A Chinese girl's love affair with guitar

Updated: 2013-07-20 10:35


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A Chinese girl's love affair with guitar

 She loves to travel with her guitar, everywhere around the world.

"I didn't choose to play guitar. Rather, it chose me," said Yang Xuefei, Chinese classical guitarist.

Related: Guitarist Yang Xuefei reinterprets Bach on a seven-string

To many Chinese youngsters grown up listening to ballads, guitar seemed to be a symbol of their rebellious adolescence. But when the long-haired Yang played in her elegant evening dress, she would change people's perception towards this musical instrument.

When Yang was a little girl, her parents took her to learn music with the aim of "letting the naughty girl sit down for a while".

At that time, the most popular musical instrument was accordion. But after seeing seven-year-old Yang, the teacher believed her too small to carry the heavy accordion, and suggested that she try guitar.

"I was astonished at the suggestion, because I haven't heard of guitar before," she recalled. But as soon as she bought her first guitar with 20 yuan (about 3.26 U.S. dollars), she fell in love with its sound.

She improved quickly, making her public debut at the First China International Guitar Festival and accumulated international reputation by giving concert tours to Spain, Portugal, Japan, etc.

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After middle school, she became the first guitarist to enter a music school in China, and the first Chinese guitarist to study in Britain with an international scholarship.

"Chinese teachers taught me skills, while English teachers let me know how to become a guitarist," she said.

Yang noted that many Chinese students had good skills, but what they lack understanding to the music. That was just what she learned in Europe.

"When I saw the Baroque house, it had rich decoration, I immediately thought of the graces in the music," she said. "Gradually I began to understand more of Western music."

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