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Pingtan Performance – Suzhou, China

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Suzhou, China


Katherine Peterson

Pingtan is a genre of musical storytelling that originated in Suzhou, Jiangsu during the end of the Ming Dynasty in the 1600s. It is performed in the local Suzhou dialect of Mandarin Chinese and features two stringed instruments called the sanxian and pipa. This is an excerpt from ‘The Phoenix Hairpin’ which was adapted from a poem written by the Song Dynasty author Lu You. The piece tells the tragic story of the author’s meeting in a garden with his long-lost lover whom he was forced to separate with when he was younger. This performance was recording in a tea house on Suzhou’s Pingjiang Old Street.

Suzhou, China