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Lingnan Music Appreciation Lecture Series
Speaker: Christopher Pak (Conducted in Cantonese)


20 October – 10 November (Every Thur, 4 lectures in total) 7:30pm
AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$50 for each lecture (Free Seating)
Programme Details

20 October

The Classicism and Elegance of Chiuchow and Hakka Music

In the history of China, the people who originally dwelled in the Central Plains had migrated to the south on a number of occasions.  Traditional culture and arts originated in the north and art forms that are indigenous to the south have come to influence each other, and give rise to a unique musical culture in the Lingnan region (Guangdong and the nearby areas) in which courtly elegance and the vernacular are integrated.  There are many who are of the opinion that the classical touch and elegance of Lingnan music are in a better position to represent the style of music originally prevalent in central China.  However, it is equally understood that the Cantonese music we know today has a popular repertoire comprising new pieces composed during the 20th Century in the main, and the xiyue (‘exquisite music’) and xiansiyue (‘strings to accompany poetry’) in the Chiuchow genre, and the Han music in the Hakka tradition, are probably more capable of reflecting the stylistics of ancient Chinese music.  This lecture attempts to present and analyse some of the characteristics of Chiuchow and Hakka music.



27 October

The Vivacity and Rusticity of Hakka ‘Mountain Songs’

Guest: Stephen Cheung

Hakka people are now living chiefly in Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi and Taiwan.  Traditionally speaking, Hakka people tend to live in well-knit and relatively secluded communities, and cherish a strong sense of familial solidarity.  The Hakka folk song (literally, the Hakka Mountain Song) is the most characteristic form of their music and, in its simple and precise form, is able to represent, with the greatest agility, the various aspects of Hakka culture as they differ from locale to locale.  The best known Hakka folk songs nowadays come from Western Fujian, the Xingguo region, the northeast of Guangdong, and Taiwan.  As a matter of fact, Hakka folk songs also thrive in Hong Kong and there are many examples of typical local colours.  This lecture will focus on the characteristics of folk songs in various regions.



3 November

The Vernacular Nature of the Music of Chiuchow and Hakka

Guest: Ng Chun-hoi

Traditional music has survived through successive generations in many forms, and the ‘yaji’ is one of the most important of these forms. Literally meaning ‘scholarly get-together’, it was something similar to the ‘salon’ in the Western tradition. Such ‘salon culture’ was not only popular among the literati and the courtiers in ancient times, much more often it was also a part of the life of the plebeian class, and has always been a secular form of entertainment that is extensively enjoyed by the populace.  Since the 20th Century, many traditional musical genres in China are heading towards the direction of ‘modernisation’, but the Chiuchow and Hakka music in Hong Kong have preserved a considerable amount of their traditional folksy colours.  This lecture is devoted to a discussion of how Chiuchow and Hakka music manage to preserve their unique life dynamics in modern society.

10 November The Fineness and Mutations in Chiuchow and Hakka Zheng Music
Guest: Xu Lingzi

The guzheng occupies an important position in both Chiuchow and Hakka music.  In many locales where Chiuchow and Hakka music is dominant, the guzheng is a major instrument in performances.  The ‘two four’ notation in use in Chiuchow music is, as a matter of fact, based on the notation for the guzheng.  Chiuchow music and Hakka music are similar in a lot of places, for example in the scales and modality, in the structure of compositions, in performance techniques and practices.  In this lecture, Miss Xu Lingzi, famous guzheng virtuoso, will lead us in an exploration of how the characteristic finesse and agility in changes in Chiuchow and Hakka music are realised.

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Details of Speaker

Christopher Pak
Christopher Pak is
Head of Academic Studies in Music and Coordinator for the Master of Music programme at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  The subjects he teaches cover ‘Research Methodology and Philology’, ‘Transcription, Notation and Analysis’, ‘Western Music History, Modern Chinese Music History’, ‘Analysis of Chinese Music’, and ‘Pop Music and Contemporary Chinese Culture’.  He was a guest lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Institute of Education, is currently a guest lecturer of the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China and a member of the Arts Education Committee of the Hong Kong Curriculum Development Council.  He regularly hosts talks and workshops for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the City University of Hong Kong, the Music Office, Radio Television Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Education Bureau, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, among many others.

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Programme Length
Running time of each talk is about 1 hour 30 minutes.
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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 26 September onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking


Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis)

 Group Booking Discount

10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets;

15% off for 10-19 standard tickets;

20% off for 20 or more standard tickets
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Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009 
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: 

The contents of this programme do not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
The presenter reserves the right to substitute speaker should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.
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