Egyptian oud, Chinese pipa show cultural communication through music

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 9, 2022
Adjust font size:
Shahd Hesham, an oud player and teacher, plays the oud at Arabic Oud House in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

A young Egyptian lady was playing a piece of music on the oud, an ancient Arabian musical instrument, at the Arabic Oud House for teaching oud playing in a historical area of the Egyptian capital Cairo.

The piece she was playing was the Chinese folk song Jasmine Flower, or Mo Li Hua, which is usually played in China on the Chinese oud-like instrument pipa.

Shahd Hesham, 19, an oud player and teacher at the Arabic Oud House, played a piece of Egyptian music and highlighted the similarities between the tones created by oud and pipa and between Egyptian and Chinese folk music.

"Egyptian and Chinese folk music can communicate and complete one another in many areas. For example, we can take music sentences from a Chinese track and play them in an Egyptian style, while the Chinese can take Egyptian music sentences and play them in their own style," the Egyptian oud teacher told Xinhua.

She explained that the Chinese pipa is a string instrument just like the oud, but it is a little smaller, it sounds a little sharper, and it is played vertically while the oud is played horizontally.

Oud is the origin of many string instruments in the East, she added.

"When different cultures cooperate and jointly present a concert, the result is so beautiful and diversified," Hesham told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Mario Saied, an oud teacher and music composer, was on stage making a sound test for his oud before leading a performance in the yard of the Arabic Oud House.

Saied, 24, expressed his belief that cooperation between different cultures in music means "richness."

"Difference in music is beautiful, and what's more beautiful is to have cooperation among different music instruments, which produces beautiful tones," said the Egyptian oud player.

"We're always trying and searching for a beautiful sound of combining instruments, so we try the oud with the Chinese pipa, the mandolin, the Indian sitar, etc. Each experience is richness in itself," the young man told Xinhua.

The Egyptian musician described the Chinese culture as "great," expressing his obsession with Chinese historical sites and artifacts.

"I have on my cell phone a photo gallery of Chinese artifacts and museums, which I am fond of. So, I hope there will be a chance for future music cooperation not only between Egypt and China but between Egypt and every place where there is music," Saied said. 

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from