Traditional: Fishing Tune


Traditional Chinese tune arranged for strings/orchestra by Roman Benedict

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This popular traditional Chinese guqin tune has been beautifully arranged for string ensemble or for full orchestra. The string version was commissioned and first performed by Britten Sinfonia on their 2016 tour to China and in the UK, with the full orchestral setting toured by Sir Mark Elder with the Hallé Orchestra on their 2016 China Tour and broadcast on Chinese radio. This arrangement, in either orchestration, works well as an encore or as part of a concert programme (duration: approx. 3′), and is a popular tune with Chinese audiences.

渔歌调 can be translated as ‘Fishing Tune’, and极乐吟 can be translated as ‘Song of the Bliss’. The poem is broadly translated as:

The fisherman rests next to the mountain in the night;
he scoops the clear river water in the morning,
burning the bamboo to cook.
When the sun rises,
the fog is dropped away,
as well as the figure of the fisherman –
the sound of sculling greens the mountain and the water.
At the turn of a head,
the fish boat has drifted apart to the end of the sky;
while the clouds upon the mountain,
are playing around in the sky at will.

Excerpt from strings version

Excerpt from orchestral version


Strings ensemble: Strings (set comes with 5 vln1 parts, 4 vln2 parts, 3 vla parts, 3 vlc parts, 2 db parts)

Full Orchestra: / / T.1P(tam-tam) / strings (set comes with 8 vln1 parts, 7 vln2 parts, 6 vla parts, 5 vlc parts, 4 db parts)

Additional information

Weight 200 g
Dimensions 31 × 27 × 3 cm



Full Score, Set of parts and 2 scores


String Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra


3 minutes