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"Treasures of Music" exhibition recollects the good old days

Old music scores, manuscripts from various composers and script writers, clay-printed scripts of Cantonese opera, old photos of music activities and gramophone records have all contributed the development of music in Hong Kong.

"Treasures of Music--An Exhibition of Hong Kong Music Documents Collected" which showcases more than 200 pieces of valuable music items collected during the Hong Kong Music Collection Campaign, will be open to the public from September 4 to 23 at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL).

The campaign is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd with the aim of preserving Hong Kong's music treasures and encouraging research into Hong Kong music.

The exhibition, which will open daily from 10am to 8pm, will feature four themes: "Dancing Notes--The Music Scores", "Photographs and Memories", "Caught in the Act--Cantonese Music and Opera" and "Oldies in the Records -- Hong Kong Popular Music Culture".

What were music scores in the old days like? "The Dancing Notes--The Music Scores" features various types of music scores including the Gongche Notation, which first appeared in the Tang Dynasty and was one of the most popular methods in notating Cantonese opera and Cantonese music in the last century. Guqin Tablatures, which recorded the fingering positions, the Cipher Notation (simplified notation), the stave and the non-mensural notation are commonly used by composers today.

Photographs of Sino-British Club Music Group, The Choral Group, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Allegro Singers, Biyuntian Troupe, Chufengming Troupe, famous singers like Fong Yim Fun, Hong Xian Nu, Winnie Wei and others will take music lovers down memory lane.

For fans of Cantonese opera, "Caught in the Act--Cantonese Music and Opera" will feature valuable scripts, story outlines, posters and photos related to Cantonese Opera. Not to be missed is the primitive Cantonese opera printing scripts "Clay-printed Scripts", which are simple but time-consuming to process and no longer in use.

Other highlights are gramophone records and manuscripts including the works of "Golden Voice" Chow Hsuan, Yao Ming, the best selling "Huang Mei Dao" soundtracks, Taiwanese Mandarin pops to songs of Sam Hui, the Wynners, Anita Mui, and Leslie Cheung.

A series of seminars will run in conjunction with the exhibition. "Legends of Dr Wong Ching-kuen" (September 5 from 5.30pm-7.30pm), "Vocal Music Development in Hong Kong" (September 10, 6pm-8pm), "Loo Kah-chi and the Lung Cheung Opera Troupe" (September 15, 6pm-8pm), will be held in Activity Room 1 of the HKCL.

A seminar with demonstration, "Chinese Music in the Good Old Days" will also be held at the Lecture Theatre of the HKCL from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday, September 19.

Enquiries about the Hong Kong Music Collection Campaign or the exhibition, can be made on 2921 0259.

Ends/Thursday, August 26, 2004
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