Fisherman’s Nocturne: the Longest Running TV Background Music
Full length quartet version
“Fisherman’s Nocturne (渔舟唱晚)” is a Guzheng music that was adapted by Lou Shuhua from ancient piece “Returning Home (归去来)”, and it is also said to be adapted by Jing Zhuonan from traditional Guzheng music “Double Board (双板)” from Shandong province.
The first half of current widespread Lou’s version is the same as Jing’s version, while the latter part of Lou’s version is its unique piece. This music is the most widely spread and the most influential Guzheng solo in China since 1930s.
Its title was taken from “Teng Wang Ge Xu” written by the Tang Dynasty poet Wang Bo. With graceful and elegant melody, soothing rhythm, this music depicts the lively scene that at the moment when lakes and mountains are beautiful under sunset, fishermen are full of the joy of harvest, paddling boat home. It shows the composer’s praise and love to the beautiful mountains and rivers of our motherland.
Because of its graceful melody and upbeat mood, it is adapted by many famous musicians for gaohu, erhu, violin, etc. and various forms of solo, chamber, ensemble. And it’s favored by the audience at home and abroad.
After listening to “Fisherman’s Nocturne” a foreign harp player appreciated it and said this song is a “world famous oriental flavor”, and he adapted it for harp.
The original Guzheng version of “Fisherman’s Nocturne” has a melodious tune. Those adapted stringed instruments versions have another kind of charm and beauty since they have a more coherent and clear melody.
CCTV Weather Forecast Background Music – “Fisherman’s Nocturne”
In 1984, China Central Television (CCTV) selected a section and made a seamless connection from 1’43” to 2’48” from Pu Qi-Zhang’s electronic music version “Fisherman’s Nocturne”. From then on, it became the background music in CCTV Weather Forecast, and has been loved by Chinese people ever since. As the most familiar music of 1.3 billion people and constant running for twenty-six years as background music, it is perhaps the world’s longest running TV program background music.
When then-well-known-in-Shanghai keyboard player Pu Qi-Zhang adapted and played the music with his “Yamaha” three-row concert keyboard, he never expected that this song would become the gold background music in prime-time TV program, not to mention it would affect so many people.