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Fang Man – Blue Flowers on the Flowing Water
Performed by Anna Dunlap, Harp

Program Note by Fang Man

For this piece, I adopted two popular Chinese folk melodies: the folksong Blue Orchid Flowers from the Northern Shaanxi province in the first part. The song praises a rebellious woman in the feudal era whose name is Lan Huahua (the Blue Orchid Flowers). In Western culture, the blue flower symbolizes desire, love, hope and beauty.


In the second part, I adopted an ancient Guqin masterpiece High Mountain and Flowing Water 高山流水, which is transcribed for the harp and associated with a famous story:


According to Qin Shi, "Bo Ya was a famous musician from the Spring and Autumn period, who was good at playing the Guqin (plucked seven-string zither). Zhong Ziqi was good at listening to the qin. When Bo Ya's will was towards high mountains in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, 'How towering like Mount Tai!' When Bo Ya's will was towards flowing water in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, 'How vast are the rivers and oceans!' Whatever Bo Ya thought of Ziqi would never fail to understand. Bo Ya said, 'Amazing! Your heart and mine are the same!' When Ziqi died, Bo Ya broke the strings [of his qin] and vowed never to play it again. Thus, there was the melody of High Mountains Flowing Water."


-Fang Man April 2022

Conversation with Fang Man
Conversation with Anna Dunlap
Educational Materials
Listen: A Whole Symphony Orchestra in a Harp

Can you hear this sounds and colors of the orchestra in this work?

Dig Deeper: Two Folk Songs

Fang Man uses two popular Chinese folk songs in this work.   Can you hear them?

Create and Make: Make Your Own Harp!

Build your own harp like instrument with objects at home.

Download Educational Materials

Program Sponsors

Amphion Foundation
Tennessee Arts Commission
Metro Arts Nashville
The Alice M. Ditson Fund
Women's Philharmonic Advocacy
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