Rock band Tang Dynasty

2008-02-21 22:28:41 CCTV


The Tang Dynasty, from its establishment in 618 to its downfall in 907, was the most prosperous period in Chinese history.

The greatest volume of goods was traded along the Silk Road. Music, arts and sports were imported from lands to the west.

In today's China, Tang Dynasty is a rock band. The five members of the group, sing about a revival of that prosperous epoch: "A Dream to Return to the Tang Dynasty."

Their music may sound raucous and harsh to ears accustomed to easy going pop tunes from Hong Kong and Taiwan. But in China, in the mid-1990s, rock was in the ascendant. And "Tang Dynasty," China's very first heavy metal was formed.

Ding Wu, vocal, said, "Tang was such a great dynasty in Chinese history. It was so cosmopolitan, and so open to outside influences. So 'Tang Dynasty' has become a symbol of China recognized by the world. We thought the name of our band fit the mood."

In pursuit of their musical philosophy band members put together tunes that climbed the charts and Tang Dynasty rose to fame.

It was 1992. The album was "A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty." It sold 2 million copies in Asia..

The music sounded like the clash of Western and Eastern sounds. that is the crux at which point Tang Dynasty becomes distinguished from all other bands. Typical rock elements are enriched by traditional Chinese motives. Lead singer Ding Wu has his own magic, inflecting influences of traditional Chinese opera.

Wind - cannot blow away our grievances

Flowers - cannot color our longing for home

Snow - cannot reflect the mountain stream

Moon - cannot fulfill the ancient dream

Following the lines on my palm

Branded there by fate

Following fate I fall into trance

In dream I return to the Tang Dynasty

Ding Wu, vocal, said, "Musically, we employ the five-note Eastern scale. We employ ancient Chinese poetry. To keep our own style, we try not merely to imitate or follow Western rock music."

Liu Yijun, guitar, said, "Each member tries studies to cultivate himself in traditional Chinese culture: reading ancient poetry, playing Guqin (a seven-stringed zither), practicing calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting. That's the point. Without these elements absorbed by heart and soul, everything would be superficial."