Musicology (the Chinese Way) Posted by sasha on May 7, 2012 in Culture, Vocabulary
Do you like listening to music? (你喜欢听音乐吗？- nǐ xǐ huan tīng yīn yuè ma)
I don’t know about you, but I really like listening to music (我非常喜欢听音乐 – wǒ fēi cháng xǐ huan tīng yīn yuè)
Well, what kind of music do you like? (你喜欢什么音乐 – nǐ xǐ huan shén me yīn yuè)
To help you build your music related vocabulary, here are a few ways you could answer that question:
I like (我喜欢 – wǒ xǐ huan)…
- rock music (摇滚音乐 – yáo gǔn yīn yuè)
- pop music (流行音乐 – liú xíng yīn yuè)
- jazz (爵士 – jué shì)
- rap (说唱 – shuō chàng)
- country music (乡村音乐 – xiāng cūn yīn yuè)
- blues (蓝调 – lán diào)
- electronic music (电子音乐 – diàn zǐ yīn yuè)
- heave metal (重金属音乐 – zhòng jīn shǔ yīn yuè)
- classical music (古典音乐 – gǔ diǎn yīn yuè)
- reggae (雷鬼 – léi guǐ)
While we’re at it, here’s some more useful music related vocabulary:
- singer (歌手 – gē shǒu)
- band (乐队 – yuè duì)
- song (歌曲 – gē qǔ)
- album (专辑 – zhuān jí)
- instrument (乐器 – yuè qì)
- concert (音乐会 – yīn yuè huì)
- music festival (音乐节 – yīn yuè jié)
I know you like listening to music, but can you make music?
Can you sing? (你会唱歌吗 – nǐ huì chàng gē ma)
Can you play guitar? (你会弹吉他吗 – nǐ huì tán jí tā ma?)
To answer affirmatively, simply say “(I) can” (会 – huì), and to answer negatively, just add the character 不 – “(I) cannot” (不会 – bú huì).
In addition to learning basic vocabulary, you should familiarize yourself with Chinese instruments. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered here. Check out some of these past posts about traditional Chinese instruments:
- Chinese Instruments Part One
- Part Two
- Part Three
- Pipa (Chinese Lute)
- Chinese Bells
- Bamboo Flute
- Traditional Drumming
- Guqin (7-string plucked instrument)
- Erhu (2-string Chinese violin)
If you’re into music festivals and concerts as much as I am, and you enjoy hilarious stories, you might as well go ahead and read some of my more entertaining posts about some Chinese music festival experiences:
- Yi Xian Music Festival Part One: Read about our ridiculous journey out into the middle of nowhere for a music festival, which found us sleeping in a KTV bar.
- Yi Xian Part Two: Finally in Yi Xian, we set up camp in a dirty parking lot, and convinced people to buy beer for us in exchange for photos.
- Zhang Bei In Music Festival Part One: A 6-hour bus ride finds us out in the countryside of Hebei province for a summer time music festival.
- Zhang Bei Part Two: Cultural differences, late night dance parties, and people eating french fries with chopsticks.
If videos are more your thing, here’s a little highlight reel I made from the In Music Festival:
Whether you are into traditional Chinese music, or the more modern sensation of C-Pop, listening to music can help you understand a lot about Chinese culture and can also improve your language skills. So what are you waiting for? Listen to, play, sing along, and dance to some Chinese music!
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