Thursday Thirteen. The Backup Edition.  

Posted by L. J. LaBarthe in , ,

Because I'm working on City of Jade right now, things historical are on my mind. So this week's 13 is traditional and folk music of thirteen locations that make an appearance in City of Jade.

1. Byzantium.
This isn't technically from Byzantium, because all the period music I can find is religious and I refuse to believe the people of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire had no other kind of music. Such a cosmopolitan empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, with such a rich culture and heritage would in no way, not by any anthropological pattern, have no other form of musical expression. /rant.

So here is a medieval dance piece - The Three Basse Dance.

2. Goreme to Antioch.
I chose Irfan for the Turkic lands, because they play traditional instruments with original songs written about the history of Turkey. This one is Return to Outremer, Outremer being the Holy Lands and what the Crusaders called it during the Third Crusade in the twelfth century.

3. The Holy Lands: Syria and the Levant.
Traditional music with a slight twist - only because of the dance in the video, which I wanted to include because it's a beautiful dance. So here is Autumn Ward: Rose of Damascus.

4. Persia.
The beautiful traditional rythyms and dance of Tajik-Persia. Folk music and dance of Persia.

5. Uzbekistan.
I think this is a tourist video from a cafe in Bukhara, but I also think it's as true to the history and culture of pre-Mongol Uzbekistan as I can find on Youtube. Having said that, the bored expressions on the faces of the dancers are made up by the fantastic overrobe the young woman explaining the music and dance is wearing, and of course, the music and dance itself. Uzbek traditional music and dance.

6. Turkmenistan.
This is only eleven seconds long but it's so awesome, I had to post it. I can just imagine Misahuen and Gallienus riding up that causeway towards the fortress with that music sounding in their ears.

7. Kyrgyzstan.
A group of young ladies playing the Komuz, shot at a wedding. Short clip but well worth watching for the incredible talent. Kyrgyz traditional music.

8. Turpan Oasis, China.
Because Turpan has belonged to various nations and empires over the passage of history, it's known by several different names depending which country you happen to be in. Turpan is the simplified Mandarin name, although it is also known as Turfan and Tulufan. It's at the north-eastern end of the former Shanshan Kingdom. This is a fabulous video of local dancers and musicians. Uyghur dancers and musicians in Grape valley near Turpan.

9. Chang'an, China.
Ah, Youtube, you did not disappoint me. This is a piece by the Ensemble Conservatoire Superieur de Xi'an (Chang'an). This piece is from the T'ang dynasty and is called Yu Lin Ling, which means 'The Sound of Rain on a Bell'. The story of this piece is as follows: Following a rebellion in 756AD, the emperor, Minghuang, was exiled to the west. The patter of the rain on a wooden bridge reminded him of the sound of the bell, his homeland and his love. Later, the emperor was to associate this piece with his love for his concubine, Yang.

10. The Gobi Desert and The Great Wall.
I have no idea what he's singing, I don't know who he is, This is from the Chinese TV show Taizu Mishi; the traditional Chinese art is gorgeous, the video clip is epic, the music is very stirring and epic and his armour is *fantastic*, a really lovely suit of Qing Dynasty armour. (Which is also very heavy.) So, here is Jing Zhong Bao Guo by Tu Hong Gang. From 2006.

11. Hangzhou, China.
Something a bit different. This is the musical fountain light show at West Lake, Hangzhou. Each night, there is a music, fountain and light show on the lake for the public.

12. Tian Mu Mountain, China.
And now for something completely different... Huiping Mo perfoms yoga asanas on Tian Mu Mountain. This clip has some breathtaking shots of the scenery of Tian Mu (which means 'Eye on Heaven') and is where Misahuen and Gallienus' story concludes.

13. Secular Byzantine Music.
While the Orthodox church might have tried to stamp it out, it couldn't get rid of non-religious music entirely. And huzzah, I found some. Byzantium's secular music tradition is being painstakingly restored by Greek musicologist, Christodoulos Halaris. So here is A Border Guard Was Building a Castle, which sounds to me like a melodic fusion of the Persian and Turkic sounds with western European courtly music. For those interested, Kourostatis' channel has oodles and oodles of Byzantine secular music.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at Thursday, October 06, 2011 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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