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Harmonizing Cultures: Gen Z Explore the Universal Language of Music

by moneylab


On March 30th, China Daily organized Youth Power, Season 3, Episode 10: Symphonic Fusion: A Global Harmony, showcased a remarkable collaboration of Gen Z musicians from around the world. Among the participants were youths from China, the United States, Russia, Italy, Cameroon, and more, who united to create a “cross-cultural concert.”

Performing amidst the beauty of early spring, musicians from China and abroad mesmerized audiences with Ascending the Spring Peak, a piece seamlessly blending Chinese poetry and scenery. Following this enchanting performance, the Gen Z guests delved into profound discussions on music, growth, the significance of music education, and cultural amalgamation.

Reflecting on their musical journeys, the guests shared personal anecdotes. Chen Shihua, a student from Peking University, emphasized the importance of her grandfather’s encouragement in her violin journey. Lv Wei, a Chinese violinist, expressed her passion for sharing music with others. Italian hornist Ludovico Maletti reminisced about how a casual visit to a local conservatoire sparked his music career.

Joseph Luke Chen, a Chinese-American trombonist, highlighted the correlation between talent and hard work, underscoring the necessity of perseverance in musical pursuits. The consensus among the guests was clear: musical excellence stems from dedication and self-motivation, rather than innate talent or external pressure.

The guests then explored the profound connection between music and culture, discussing representative instruments from their respective countries. Benjamin Essomba, representing Cameroon, praised the balafon for its rhythmic essence. Baidak Melissa, a Russian PhD student, highlighted the accordion as emblematic of Russian music. Dylan Walker, from the United States, celebrated the guitar’s versatility in American music. Meanwhile, the Chinese guests showcased instruments like the guqin, erhu, yangqin, and xiao, each with its unique ability to convey emotions and historical narratives.

Music, as a universal language, bridges cultural divides and transcends national borders, fostering empathy and communication among people. For instance, Dylan Walker’s favorite song, “Country,” eloquently expresses love for one’s homeland. Furthermore, Wang Zongnan, a student at Tsinghua University, shared a poignant experience of a visual symphony addressing environmental themes, illustrating music’s capacity to raise awareness and inspire action.

For many Gen Zers, music isn’t merely a hobby; it’s an inherent part of their identity. Joseph eloquently expressed, “Music chooses you,” resonating with the sentiment shared by other guests. They discussed how artistic expression is intrinsic to human nature, transcending basic needs and enriching our lives on a profound level.

Whether through the harmonies of a symphony or the exchange of ideas, Gen Zers are driven to bridge cultural gaps using the universal language of music.

Youth Power, organized by China Daily and first broadcast in June 2021, aims to build a global platform of communication and exchange, focusing on the interests and ideas of Generation Z. The program comes in the form of interviews, forums, and speeches, with topics related to anything of current interest in the world.

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