Standard Chinese known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese, or Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese, the sole official language of China, the de facto official language of Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a tonal language with topic-prominent organization and subject–verb–object word order, it has more initial consonants but final consonants and tones than southern varieties. Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There are two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan. Aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters.
Many characters are identical between the two systems. In Chinese, the standard variety is known as: 普通话 in the People's Republic of China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Standard Chinese is commonly referred to by generic names for "Chinese", notably 中文. In total, there have been known over 20 various names for the language; the term Guoyu had been used by non-Han rulers of China to refer to their languages, but in 1909 the Qing education ministry applied it to Mandarin, a lingua franca based on northern Chinese varieties, proclaiming it as the new "national language". The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history, it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese. For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or "common tongue/speech", was conceptually different from the Guoyu, or "national language"; the former was a national prestige variety. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, different.
Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called "the common speech of the modern man", the spoken language adopted as a national lingua franca by conventional usage; the use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai and Lu Xun influenced the People's Republic of China government to adopt that term to describe Mandarin in 1956. Prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the official term for Standard Chinese; the term Guoyu however, is less used in the PRC, because declaring a Beijing dialect-based standard to be the national language would be deemed unfair to speakers of other varieties and to the ethnic minorities. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca. During the government of a pro-Taiwan independence coalition, Taiwan officials promoted a different reading of Guoyu as all of the "national languages", meaning Hokkien and Formosan as well as Standard Chinese.
Huayu, or "language of the Chinese nation" simply meant "Chinese language", was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name "Huayu" to refer to Mandarin; this name avoids choosing a side between the alternative names of Putonghua and Guoyu, which came to have political significance after their usages diverged along political lines between the PRC and the ROC. It incorporates the notion that Mandarin is not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live. Hanyu, or "language of the Han people", is another umbrella term used for Chinese. However, it has confusingly two different meanings: Standard Chinese; this term, as well as Hànzú, is a modern concept. A related concept is Hànzì; the term "Mandarin" is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire. The Chinese term is obsolete as a name for the standard language, but is used by linguists to refer to the major group of Mandarin dialects spoken natively across most of northern and southwestern China.
In English, "Mandarin" may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name "Modern Standard Mandarin" is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the shared language from other northern and historic dialects; the Chinese have different languages in different provinces, to such an extent
A fingerpick or thumbpick is a type of plectrum used most for playing bluegrass style banjo music. Most fingerpicks are composed of plastic. Unlike flat guitar picks, which are held between the thumb and finger and used one at a time, fingerpicks clip onto or wrap around the end of the fingers and thumb. Three are used: one for the thumb, one each for the middle and index fingers. Fingerpicks worn on the thumb are called "thumbpicks". Most players use a plastic thumbpick while using metal fingerpicks. Fingerpicks come in a variety of thicknesses to accommodate different musicians' styles of playing. Thin picks produce more delicate sound, while thick picks produce a heavier sound. Fingerpicks are used by guitar, Hawaiian guitar, lap steel, pedal steel guitar and Dobro players. Fingerpicks take quite some time to adapt to for people who come from the more common fingerstyle techniques. Tone wise, they are the most similar to standard guitar picks; some players combine bare fingers/fingernails. Classical guitar players, who traditionally use their fingernails to pluck the guitar's strings, may choose to use fingerpicks as an alternative to maintaining fingernails.
Fingerstyle guitar Hybrid picking
Henan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Henan is referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou which means "central plain land" or "midland", although the name is applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, remained China's cultural and political center until 1,000 years ago. Henan province is a home to a large number of heritage sites which have been left behind including the ruins of Shang dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Anyang and Zhengzhou are located in Henan; the practice of Tai Chi began in Chen Jia Gou Village, as did the Yang and Wu styles. Although the name of the province means "south of the river" a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River known as the Huang He. With an area of 167,000 km2, Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain.
Its neighbouring provinces are Shaanxi, Hebei, Shandong and Hubei. Henan is China's third most populous province with a population of over 94 million. If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 14th most populous country in the world, ahead of Egypt and Vietnam. Henan is the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to other central provinces. Henan is considered to be one of the less developed areas in China; the economy continues to grow based on aluminum and coal prices, as well as agriculture, heavy industry and retail. High-tech industries and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang. Regarded as the Cradle of Chinese civilization along with Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, Henan is known for its historical prosperity and periodic downturns; the economic prosperity resulted from its extensive fertile plains and its location at the heart of the country. However, its strategic location means that it has suffered from nearly all of the major wars in China.
In addition, the numerous floods of the Yellow River have caused significant damage from time to time. Kaifeng, in particular, has been buried by the Yellow River's silt seven times due to flooding. Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan since the Neolithic Era; the more recent Erlitou culture has been controversially identified with the Xia dynasty, the first and legendary Chinese dynasty, established in the 21st century BC. The entire kingdom existed within what is now north and central Henan; the Xia dynasty collapsed around the 16th century BC following the invasion of Shang, a neighboring vassal state centered around today's Shangqiu in eastern Henan. The Shang dynasty was the first literate dynasty of China, its many capitals are located at the modern cities of Shangqiu and Zhengzhou. Their last and most important capital, located in modern Anyang, is where the first Chinese writing was created.
In the 11th century BC, the Zhou dynasty of Shaanxi arrived from the west and overthrew the Shang dynasty. The capital was moved to Chang'an, the political and economical center was moved away from Henan for the first time. In 722 BC, when Chang'an was devastated by Xionites invasions, the capital was moved back east to Luoyang; this Autumn period, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan and all of China was divided into a variety of small, independent states at war for control of the central plain. Although regarded formally as the ruler of China, the control that Zhou king in Luoyang exerted over the feudal kingdoms had disappeared. Despite the prolonged period of instability, prominent philosophers such as Confucius emerged in this era and offered their ideas on how a state should be run. Laozi, the founder of Taoism, was born in part of modern-day Henan. On, these states were replaced by seven large and powerful states during the Warring States period, Henan was divided into three states, the Wei to the north, the Chu to the south, the Han in the middle.
In 221 BC, state of Qin forces from Shaanxi conquered all of the other six states, ending 800 years of warfare. Ying Zheng, the leader of Qin, crowned himself as the First Emperor, he abolished the feudal system and centralized all powers, establishing the Qin dynasty and unifying the core of the Han Chinese homeland for the first time. The empire collapsed after the death of Ying Zheng and was replaced by the Han dynasty in 206 BC, with its capital at Chang'an. Thus, a golden age of Chinese culture and military power began; the capital moved east to Luoyang in 25 AD, in response to a coup in Chang'an that created the short-lived Xin dynasty. Luoyang regained control of China, the Eastern Han dynasty began, extending the golden age for another two centuries; the late Eastern Han dynasty saw rivalry between regional warlords. Xuchang in central Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei. Wei moved its capital to Luoyang, which remained the capital after the unification of China by the Western Jin dynasty.
During this period Luoyang became one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world, despite being damaged by warfare. With the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in the 4th and 5th centuries, nomadic peoples f
Shandong is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China, is part of the East China region. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River, it has served as a pivotal cultural and religious center for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship; the Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius, was established as the center of Confucianism. Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient as well as modern north–south and east–west trading routes have helped to establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has emerged as one of the most populous and most affluent provinces in the People's Republic of China with a GDP of CNY¥5.942 trillion in 2014, or USD$967 billion, making it China's third wealthiest province.
Individually, the two Chinese characters in the name "Shandong" mean "mountain" and "east". Shandong could hence be translated as "east of the mountains" and refers to the province's location to the east of the Taihang Mountains. A common nickname for Shandong is Qílǔ, after the States of Qi and Lu that existed in the area during the Spring and Autumn period. Whereas the State of Qi was a major power of its era, the State of Lu played only a minor role in the politics of its time. Lu, became renowned for being the home of Confucius and hence its cultural influence came to eclipse that of the State of Qi; the cultural dominance of the State of Lu heritage is reflected in the official abbreviation for Shandong, "鲁". English speakers in the 19th century called the province Shan-tung; the province is on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, extends out to sea as the Shandong Peninsula. Shandong borders the Bohai Sea to the north, Hebei to the northwest, Henan to the west, Jiangsu to the south, the Yellow Sea to the southeast.
With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong was home to a succession of Neolithic cultures for millennia, including the Houli culture, the Beixin culture, the Dawenkou culture, the Longshan culture, the Yueshi culture. The earliest dynasties exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Dongyi peoples who were considered "barbarians". Over subsequent centuries, the Dongyi were sinicized. During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, regional states became powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two major states: the state of Qi at Linzi and the state of Lu at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius; the state was, comparatively small, succumbed to the larger state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi, on the other hand, was a major power throughout the period. Cities it ruled included Jimo and Ju; the Qin dynasty conquered Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BCE.
The Han dynasty that followed created a number of commanderies supervised by two regions in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou in the north and Yanzhou in the south. During the division of the Three Kingdoms, Shandong belonged to the Cao Wei, which ruled over northern China. After the Three Kingdoms period, a brief period of unity under the Western Jin dynasty gave way to invasions by nomadic peoples from the north. Northern China, including Shandong, was overrun. Over the next century or so Shandong changed hands several times, falling to the Later Zhao Former Yan Former Qin Later Yan Southern Yan the Liu Song dynasty, the Northern Wei dynasty, the first of the Northern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties Period. Shandong stayed with the Northern dynasties for the rest of this period. In 412 CE, the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian landed at Laoshan, on the southern edge of the Shandong peninsula, proceeded to Qingzhou to edit and translate the scriptures he had brought back from India.
The Sui dynasty reestablished unity in 589, the Tang dynasty presided over the next golden age of China. For the earlier part of this period Shandong was ruled as part of Henan Circuit, one of the circuits. On China splintered into warlord factions, resulting in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Shandong was part of all based in the north; the Song dynasty reunified China in the late tenth century. The classic novel Water Margin was based on folk tales of outlaw bands active in Shandong during the Song dynasty. In 1996, the discovery of over two hundred buried Buddhist statues at Qingzhou was hailed as a major archaeological find; the statues included early examples of painted figures, are thought to have been buried due to Emperor Huizong's repression of Buddhism. The Song dynasty was forced to cede northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1142. Shandong was administered by the Jin as Shandong East Circuit and Shandong West Circuit – the first use of its current name; the modern provinc
The term lacquer is used for a number of hard and shiny finishes applied to materials such as wood. These fall into a number of different groups; the term lacquer originates from the Sanskrit word lākshā representing the number 100,000, used for both the lac insect and the scarlet resinous secretion, rich in shellac, that it produces, used as wood finish in ancient India and neighbouring areas. Asian lacquerware, which may be called "true lacquer", are objects coated with the treated and dried sap of Toxicodendron vernicifluum or related trees, applied in several coats to a base, wood; this dries to a hard and smooth surface layer, durable and attractive to feel and look at. Asian lacquer is sometimes painted with pictures, inlaid with shell and other materials, or carved, as well as dusted with gold and given other further decorative treatments. In modern techniques, lacquer means a range of clear or coloured wood finishes that dry by solvent evaporation or a curing process that produces a hard, durable finish.
The finish can be of any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss, it can be further polished as required. It is used for "lacquer paint", a paint that dries better on a hard and smooth surface. In terms of modern products for coating finishes, lac-based finishes are to be referred to as shellac, while lacquer refers to other polymers dissolved in volatile organic compounds, such as nitrocellulose, acrylic compounds dissolved in lacquer thinner, a mixture of several solvents containing butyl acetate and xylene or toluene. Lacquer is more durable than shellac; the English lacquer is from the archaic French word lacre "a kind of sealing wax", from Portuguese lacre, itself an unexplained variant of Medieval Latin lacca "resinous substance" from Arabic lakk, from Persian lak, from Hindi lakh. These derive from Sanskrit lākshā, used for both the Lac insect and the scarlet resinous secretion it produces, used as wood finish. Lac resin was once imported in sizeable quantity into Europe from India along with Eastern woods.
Lacquer sheen is a measurement of the shine for a given lacquer. Different manufacturers have their own standards for their sheen; the most common names from least shiny to most shiny are: flat, egg shell, semi-gloss, gloss. In India the insect lac, or shellac was used since ancient times. Shellac is the secretion of the lac bug, it is used for the production of a red dye and pigment, for the production of different grades of shellac, used in surface coating. Urushiol-based lacquers differ from most others, being slow-drying, set by oxidation and polymerization, rather than by evaporation alone. In order for it to set properly it requires a warm environment; the phenols oxidize and polymerize under the action of an enzyme laccase, yielding a substrate that, upon proper evaporation of its water content, is hard. These lacquers produce hard, durable finishes that are both beautiful and resistant to damage by water, alkali or abrasion; the active ingredient of the resin is urushiol, a mixture of various phenols suspended in water, plus a few proteins.
The resin is derived from trees indigenous to East Asia, like lacquer tree Toxicodendron vernicifluum, wax tree Toxicodendron succedaneum. The fresh resin from the T. vernicifluum trees causes urushiol-induced contact dermatitis and great care is required in its use. The Chinese treated the allergic reaction with crushed shellfish, which prevents lacquer from drying properly. Lacquer skills became highly developed in Asia, many decorated pieces were produced. During the Shang Dynasty, the sophisticated techniques used in the lacquer process were first developed and it became a artistic craft, although various prehistoric lacquerwares have been unearthed in China dating back to the Neolithic period and objects with lacquer coating in Japan from the late Jōmon period; the earliest extant lacquer object, a red wooden bowl, was unearthed at a Hemudu culture site in China. By the Han Dynasty, many centres of lacquer production became established; the knowledge of the Chinese methods of the lacquer process spread from China during the Han and Song dynasties.
It was introduced to Korea, Japan and South Asia. Trade of lacquer objects travelled through various routes to the Middle East. Known applications of lacquer in China included coffins, music instruments and various household items. Lacquer mixed with powdered cinnabar is used to produce the traditional red lacquerware from China; the trees must be at least ten years old before cutting to bleed the resin. It sets by a process called absorbing oxygen to set. Lacquer-yielding trees in Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan, called Thitsi, are different; the end result is similar but softer than the Japanese lacquer. Burmese lacquer sets slower, is painted by craftsmen's hands without using brushes. Raw lacquer can be "coloured" by the addition of small amounts of iron oxides, giving red or black depending on the oxide. There is some evidence that its use is older than 8,000 years from archaeological digs in China. Pigments were added to make colours, it is used not only as a finish, but mixed with ground fired and unfired clays applied to a mould
The đàn tranh or đàn thập lục is a plucked zither of Vietnam, similar to the Chinese guzheng, the Japanese koto, the Korean kayagum and the Mongolia yatga. It has a long soundbox with the steel strings, movable bridges and tuning pegs positioned on its top; the đàn tranh can be used either as a solo instrument, as part of various instrumental ensembles or to accompany vocal performances. In the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the đàn tranh had 14 strings. Between the late 15th and the 18th centuries, the number of strings of the đàn tranh increased to fifteen and the instrument was called thập ngũ huyền cầm. In the 19th centuries, the đàn tranh with 16 strings appeared and had become the standard version until the late 1970s and early 1980s; the Vietnamese dan tranh, like the Japanese koto and Korean gayageum, is descended from the Chinese guzheng. The body of the đàn tranh is between 120 cm in length; the soundbox consists of a curved top plate, a flat bottom plate, six side-pieces. The top and bottom plates are made of Paulownia wood.
The side-pieces as well as the bridges, tuning pegs and the two small legs are made of hard wood. The movable briges have the shape of the letter V turned upside down, their sizes varies according to their position: The one for the lowest string is the largest; the higher their position, the smaller their size is. The strings are have varying diameters, they are tuned to the pentatonic scale. Performers wear picks made of metal, plastic, or tortoise-shell to pluck the strings; the standard version of the đàn tranh, or the đàn thập lục had 16 strings and had been used between the nineteenth century and the late 1980s. In the late 1950s, South Vietnamese master musician and instrumental designer Nguyễn Vĩnh Bảo began to design and construct instruments with 17, 19 and 21 strings. By the late 1980s, the 17-stringed đàn tranh has become the standard version of the instrument used throughout Vietnam. Larger instruments with 22, 24 and 25 strings have been made in the 1980s and 1990s. Performers pluck the strings with the right hand and bend the strings with the left hand to create a wide range of microtonal and tonal ornaments.
In traditional music, performers use 3 fingers to pluck the strings. In a number of new compositions, as many as four or five fingers may be used to pluck the strings. In these new works, the left hand may be used to enable the performer to play two simultaneous parts. "Khúc Ngẫu Hứng trên Hò Đồng Tháp / Inspiration on a River Song and performed by Đặng Kim Hiền on a 22-stringed đàn tranh designed and made by the late master instrumental maker Tín Thanh". Retrieved 2014-05-08. Gayageum Koto Se Traditional Vietnamese musical instruments Music of Tuan Hung. Dan Tranh Music of Vietnam: Traditions and Innovations. Melbourne, Tokyo: Australia Asia Foundation, 1998. ISBN 0958534306. Pham, Duy. Musics of Vietnam. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1975. Tran, Van Khe. La Musique Vietnamienne Traditionnelle. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962. Dan Tranh Video Phuong Nhung "The Sound of Vinh Bao". Retrieved 2008-06-08. Dead link
The yatug is a traditional Mongolian plucked zither, related to the Chinese guzheng. Yatga may vary in size and number of bridges and strings; the performer plucks the strings with the fingernails of the right hand. The left hand can be used to play the bass strings without plectrums. Depending on style the higher strings are picked by picks. Similar instruments include the Korean gayageum, the Vietnamese Dan Tranh, the Japanese koto, the Kazakh jetigen; the most common type of yatga in contemporary use is the twenty one-stringed version. This type of yatga is called "Master Yatga." The length of a full-size instrument is 63 inches. Shorter versions are pitched higher. A 13-stringed version is called "Gariin Yatga"; the strings are made either from horse hair or goose gut. The strings are tuned pentatonic; the most common tune is different tunes. Most Asian music is based on the Fa major or Si Bemole major, other common tunes are the Es Major; the yatga descended from the Chinese zheng. The twelve-stringed version was used at the royal court for symbolic reasons.
The commoners had to play on a 10-stringed yatga. The usage of the 12 or more stringed version was reserved for monasteries; the traditional Mongolian epic Janggar tells the story of a young princess who once played upon an 800-string yatga with 82 bridges. One end of the yatga is placed on the knees of the performer, the other end will be on the floor or will be put on a stand; some performers prefer to place the yatga on two stands. The instrument will be placed in a position that the higher strings are on the right and front side, all the strings will be plucked only on the right side of the bridges; the pitch of a string can be varied by moving the bridges. Because two notes are missing, there should be some space between the bridges of the E and G strings, some space between the A and C strings; the instrument is tuned by mechanics hidden on the right side of the yatga. After basic tuning, the instrument is fine-tuned by moving the bridges to either side; the player can vary the pitch or a note by one half tone or more when pressing down on the strings to the left of the bridges.
Besides western style musical scores, a number-based notation is in use in China and other countries. The highest note string gets the number 1, the following are numbered in an ascending order; the tune of string 1 should be Re if the CDEGA scheme is in use. The green strings are the A notes, it is possible to tune the yatga in 7 notes per octave, or 7 notes and 3 half notes