Sat, Dec 03, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Teng Yu-hsien’s long lost music resounds at Bopiliao
失傳七十載 鄧雨賢舊作迴盪剝皮寮

Music collector Lin Tai-wei holds a microphone to an antique crank-operated phonograph playing the only 78rpm phonograph record known to exist of composer Teng Yu-hsien’s earliest work, March of the Daitotei, in Taipei’s Wanhua District on Monday.

Photo: Chiu Shao-wen, Taipei Times

Composer Teng Yu-hsien’s works, such as Su Kui Hong (Red Four Seasons), Bang Chhun Hong (Awaiting the Spring Breeze), and other popular Taiwanese folk songs, are still performed in Taiwan today. Organized by Teng’s grandson Teng Tai-chao, a series of events titled “Centennial, Encounter, Teng Yu-hsien” are taking place at the Bopiliao Historical Block in Taipei’s Wanhua District and will run through Dec. 18. The events commemorate Teng Yu-hsien’s legendary life and will include a phonograph record which was thought to be lost for more than seven decades. They promise to take audiences back to the 1930s, when Taiwanese popular music thrived.

Music collector Lin Tai-wei opened a press conference on Monday by playing the only surviving phonograph record in Taiwan of the then budding composer Teng Yu-hsien’s earliest work, March of the Daitotei. Hearing the music, considered lost for over seven decades, once more echoing around the Bopiliao Historical Block with the rustling sound of old phonograph records, was evocative of a bygone era.

Among the exhibits, publicly exhibited for the first time in their entirety, are Teng Yu-hsien’s valuable original scores, including the Sigh of Wild Flowers, composed for eight instruments, which is the most complete known set of scores of his work. There are 10 more original phonograph records, including Goat Ia Chhiu (Moon Night Melancholy), U Ia Hoe (Flowers in the Rainy Night), and A Red Egg.

Teng Tai-chao said that although Teng Yu-hsien was Hakka, he studied Hoklo during his time at Laosong Public School, and most of his works are Taiwanese folk songs with Hakka elements. Tai-chao hopes to keep his grandfather’s legacy alive through the exhibitions and to allow these beautiful melodies, which belong to all Taiwanese, to last forever.


1. thrive v.

盛行 (sheng4 xing1)

例: Wasps thrive in places where people leave trash lying around.


2. rustle v.

發出沙沙聲 (fa1 chu1 sha1 sha1 sheng1)

例: I asked the person in front of me in the movie theater to stop rustling his chocolate wrappers, as it was disturbing me.


3. evocative adj.

喚起…的;具感染力的 (huan4 qi3 … de5; ju4 gan2 ran3 li4 de5)

例: Smells can be very evocative and remind you of experiences you have had in the past.


For more information about Teng Yu-hsien and old records, there are to be two seminars on 78rpm phonograph records today and next Saturday at Bopiliao with many collectors sharing their stories about these old 78s. Also, there will be an open-air concert of Teng Yu-hsien’s classic songs performed by singer Emily Guan, composer and cellist Fan Tsung-pei, and others on Dec. 17.








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