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Humanities and Science University Journal № 56 (Philology and Archaeology, World History, Art History), 2020

Liu Tianhua and his Contribution to the Development of Erhu Art

Fan Rong
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This paper introduces us to Liu Tianhua, who is a pioneer of the modernization 
and development of China’s traditional Erhu violin and music culture. His creative 
achievements are various: he created music for the reformed stringed instruments, 
including erhu, and his musical ideas and educational activities had a profound 
impact on the development   of China’s national music. Liu Tianhua’s music works 
are innovative and diverse, refl ecting the spirit and life of the people at that time. 
The heritage of the composer Liu Tianhua has become the benchmark for fur-
ther improvement in the performance technique of erhu. He laid the foundation 
for three development directions of Erhu Art: solo performance, instrumental 
participation in the orchestra, and superb skills in playing the erhu. Liu Tianhua 
opened up a new way for the scientifi c and standardized development of erhu. He 
was the fi rst to combine Western string music with traditional erhu music, thereby 
enriching the technique and expressiveness of erhu. Liu Tianhua was a leader in 
transforming the instrument itself and improving his score. All these have played 
a great role in the development of erhu performing art. Because of Liu Tianhua’s 
push forward, erhu performing art has become a subject of higher education, 
and enriched the live music of the Philharmonic Orchestra and overseas tour of 
China’s music culture.
Keywords: Liu Tianhua, erhu, traditional Chinese instruments, instrument modernization, performing technique.
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