City of Mu­sic

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by David Ball Edited by David Ball Pho­tos by Áron Süveg (Hun­gary), Fran­cois Nadeau (Canada), Li Rui, Paul Ch­es­ley, Trey Rat­cliff (U.S.), Yi Guoyue, Zhao Lei

The build­ings in Bei­jing have their own unique and beau­ti­ful rhythm, em­body­ing the un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the city's hu­man­is­tic qual­ity by its ar­chi­tects and plan­ners.

Build­ings are like the mu­si­cal notes of the earth; whilst mu­sic is the melody in peo­ple's souls. Every build­ing and group of build­ings in Bei­jing has its own unique and beau­ti­ful rhythm, em­body­ing the un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the city's hu­man­is­tic qual­ity by its ar­chi­tects and plan­ners.

Mu­sic is the art of in­ter­weav­ing time and space, through which peo­ple are able to tran­scend them­selves and find en­joy­ment. Although ar­chi­tec­ture is a spa­tial art, it also con­tains the com­po­si­tional struc­ture of mu­sic and a thrilling sense of melody. For ex­am­ple, the For­bid­den City in Bei­jing is built along a seven-li cen­tral axis pass­ing through the Zhengyang Gate, Up­right Gate, Merid­ian Gate and Taihe Gate to Taihe Hall, Baohe Hall, Zhonghe Hall and Jing­shan Hill. Along with over a dozen court­yards as well as hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent-sized halls, this spec­tac­u­lar se­quence of build­ings and spa­ces cre­ates a "gi­ant sym­phony."

The same is true for in­di­vid­ual build­ings or even cer­tain parts of build­ings. Those look­ing for mu­si­cal­ity in Bei­jing'sar­chi­tec­ture may find it in a dougong bracket, an over­hang­ing eave, an an­cient pagoda, or even in the city's si­heyuan court­yards. To­gether, these fea­tures com­bine to cre­ate a melo­di­ous song which ex­tols the essence of Bei­jing.

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