Asian suggestions

Edited: May 30, 2019, 6:41 AM · I'm at the advanced beginner stage depending on the definition. Just starting double-stops, 3rd position, and harmonics. At the end of Suzuki 1 as far as the book is concerned but my other pieces are both more fun and more difficult. I learn well with this approach and my teacher encourages this mix - I pick the outside pieces and he approves - or not. I've been working with Marche (Bach) and Hornpipe (Handel) is likely next. I WANT to work on Hall of the Mountain King next but I've only just started double stops - hard is one thing - but this isn't possible...yet.

I like having 2 outside pieces that are quite different at the same time. I'm looking for an Asian piece that's a bit longer and more challenging than what I've been able to find so far. Outside of Madame Wang that was arranged by a forum member here (and it's a lovely piece that I've memorized), I've not had much luck. Most of what I've found is quite short and very easy, too much so.

Sorry for the lengthy intro to my question but I thought it would help with suggestions given my level. Any thoughts on an Asian piece that would be challenging?

Replies (10)

May 30, 2019, 7:36 AM · In my city we have competitions sponsored by Korean and Chinese cultural organizations and they sell downloadable repertoire for the required Korean/Chinese pieces. The competitions are for kids as young as 6, so the ones for the primary or youth category should be playable for you.

Korean pieces are here:

Chinese pieces are here:

May 30, 2019, 8:29 AM · Thank you! I love western classical but also both Asian and Eastern European traditional music.
May 30, 2019, 8:53 AM · Catherine, will translating something from the Erhu repertoires works for you? I am not sure where to get those music in print, but I think someone in the Chinese community may knows. Their music notation is numerical, similar to the movable-do system from what I have heard.

In India traditional music, there is Sarangi, also a string instrument play with a bow. Again, I am not sure who publish those sheet music. However, if you can find someone playing it (probably find them on internet), they can point you to where to find the music.

Edited: May 30, 2019, 9:49 AM · Chen Yi is a modern (female - yay!) composer. I have the sheet music for one of her pieces (Fisherman's Song) but have not learned it yet. I think her stuff is late intermediate-advanced level though.

And then there are these options to investigate to see if any are at your level:

Edited: May 30, 2019, 5:52 PM · Some of the junior pieces from the Chinese site look playable for me - if there are not any following pages to the pieces that increase in difficulty. Not easy, but my goal are pieces that stretch me yet remain possible. I will check out the other suggestions as well, thanks. What constitutes "possible" will change!

I've my list of classical music composers and pieces I would like to eventually play, it's been challenging to find Asian works to add to the list.

Edited: May 30, 2019, 3:12 PM · Catherine, there are also some contemporary Japanese composers who are quite good. However, it is not exactly the traditional Japanese music sound or texture, but I don't recall there is a bowed instrument in traditional Japanese music anyway...

For example, two Japanese composers composed for Hilary Hahn's "In 27 Pieces". One is Bifu by Satoh Somei, and the other one is Memories by Ooshima Michiru. You can listen to them on Hahn's youtube channel or buy the CD (there are other good pieces too, and the composers are all around the world). The score just came out last month.

May 31, 2019, 5:56 PM · It is not by an Asian composer but has an Eastern sound. Chinese Puzzle by Rebecca Clarke. Works on your pizzicato also.
Edited: May 31, 2019, 7:08 PM · I really like Chinese Puzzle, and she has some other nice pieces! To say that it works on pizzicato is an understatement - it certainly fits this piece. There is just something about the Chinese pentatonic scale that I find delightful. Now I just need to find a score for this piece, thank you! I have to wonder what my teacher thinks as I bring in the variety of pieces that I do, but he strongly encourages this.

Sivrit - yes, the new recordings by Hahn are great - and I do like Bifu quite a lot. Her pieces will always be well outside of my league, but I do enjoy listening to her. I didn't know that traditional Japanese instruments do not include a bowed instrument, very interesting.

Virtual Sheet Music has an interesting piece (Tambourin Chinois) but it is most certainly advanced...

Edited: June 2, 2019, 11:06 PM · Laura - have you seen the music for Chinese Puzzle sold individually by any chance? So far I've only found it in a small collection with two other pieces and it's become challenging to find it in stock.. I looked at IMSLP in hopes it is in the public domain but it isn't. I really want this so if I must I will purchase the larger set but thought it was worth asking.
Edited: June 5, 2019, 10:23 AM · I found an anthology of violin works written by women at Sleepy Dog Press - most of the pieces in the volume I bought is likely too advanced for me right now - but the violin only edition is inexpensive and I will have both Chinese Puzzle and other pieces to grow into. Hornpipe (Hayden) and Chinese Puzzle sounds like an interesting next several pieces on which to work - thanks for the suggestion.

I mentioned Sleepy Dog Press in case others might find their anthologies of interest.

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