Blue Orchid Flowers on the Flowing Water

for solo harp (2022)

Solo Part

by Fang Man


SKU: MF-SI008 Category: Tag:



12 min


Anna Dunlap, Harp


Commissioned by Intersection’s LISTEN project and National Endowment for the Arts.



Program Notes

For this piece, I adopted two popular Chinese folk melodies: the folksong Blue Orchid Flowers from the Northern Shaanxi province in the first part. The song praises a rebellious woman in the feudal era whose name is Lan Huahua (the Blue Orchid Flowers). In Western culture, the blue flower symbolizes desire, love, hope and beauty.

In the second part, I adopted an ancient Guqin masterpiece High Mountain and Flowing Water 高山流水, which is transcribed for the harp and associated with a famous story:

According to Qin Shi, “Bo Ya was a famous musician from the Spring and Autumn period, who was good at playing the Guqin (plucked seven-string zither). Zhong Ziqi was good at listening to the qin. When Bo Ya’s will was towards high mountains in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, ‘How towering like Mount Tai!’ When Bo Ya’s will was towards flowing water in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, ‘How vast are the rivers and oceans!’ Whatever Bo Ya thought of Ziqi would never fail to understand. Bo Ya said, ‘Amazing! Your heart and mine are the same!’ When Ziqi died, Bo Ya broke the strings [of his qin] and vowed never to play it again. Thus, there was the melody of High Mountains Flowing Water.”

-Fang Man April 2022