In the eastern province of Zhejiang, China, the city of Zhoushan is known for its passionate and powerful percussion music.
According to Fei Fan, a music teacher and director of the percussion team at the Zhejiang Ocean University, the size and number of drums and gongs performed with are all dependent upon the different musical scores they play.
In addition, the number of performers in every piece is different; sometimes, a big group can feature 15 to 20 people, and other times, it could only consist of 7 to 10.
A special “shisanfan” gong is also used in their performances, Fei said, adding that the instrument is “unique to Zhoushan percussion, so you won’t see the performance in other areas around China.”
Fei also explained that as Zhoushan people live by the sea, the music also reflects their “fishermen characteristics” giving off “vigorous and unconstrained” emotions through the melody.
In one particular piece, Fei pointed out that the music illustrates a scene where hundreds of dragons twist, turn and play in the sea.
“It also expresses the fishermen’s elation after a good catch,” Fei added.
Since its founding 12 years ago, the university’s percussion team is looking for more students to get to know the bold, inhibited and passionate musical local art form of Zhoushan.