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Chinese percussion instruments form an integral part of China's diverse and rich musical heritage, playing key roles in traditional music, opera, folk ensembles, and contemporary performances. This family of instruments is vast and varied, encompassing a wide range of sounds and playing techniques that contribute to the dynamic landscapes of Chinese music.

At the heart of Chinese percussion are instruments like the "dagu" (large drum) and "xiaogu" (small drum), which provide the foundational rhythm for many performances. The "dagu" is often used in Peking opera and folk music, its deep tones resonating to underscore dramatic moments or to lead the pace of the music. The "xiaogu," with its higher pitch, is frequently found in smaller ensembles, adding texture and rhythm.

Equally important are the cymbals and gongs, such as the "bo" (cymbals) and "luo" (gongs), which range from the small, sharp-sounding "xiaoluo" to the large and deeply resonant "daluo." These instruments are not just rhythmic elements but are also used to convey emotion and accentuate musical climaxes.

Another distinctive category includes the "bianzhong" (bronze bells) and "bianqing" (stone chimes), ancient instruments that were used in court and ritual music. Their melodic capabilities add a unique timbre and historical depth to the music.

Woodblocks, such as the "ban," and various types of shakers and scrapers, like the "shuiguzhu" (a bamboo tube filled with beads), add intricate rhythmic patterns and textures. These instruments are often used to mimic natural sounds and to create a lively atmosphere within the music.

The versatility and expressive power of Chinese percussion instruments lie in their ability to produce a wide range of sounds, from the subtle whisper of bamboo clappers to the thunderous roar of a large drum. They are not merely accompaniments but are central to the narrative and emotional expression in Chinese music, capable of evoking scenes from nature, stirring emotions, and bringing stories to life.

In both traditional settings and modern compositions, Chinese percussion instruments continue to evolve, integrating with other musical traditions and technologies to create new sounds and expressions. This adaptability and enduring appeal highlight the timeless relevance and cultural significance of Chinese percussion in the global music landscape.

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I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Percussion from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, after attending its affiliated secondary school. I began studying percussion at the age of eight under Professor Liu Guangsi from the Central Conservatory of Music. At twelve, I was admitted to the secondary school affiliated with the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, where I studied percussion performance under Professor Bai Yanghong.



Steven Zhang is a skilled drummer with expertise in various drumming styles including Jazz, Funk, Rock, Reggae, Fusion, and Latin. He has been pursuing his studies in Jazz Percussion at Monash University since 2014. In addition to his formal education, Steven has continued to learn from a drumming professor associated with Monash University through external lessons.

Within the university, Steven has studied a wide range of percussion instruments, both tuned and untuned, under the guidance of music faculty. He is proficient in music theory, having achieved Grade 5 in AMEB Music Theory. Steven's extensive performance background encompasses playing in ensembles, bands, and orchestras.

He also possesses a significant amount of teaching experience at various levels, including professional, beginner, and intermediate. His teaching approach is diverse, adapting different systems and techniques to cater to the learning styles and needs of his students.

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