"Back in the Past" ... We are in China, in the 27th century BC, under the reign of the emperor Houang-Ti, the "Yellow King", who lived, according to the legendary history, from 2697 to 2597 BC. With the inventions of the compass, a calendar and ceramic, he is also credited with the invention of the sheng (cheng), first instrument with free reeds, recognized ancestor of the mouth organ, based upon the fundamental principles governing the universe : the ying, female and passive, and the yang, male and active.
Listen also to the legendary harmonica player, Albert Raisner, who described poetically the birth of the sheng, in his book "Le Livre de l'Harmonica" :
" Yin and yang are musically related and tuning in harmony, said Houang-Ti, that's why we recognize in music the ultimate truth to which body, mind, human society and the whole universe are obeying. The five music notes are corresponding to everything that can be seen on earth : colors, seasons, elements, planets. To the note Kyo is corresponding our liver, to Tche is corresponding our heart, to Kong our spleen, to Chang our lungs, and to Yu our kidneys. Music is the remedy to our body and soul aches. It is also the supreme key to wisdom. Human being, like everything in the Universe, is a chord of a great symphony".*
It shoud be noted that the above mentioned five notes of the sheng, are in order : E, A, D, G, C, forming the pentatonic scale. Consequently, this scale is the first important step taken on earth by human music.
"Back in the past" ... Here we are: I've got my introduction to announce the "7th Asia Pacific Festival" in China, in the city of Hangzhou, near Shanghaï. And I am very flattered to be invited to take part in this international rendez-vous.
Welcome to Guam, 111th country to pay a visit to JeanLabre.com.
- Jean Labre
* "Le Livre de l'Harmonica", Presses du Temps Présent,
published in 1961.
Published October 14th 2008