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Playing harmony tunes with Muqam music

CCTV.com

03-20-2017 12:52 BJT

Full coverage: ‘看中国’外国青年影像计划专题

By CCTV.com Panview editor team     

Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.

As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of "ethnic minority".

The film, Harmony, directed by R.C. Pranav, captures the soul of the Muslim community in the town Lukhchin, located in northwest China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

Lukhchin stands in the middle of the vast Gobi Desert with sweeping sand dunes marking the surrounding landscape. It’s so isolated, yet the Muqam music, the "Great Western Region Melody", encapsulates their spirit for lively dancing and singing.

Music players focus on instruments consisting of the satar (guitar-style) and dup (type of tambourine and mini-drum). If somebody sings, the vocalist sounds like a person chanting Muslim prayers in a mosque.

Muqam combines the spirituality of Islam with the sensuality of the ancient Arabic and Persian music. Muqam tour groups learn from masters, who are likely to be imams (spiritual leader of a mosque).

As nomadic people, they love to travel to towns in Xinjiang. One group even performed for 15 days in London. Those in the troupe are mostly elderly citizens, who have free time to pursue Muqam as a hobby.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

 

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