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Microtonal Music

by vaisvil


Crossing the Yalu River (1950)

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From Wikipedia’s article on the Korean War:

UN aerial reconnaissance had difficulty sighting the Chinese PVA units in daytime, because their march and bivouac discipline minimized aerial detection. The PVA marched “dark-to-dark” (19:00–03:00), and aerial camouflage (concealing soldiers, pack animals, and equipment) was deployed by 05:30. Meanwhile, daylight advance parties scouted for the next bivouac site. During daylight activity or marching, soldiers were to remain motionless if an aircraft appeared, until it flew away; PVA officers might shoot security violators. Such battlefield discipline allowed a three-division army to march the 286 miles (460 km) from An-tung, Manchuria to the combat zone in some 19 days. Another division night-marched a circuitous mountain route, averaging 18 miles (29 km) daily for 18 days.

Not having been in harms way I have difficulty imagining what it must be like for any soldier, especially for a country whose officer’s might shoot you and viewed you as cannon fodder destined for human wave attacks against the United Nations positions.

Not knowing much about real Chinese music I associate this piece, Crossing the Yalu River (1950)
with that march of the common Chinese soldier.
The tuning used is Centaur A 7-CAP tuning by Kraig Grady.

The piece is scored for orchestral percussion, Chinese Gongs, Choazhou Guzheng, Bawu, Datangu Lion Drum, Choir, and double bass in Sonar X1 and realized via the Garritan Personal Orchestra and World sample sets.

Doc's avatar
Doc said

Dramatic elements, somewhat formal/conceptual result.

Newbold's avatar
Newbold said

ahhhh gong sounds with the right gong I could start the next ten works I write just to have in the first few seconds of the song gonged would be too cool. :) my friend has a 13 inch gong but I don't think I could get a clear sample ..,

Guest said

Powerful stuff indeed. You captured the flavour perfectly.

Newbold's avatar
Newbold said

these low notes are very powerful, when they match the gong that is just,, wait did you put the gong thru effects as well?

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

Excellent work and as Norm says great story

Guest said

interesting sounds!!

Norm's avatar
Norm said

What a story!