Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music in Wellington is celebrating the addition of a collection of traditional musical instruments from China by renaming one of its music rooms the Asia-Pacific Music Studio.
NZSM Director Euan Murdoch says the new name reflects the wider Asia-Pacific focus of the instruments in the room, previously called the “Gamelan Room”, for housing a Javanese gamelan on permanent loan from the Indonesian embassy for the past 40 years.
The latest addition to the room is a collection of Chinese string and percussion instruments.
Ethnomusicology lecturer Dr Brian Diettrich says the room immerses students in the culture, language, and customs of music of the Asia-Pacific region.
“These instruments give students the opportunity to look at music performance, sounds, and composition in different ways. For example in a gamelan ensemble performers swap instruments and play without sheet music. We want this model between music and culture to work with the new Chinese instruments, too.”
Additionally, the studio holds a collection of Māori instruments, as well as ones from the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and other areas.
Students studying throughout the University can use the instruments for research within classes, for demonstrations and workshops, and for performance learning.