The newest work on the program at the DaPonte String Quartet’s benefit concert at the Walpole Meeting House on Sunday recreated the oldest. 

The “Song of the Ch’in” by Zhou Long (b. 1953) echoes the oldest written music for a stringed instrument, consisting not of a score but of instructions for the placement of the fingers on the strings to produce each note.

The quartet reproduced an authentic-sounding rendition of melodies for the Ch’in, the instrument of scholars and sages, without the usual cliches.

The program began with an arrangement for string quartet of an “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson (1899-1984), written for the opening of the Tanglewood Music Festival and still performed there.  

Christopher Hyde is a writer and musician who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at:

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Look for the full review in the Portland Press Herald.