The word “music” comes from the Greek language, meaning “the art of muses”. As a form of art where the medium is sound, this “art of muses” crosses all cultures with impunity, although it wasn’t always so. During the Renaissance the Augmented 4th chord was called “diabolus in musica” or “chord of the devil” and was banned by the church. More recently, let’s not forget the beginnings of rock and roll and its controversial introduction into the mainstream. We have obviously matured in our acceptance of all music but our cultural preferences, one of the byproducts of the strength of music in culture, still sometimes holds us back from the enrichment of a newly introduced sound coming from afar.
Music enthusiasts in the city all know of the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival coming up next month with entertainers like Jill Barber and Bobby McFerrin. This rich contribution by African-Americans originated well over a hundred years ago in the United States and further redefined itself over time via American Country, Brazilian Bossa Nova and European classical music, just to name a few of the influences which make it what we hear today.
Yet another festival happening this month, as diverse in musical styles as any of our present festivals, is the Sound of Dragon Music Festival. This cross cultural festival originating with Chinese music seeks to accomplish two goals: preserve heritage, not just Chinese, as well as embracing innovation as you will see for yourself when attending some of the no fewer than 18 concerts from traditional Chinese music and many more of our unique musical genres.
The Sound of Dragon Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Jazz Festival or even the seasonal regularity of the Vancouver Symphony are all a wonderful mix of cultural values and emotions originating in one place, and ending up in many others; sometimes the same and sometimes just a little different, but certainly something to muse about. ■

Harry van Hemmen, Publisher
Boulevard Chinese magazine

將於2014年5月9至11日假圓屋社區中心(Roundhouse Community Centre)舉辦的「龍吟滄海音樂節」,稟持承襲傳統、追求創新的精神,展現華人傳統樂器的多元風貌。東、西樂器同台獻藝,演繹傳統民俗和古典樂、當代原創作品、爵士樂、世界音樂、即興實驗音樂等,在保存、宣揚傳統文化精髓的同時,也改變一般民眾對傳統樂器的刻版印象。

Lan Tung, Artistic Director
Sound of Dragon Music Festival