In common with other types of oriental music, Chinese music is based on melodies. This collection of pieces for violin and orchestra contains arrangements of famous erhu music, traditional melodies and Southern silk and bamboo music, The erhu is an old bowed string instrument, of Turco-Mongolian origin. It has developed a rich repertoire, influenced to some extent in the present century by the occidental violin. The technical possibilities of the erhu, however, are limited by the fact that it has only two strings, without a finger-board, the bow being inserted between the strings. The neck is often ornamented at the top, and the hexagonal or sound resonator, held on the knee, has one end covered with snakeskin.
While the erhu lacks the technical range of the violin, its repertoire is accessible to the violinist. The present recording makes use of Western notions of rhythm, harmony, melodic decoration and development, the original translated into new modes of interpretation.