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15:44 Dec 20 2009

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Music, love of life for young Tibetans
15:43, December 20, 2009  


Valara, the first Tibetan rock band in China, performs in the 6th Beijing Music Festival, Oct. 3, 2005. (Xinhua Photo)


To pursue their love for music, Tenzin Namgyai and another four college students of the Nyingchi Agriculture and Animal Husbandry College in southeastern Tibet, used their tuition secretly to buy a guitar, a bass, a drum and other musical instruments.

They then sang in the bars in Nyingchi and later paid their tuition with the money they had made from their performances, said Tenzin Namgyai.

The story took place in 2004. Without professional music training or musical instruments, the five music fans set up a band named "Tibetan mastiff" with their pure love for music.

After graduation, all the band members found full-time jobs and it was only in their spare time that they could get together to sing in bars or share their understanding of music and talk about their future.

To them, music has roots in an ethnic group but should not be confined by it. With that unique perspective, the band is freer, easier, more tolerant and opener compared with other ethnic bands in the region.

Tenzin Namgyai and his fellow band members also used musical instruments from other ethnic groups in their performances. For example, the famous horse head string instrument of the Mongolian ethnic group and the terz guitar, a six-string instrument played mainly by the Uygurs in China's Xingjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

With their innovation and various ethnic elements in their music, the band won so much praise at the third Tibet Modern Music Festival held in last August that many bars in Lhasa began to invite them to perform.

Though the band made only 300 yuan (43.95 U.S. dollars) to 400 yuan (58.6 dollars) for one-night performance, Tenzin Namgyai said money was not the most important thing for them.

"We're quite satisfied as long as we can sing," he said simply.

Construction of their studio in Lhasa is nearing completion and soon they can exchange their ideas about music with other musicians and create more diverse music.

Source: Xinhuanet

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