Carmen Bugay learns to play the erhu (Chinese violin) during the recent Chinese Cultural Day on February 15, 2019 in Muscatine

February 18, 2019

Valentine’s Day was unusual this year because the Chinese Opera Concert was in Muscatine in the evening, at the Central Middle School auditorium. This concert was sponsored by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, in collaboration with the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra Association (MSOA), and the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GMCCI).

Following the concert next day, during the Chinese Cultural Day in Muscatine, Carmen Bugay, President of MSOA Board and violinist, tried playing the erhu – Chinese violin. “Ever since I saw the Chinese violins last year for the first time ever at the Muscatine Chinese concert, I wanted to try and play one”, stated Carmen. “The Chinese violin is so interesting, because it is a 2-string violin, with a bow held in the right hand and played like a bass player then pulling by the two loosely held strings, while the violin base sits on the left side of the hip. Frequency of vibration, tension of fingers, bow holding, and of course skills of the player, are what drives the creation of sound and actual music to be enjoyed. This violin is so very different than the classical type of European made violins that I’m accustomed to playing and which are held under the left neck and finger played while bowing with the right”, she mentioned. “Still there are some similarities between the playing of the two instruments, but of course it takes some time and skill in order to play well. Overall, it was a great experience. I would do it again, in a heart beat”, Carmen mentioned.

Chinese News –