North American Guqin Association

Guqin Master Class series for 2005

Dear Qin Friends,

More and more people are becoming interested in listening to, and playing, the music of the guqin, or qin, and are collecting CDs, VCDs, books and other guqin-related items. This is very encouraging. But there is far more to the guqin than just the instrument and its music. Guqin is not merely a musical skill, it embodies the whole gamut Chinese culture and tradition. To be sure, technique is very important, but it is not all that is required to become a complete qinren (qin person). There is qindao (qin lore) and qinxue (qin learning).

In order to enhance your appreciation of guqin culture and music (whether or not you actually play it), the North American Guqin Association (NAGA) is to hold a series of master classes to add the vital cultural dimension to your listening and playing. Topics to be covered include:

l       Qin history, tradition, theory, handbooks and repertory

l       Qin performance

l       Dapu (reconstruction of early pieces from the scores) and improvisation

l       Tips for playing and performance

l       Aanalysis of qin masterpieces: different styles from different schools; performances by the masters

l       Appreciation of qins from different makers: form, construction, sound quality etc.

l       Fitting strings, tuning, how to select a qin  and qin maintenance.

In addition to systematic coverage of playing and performance techniques, you will learn how to appraise the guqin music you hear, how to observe a player's posture and hand gestures, and how to recognise different styles. It will also give you a chance to experience other aspects of Chinese culture and tradition: philosophy, religion, opera, literature, calligraphy, painting, tea, food etc.

We hope that at the end of the series you will have a better understanding of the theory, philosophy and practise of the guqin and its music, a broad appreciation of Chinese culture, and an understanding of the importance of the guqin to Chinese culture as a whole. 

Classes will be led by Bay Area guqin teacher and NAGA Director Wang Fei. In the future, we plan to invite guqin and masters from China and Chinese culture experts to give talks and demonstrations. In this coming February, for example, we invite distinguished guqin master Professor Li Xiangting.

Classes will be interactive, consisting of lectures, audio-visual sessions, demonstrations and discussions. Those who can play will be encouraged to do so, and other attendees will be encouraged to provide constructive criticism: other people are your “mirror”.

Classes will be held monthly. There will be around 3 hours per session . The cost is $60 per session for people who are currently not enrolled in Wang Fei's class, payable either in advance online (preferably), or at the door. The classes will take place in the San Francisco bay area. The address will be given after your register. Please also specify which day you want to attend on the note when you press the checkout button.

These classes are open to all who are interested in knowing more about the guqin. For those currently learning to play from Ms. Wang, these classes are an important component of the curriculum. The classes also provide necessary foundation knowledge before you learn to play from a reputable guqin teacher, as they are often very selective about which students they will teach.

North American Guqin Association


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