As one of the expression forms and carriers of traditional national culture, intangible cultural heritage has always been receiving much attention. Both Chinese government and the international community are seeking a reasonable approach so that the cultural landscape and its value can be preserved to the greatest extent. Looking through the certificated intangible cultural heritage list, we found that traditional music occupy a significant proportion. Music, as one of human’s spiritual product, express human’s emotion and spiritual quality. Therefore, it has become one representative type of intangible cultural heritage.
Erhu, amongsuch various traditional musical intangible cultural heritages, was originated in Northern China while further developed in Wuxi City and by whom was declared and selected as one of the intangible cultural heritage list. Therefore, this paper focus on the research of the art of Erhu through theory analysis and field study and further explore the change of status along with specific protection measures. Based on reviewing the national principles concerning intangible cultural heritage protection, this paper puts forward constructive preservation and protection solutions. In conclusion, this paper come to the following results:
First, within recent ages, both the inclusive culture in Wu Area and the plentiful phonology in Wuxi City have strongly driven the development and spread of Erhu art in the south of the Yangtze River area. Till now, artists in Wuxi have improved the shape and structure, notation and play skills of Erhu one after another. During this period of time, key issues of development and institution of heritage were both solved and established. For example, in terms of Erhu manufacturing, the Mei village under Wuxi City has developed from chasing to leading. From this point of view, Wuxi City has provided a stable environment for Erhu development and has made significant contribution to the art of Erhu.
Second, within the context of intangible cultural heritage, the focus of the art of Erhu has transformed from music itself to cultural activities, and so is the content of the art of Erhu. Under such circumstance, it has become an urgent issue to balancing the relationship between preservation of traditional Erhu art and development of commercialization. It is essential to clarify the characteristics and value of the art of Erhu and the development of Erhu in Wuxi area has provided an excellent sample.
Third, after investigation of the art of Erhu through field work, the author has found that Wuxi City has effectively combined art, culture and industry so as to provide a cultural space for the art of Erhu. In this space, cultural representation was presented through aggregation effect and group identificat was achieved based on the mass basis. These characteristics has revealed the key function of cultural representa in establishing the space. Furthermore, they presented how the art of Erhu was developed and strengthened by group identification.
Fourth, considering the development dilemma and protection demand of the art of Erhu, the protection of intangible cultural heritage has revealed demand for practical specifications focusing on national principles of wholeness, truthfulness and inheritance. Therefore, an effective approach which is both reasonable and harmonious and traditional and creative is demanded so as to provide a reference for present preservation.
While sorting academic history, the author discovered that most academic achievements of Erhu art are constrained in the form of music or musical performance and are barely studied as intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, this paper will compensate the shortage in relevant researches to some extent and will provide a vivid field study for Erhu art development. Meanwhile, based on national preservation policies, this paper will further provide a reference for national preservation principles by exploring the research methodology and practical approaches for intangible cultural heritage, and overall, is of great significance for realizing the sustainable development of intangible cultural heritage.