guqin and its music

image: © Chinese Academy of Art sourced from the UNESCO website

China has a long and influential musical tradition based on the philosophy and culture of ancient China. The Confucians embraced a correct use and form of music matching to sociological and cosmological conceptions, thus to discover traditional Chinese music helps understanding Chinese culture. Unfortunately, there are still a number of barriers to online access for audio and audio-related materials, including the need of appealing content display to support user-friendly search and engagement, which is a difficult task also in physical museums. Efforts are ongoing to make this content more widely shared and accessible, such as the dedicated Europeana Sounds collections and the very specific materials disseminated in the UNESCO in Intangible Heritage platform.

Inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, in the UNESCO repository we can discover about the Guqin, the Chinese zitter: this musical instrument “has existed for over 3,000 years and represents China’s foremost solo musical instrument tradition. Described in early literary sources and corroborated by archaeological finds, this ancient instrument is inseparable from Chinese intellectual history.” As a demonstration of a different approach to music, guqin playing was not intended for public performance but it was more a personal art, that – along with calligraphy, painting and chess – Chinese scholars and noblemen were expected to master. “According to tradition, twenty years of training were required to attain proficiency.” it is explained in the UNESCO website and “Nowadays, there are fewer than one thousand well-trained guqin players and perhaps no more than fifty surviving masters. The original repertory of several thousand compositions has drastically dwindled to a mere hundred works that are regularly performed today.

Discover more about the Guqin in UNESCO website >>

image: © Chinese Academy of Art sourced from the UNESCO website.

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

kick-off meeting

The launch of PAGODE was originally organized with a double event in Rome, hosted by coordinator MISE the Italian Ministry of Economic Development in the prestigious venue of via Molise, including the operative meeting reserved to project partners and a open event for associate partner and other stakeholders, with invited guests from Europe and from China. Due to the unprecedented circumstances connected to the COVID-19 crisis, we were forced to change our plans.

The operative meeting reserved to partners took place on 2nd April via a conference call, including the remote participation of our project officer Mrs. Kyriaki Tragouda from INEA. During this call we reviewed the operative plans of the project, aligned the various activities among all the partners and discussed with Europeana colleagues the best schedule for project’s editorials and for the creation of the new “Europeana China” thematic collection in the online portal.

The open meeting for associate partners and stakeholders will be rescheduled in due date, once the coronavirus will be behind all of us!

img. courtesy MISE

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839

announcing a new project

A new project is starting, co-financed by the European Union under the CEF Connecting Europe Facility Programme that will contribute to generating rich user experience and high audience engagement with Europeana, the European digital library, by proposing a thematic approach in the aggregation, curation and presentation of Chinese cultual heritage preserved in Europe. PAGODE will aggregate to Europeana a minimum of 10,000 new objects, annotate and enrich more than 2,000 digital objects already in Europeana, and activate Cultural Heritage Institutions to plan new digitisation and enrichment of thousands and thousands of digital cultural heritage items.

This wealth of material will be organized in Europeana to create a new thematic collection rich in high quality content to explore, compelling editorials, galleries, blogs and a virtual exhibition. Focusing on the various forms of the presence of Chinese culture in Europe, the overall aim of PAGODE is to add further value to Cultural Heritage Institutions that own Chinese collections, to reach new end users, and to encourage creative reuse of the cultural heritage content in the domains of multicultural integration, cultural tourism, education and research.

PAGODE will promote further understanding of the cultural values of China and the cultural exchange between China and Europe, allowing Cultural Heritage Institutions to connect and share their collections and metadata across new sectors and borders and in this way to increase awareness and usage of Europeana to a wider audience, internationally. The project’s originality lies on the creation of a framework for a holistic overview of all Chinese collections within the scope of the pan-European area. As such, it would offer the foundations for further scholarship in this field, and even more important for the reinterpretation of questions of the circulation, trade, collecting and display of Chinese art in modern Europe with the aim to have a thorough understanding of the collecting history and Europe-China relationship from the historical and contemporary perspectives.

PAGODE – Europeana China is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2019/1931839