Tue, Jan 22, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Community college makes music from scrap 化腐朽為神奇 環保樂器扣心弦

Lin Shu-ling, president of Hupu Community College, plays an erhu made from recycled materials in Changhua County on Jan. 17.

Photo: Chang Tsung-chiu, Liberty Times

Students at Hupu Community College in Changhua County are using recycled materials and modifying everyday supplies to come up with many kinds of eco-friendly musical instruments, and audiences are marveling at the gorgeous melodies that the unique instruments can make. People are constantly surprised that scrap metal can actually be used to create a variety of emotionally stirring music.

Lin Shu-ling, president of Hupu Community College, says that the school has wanted to form an extracurricular ensemble for some time, yet despite having plenty of people that wanted to play, they had no instruments to make music with, so they thought long and hard before finally deciding to make their own. Milk powder cans, discarded table legs, poles from leftover election flags, and recycled fabric are used to make erhu (Chinese fiddles), while frying pans and water jugs are used to make gongs and scrap plastic pipes are used to make flutes. Squeezable drink containers are used to make environmentally friendly hats to match the instruments. After much puzzling and assembly, the ensemble was successfully formed.

The members of the ensemble all have different vocations, while some actually have busking permits. They use instruments made from recycled materials to take people on a musical journey. Exemplifying ways in which recycling can relieve the heavy burden on the environment, they are also showing the public the mysteries of eco-friendly instruments, which can easily be used to play well-known pieces of music, saving money and being creative at the same time.

An ensemble member surnamed Lin says that buying a ready-made erhu and playing pop music is nothing new, but using an eco-friendly erhu made from a milk powder can is something quite extraordinary, and according to her observations, using eco-friendly instruments is something that grabs people’s attention.


1. stirring adj.

激動人心的 (ji1 dong4 ren2 xin1 de5)

例: She gave a stirring speech at the graduation ceremony.


2. vocation n.

行業 (hang2 ye4)

例: I’m an engineer by vocation, but playing music is my hobby.


3. ready-made adj.

現成的 (xian4 cheng2 de5)

例: The sleeves on this ready-made suit are a bit long.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)






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