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Greek Nightingale Twittering in the Forbidden City in China > CULTURS — lifestyle media for cross-cultural identity

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In 1997, the Forbidden City in Beijing witnessed a spectacular concert by a Western musician in white clothes. Here, Western and Eastern music styles fused with each other. Many people have learned about Yanni and his work “Nightingale” since then.

Nightingale Played in the Forbidden city in China

The inspiration for this work comes from a poignant story in Andersen’s fairy tales:The Nightingale and the Rose. In the story, a Chinese emperor got the Nightingale, which sang beautiful songs. However, in order to be free, Nightingale left the emperor but returned to him when the emperor was seriously ill and sang for him again. The song of the nightingale is very beautiful, but Yanni has been struggling to find a suitable instrument to play until he heard the Chinese bamboo flute. He found that the sound of the bamboo flute, especially the high pitch, was very similar to that of the nightingale. Therefore, he combined the crisp sound of the Chinese bamboo flute with the melodious Greek music style. Finally, the world-famous song “Nightingale” was born.

PureTune Music
Nightingale – Tribute (1997) – Yanni – MP3 | PureTune Music

“Nightingale” is a piece of modern electronic music with Chinese style. It contains Chinese elements in terms of story inspiration and performance. The main playing instrument is the Chinese bamboo flute, which vividly depicts the graceful people of the nightingale singing. But at the same time, it also cooperates with Western musical instruments to make it sounds magnificent. Western orchestras perform in front of the splendid palace in the east. This combination of Eastern and Western cultures has created this immortal masterpiece.

Forbiden City Beijing China,chinaoffseason

Composer Yanni Krisomalis is a Greek American composer and a world-renowned master of new century music. Its works are majestic and magnificent, combining modern electronic music and classical music, the ancient elegance of Europe, and the modern gorgeousness of the United States. In this concert held in the Forbidden City, this “Nightingale” not only broadened the audience’s horizons but also subverted the traditional musical instruments of the Eastern and Western audiences.

Inspiration from Fairytale

When talking about the inspiration for creating this work, Yanni mentioned that when he heard the beautiful birdsong of the nightingale outside the window, he regretted that he could not communicate in their language. His wish was realized in the far east. The nightingale from Greece flew across thousands of mountains and rivers to the far and mysterious east and played the moving music that the world has noticed. This is not only the fluidity of music but also the fluidity of culture. This piece later became a must-learn content for Chinese junior high school students.

Polonsky, Naomi Bernards. “Yanni”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 10 Nov. 2020

In addition to the Forbidden City in China, Yanni has also played in the Acropolis of Athens in Greece and the Taj Mahal in India. These are all great examples of cultural fluidity.

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