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Ordinary People-Chamber Music by Li Tai-Hsiang (生民-李泰祥)

Ordinary People – Chapter I


Ordinary People – Chapter II

I.    About this Song

Exposition of the music:
The creation, “Ordinary People,” was entrusted by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre; the material was obtained from the Chapter of “Ordinary People” in Daya, The Book of Odes. It wants to present people were bred and propagated from the earth in the Pre-Qin Dynasty in China.

The music had three sections: In the 1st section, “The God of Spring,“ musical instrument, Sheng (panpipe), was used to represent the China in the ancient times; it also represented “the flute of Spring.” The sounds of flute resounded throughout the earth, and men and women, the elders and the youths were all intoxicated by the vitality of Spring. In the 2nd section, “Plain Chant,” the vocal solo accompanied by Chinese zither represented girl’s thinking of love. In the section, Li Tai-Hsiang performed with his own thin and high pitched voice and tried to mix up man and woman’s gender to show the special situation of “monoescious performance” in Chinese opera. The 3rd section, “Drum,” was a long section for percussion; it is also the most important section in the music. The section stated that the God of Spring led young men and women to a wilderness and made them dance the primeval dance just like in a ceremony. The rhythm then gradually intensified and accelerated. Dancers started to take off shoes and hats, and eventually all the people became naked and had sexual intercourse. Such primeval ceremony lasted and people were starting to form their own families and bring up children. Music with subject matter and background like this was one of Li Tai-Hsiang’s important creative styles at that time. He infused a great deal of passion into his works; thus just like Richard Strauss’s “Salome,” the work contained big and powerful sensuous beauty.

II.    Manuscript

Copied description (page 1) of percussion chamber music “Ordinary People” (2002)    Copied description (page 2) of percussion chamber music “Ordinary People” (2002)


To view the story of Li Tai-Hsiang, please go to Li Tai-Hsiang, the Native Musician of Taiwan.
Text and images are provided by The Native Musician of Taiwan-Tai-Hsiang Li Digital Archive, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan