Musicians win new audiences by moving online

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Musicians win new audiences by moving online
Yangqin player Shen Xiangyang performs with young musicians from the China National Traditional Orchestra during an online concert on Aug 24. [Chian Daily]

Livestreaming offers new challenges and the chance to earn extra income

When it comes to traditional Chinese music, images of seniors sedately playing the pipa (a four-stringed lute) and the guqin (a seven-stringed instrument) usually spring to audiences’ minds.

Yet traditional Chinese musicians are now presenting their work and engaging with audiences in a thought-provoking and exciting way.

Footage on numerous livestreaming platforms shows musicians staging creative online performances in a setting that is totally different from the concert hall, their traditional stage.

On Aug 24, the China National Traditional Orchestra said it was teaming up with the Douyin short video platform to stage online shows featuring the ensemble’s musicians playing 87 traditional instruments.

Zhao Cong, the orchestra’s principal pipa player and also its president, said, “It’s new territory for traditional Chinese music, which really fuels inspiration.”

Every Tuesday, the orchestra’s musicians perform livestreaming shows for charity, and on other days, they stage such performances as soloists or as ensembles.

“Our main aim is still to perform concerts for physical audiences, but livestreaming shows are our ‘second stage’, as they are open to unlimited audience numbers,” Zhao said.

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Musicians win new audiences by moving online
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