armour. 

  • Geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games.​

Chinese music instruments

The shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. The shakuhachi is traditionally made of bamboo. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen (blowing meditation).

The  shamisen is a three-stringed japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum. The neck of the shamisen is fretless. The body resembles a drum.

The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about 180 centimetres length, and made from kiri wood. They have 13 strings that are strung over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument.

India

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Some interesting information

Capital: New Delhi ( 249,998 people)

Largest city: Mumbay (20.5 millions)

Population: 1210 millions.

Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional republic.

      The actual president is Pranab Mukherjee.

Official language: Hindi, English

GDP per capita: $1,414 (146th)

Currency: Indian rupee (1 rupee=0.012€) Coke=22 ruppes

Religion: Hinduism (80%), Islam (13%), Christianity (2%), Sikhism (2%), Buddhism (1%) and Jainism (1%)

Did you know...

  • Diwali, also called the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness..

  • Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion. Vegetarianism was born here..

  • Staple foods of Indian cuisine include rice, whole-wheat flour, and a variety of lentils.

  • Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

Hindi music instruments

  • The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument. The sitar became known in the western world through the work of Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • The Sārangī is a bowed, short-necked string instrument from South Asia which is used in Hindustani classical music. It is said to most resemble the sound of the human voice.

  • The tabla is a membranophone percussion instrument, similar to bongos. The instrument consists of a pair of hand drums of contrasting sizes and timbres. The term tabla is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which simply means "drum". 

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