- Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series: Li
- Wed.Nov.14.2012 01:00 pm - 03:00 pm
- Ethnomusicology Lab - Los Angeles
Lecture by Guangming Li, Specially Invited Professor, China Conservatory, Beijing, China.
“New Findings on the Existence of Monochord and Non-mathematical Methods of Constructing 12-Lülü Chromatic Scale in Ancient China.”
Abstract: A complete set of 12 disyllabic pitch names of the chromatic scale was presented at the court of Zhou in 6th century BC, although there is no historical record telling us the detail of the tuning apparatus the Chinese musicians used and the method of how the chromatic scale was constructed. After examination of a five-string plank-zither found in the tomb of Marquis Yi Zeng (433 BCE) in the late 1980s, it has been commonly believed among scholars that the tuning apparatus must not be a monochord, but rather a zither of five strings because a monochord will not provide a sufficient number of harmonic nodes to yield the major thirds needed for building the scale. However, a closer examination of the mathematical theory of pentatonic scale construction documented in Guan Zi, a major encyclopedic classic from the Warring-States Period (475-221 BCE), suggests that the theory can only be readily derived from the operation on a single string. It can be demonstrated now that Chinese musicians were able to construct a mathematically sound chromatic scale on a monochord with mere musically intuitive methods twenty five hundred years ago.
Dr. Li received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA and has taught at institutes of higher education in both the United States and China. His has presented research in the fields of ethnomusicology, history, aesthetics, and cognitive music theory. As a performing artist, Dr. Li is credited in a number of films and TV series, including the Ramen Girl (2007), Spy Game (2002), The Prince of Egypt (1998), and Xena: Warrior Princess (1998).
Open to the public and free of charge
Parking in Lot 2 — $11 (Hilgard and Westholme)
Information: (310) 825-5947
The Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series presents a variety of lectures focusing on research and other issues important in the field of ethnomusicology.
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