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Chinese music notation


Pengyou

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Pengyou

I got some really good hits doing a search on this forum but I don't know what I am talking about well enough to know if I have found the answer 😋  What are the Chinese words for the western system of notating music (with the bass and treble clef) and the Chinese system (with do, rei me, etc).  How can I study this?  I have taken up the erhu with a Chinese student at the Sichuan conservatory of music.  I can handle the Chinese discourse in class, but will need some help in English to handle the notation and theory.

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Michaelyus

五线谱 (traditional script: 五線譜), Pinyin: wǔxiànpǔ is the name for standard Western musical notation, literally in Chinese "five-line-score".

Note that in Chinese-speaking nations, the names of (Western) fixed-scale notes use English A-G (with sharp and flat being prefixes, so 升F = F♯, and 降B = B♭).

 

吉他谱 (吉他譜), Pinyin: jítāpǔ is equivalent to guitar tab(u)lature.

 

Numbered musical notation is called 简谱 (traditional: 簡譜), Pinyin: jiǎnpǔ. This is a form of movable do / solfège, and is how most people learn music in school, and also closer to older traditions. Although the usual "verbalised" version is do-so-ti for the tonic, dominant and leading tone, most of the notation is done with the (Arabic) numerals. I've seen books of Chinese traditional folksongs notated in 简谱 alone.

 

工尺谱 (工尺譜) Pinyin: gōngchěpǔ is something that I would not expect "lay" people to have a knowledge of; however, seeing that you are studying at a conservatory, you should probably familiarise yourself with it, even if you are not studying any Chinese opera or traditional Chinese instruments.

 

For 五线谱 vocabulary in action, here's a good introduction on YouTube (and equivalent on BiliBili), from someone rather familiar to many music fans worldwide. (Though I disagree with the use of ra for the supertonic).

 

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