George Bernard Shaw in China - the 1930's

from Letter from George Bernard Shaw to Edward Elgar, 30 May 1933, pages 463-464:

My dear Elgar, Why Paris? I recommend Peiping (ci-devant Peking) where you must go to the Lama temple and discover how the Chinese produce harmony. Instead of your laborious expedient of composing a lot of different parts to be sung simultaneously, they sing in unison all the time, mostly without changing the note; but they produce their voices in some magical way that brings out all the harmonics with extraordinary richness, like big bells. I have never had my ears so supersatisfied. The basses are stupendous…. At Tientsin they had a Chinese band for me. It consisted of a most …   more >>
cite as

George Bernard Shaw, Letter from George Bernard Shaw to Edward Elgar, 30 May 1933. In Anita Kermode and Frank Kermode (ed.), The Oxford book of letters (Oxford, 1995), p. 463-464. https://led.kmi.open.ac.uk/entity/lexp/1408467356835 accessed: 1 December, 2021

location of experience: China

Listeners

George Bernard Shaw
Playwright
1856-1950

Listening to

hide composers
Japanese theatre orchestra
Chinese band
Chinese opera

Experience Information

Date/Time the 1930's
Medium live

Originally submitted by hgb3 on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:55:57 +0100