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2013 Winter Issue 8 (March 8, 2013)

Students, Professor Win Grant to Pursue Musical Research

March 10, 2013
By Ben Strauss

With funds from the ASIANetwork, Professor Gao Hong Dice and three students will continue this summer the search for ancient melodies.

Gao Hong Dice, Lecturer in Chinese Musical Instruments, and Carleton students Kim Bauer ’13, Yawen Chen ’15, and Joseph Concannon ’13 are awarded an ASIANetwork grant to continue the efforts of exploring and preserving Chinese ancient temple music. 

ASIANetwork is a consortium of North American colleges with the goal of promoting Asian Studies with a liberal arts framework.

This is not the first time Professor Hong Dice received the “ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows” grant from the consortium. In 2010, she and three students conducted their first project titled “Exploration and Preservation: Temple Music in the Chinese Diaspora.”

Hong Dice and students visited temples in China, Japan, and Korea to see whether temple music is preserved and in what form it exists.

They arrived at a shocking result: because of the Cultural Revolution, ancient temple music is almost extinct in China. The ASIANetwork council was also stunned by this discovery and encouraged Hong Dice to continue exploring this topic.

“They were very impressed with our strong presentation and interesting question,” said Hong Dice.

Hong Dice and students now shift their lens to Taiwan and Singapore. “We hope to look at the preservation and adaption of temple music in these disported communities,“ explained Bauer ’13.

Concannon, Bauer and Chen, who are all members of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble would be interviewing monks and preserving the music by recording and transcribing.  They will also maintain a photo blog and create a radio program. These are all efforts to one of the ultimate goal, which is to make Chinese temple music more accessible to a wider audience.”

Another important goal of the trip is the preservation of this often unrecorded music. The Chinese Music Ensemble in future concerts will perform the music being brought back.

“Hopefully we will be able to paint a fuller picture to understanding the preservation and adaptation of this beautiful form of music,” said Concannon.

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