2012 CE Scholastic Competition – Knowledge Bowl Study Guide
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2012 CE Scholastic Competition – Knowledge Bowl Study Guide. I. ART & MUSIC. 1. In addition to using cymbals in action scenes, what musical instrument is usually used to accompany performances of Beijing Opera?.

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2012 CE Scholastic Competition – Knowledge Bowl Study Guide

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2012 CE Scholastic Competition – Knowledge Bowl Study Guide


1. In addition to using cymbals in action scenes, what musical instrument is usually used to accompany performances of Beijing Opera?

  • Orchestra band and percussion band. The former frequently accompanies peaceful scenes while the latter often follows scenes of war and fighting. The commonly used percussion instruments include castanets, drums, bells and cymbals. The orchestral instruments are mainly composed of the Erhu, the Huqin, the Yueqin, the Sheng (reed pipe), the Pipa (lute) and other instruments.

2. In Beijing Opera, what type of character does a performer who has a prominent white patch on the nose depict?

  • A clown (a white face symbolizes a sinister role's treachery and guile; a green face describes surly stubbornness, impetuosity and lack of self-restraint.)

3. Of the various face colors used to portray different types of characters in Beijing Opera, which is used to depict a character who is loyal and brave?

  • A red face usually depicts the role's bravery, uprightness, and loyalty.

4. In Beijing Opera, which face color is used to depict a character who is a powerful villain?


5. What information is normally provided by the colophons or inscriptions written, often in poetic form, on many Chinese hanging scrolls, particularly on those by the most famous artists?

Colophons provide important information about the history of the artwork and how it and the artist were regarded. These writings could be by the artist, the recipient, or later admirers of the work.

6. The century and a half of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126) is often equated culturally with which period in European history?

The Renaissance.

7. Which characteristic of Medieval European painting is not typical of Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) landscape painting in China?

  • Concentration of religious themes

8. What information is provided in the seal impressions that are often found in red ink of Chinese painted scrolls?

  • The names of the painter and the collectors, as well as the office that commissioned the work.

9. Why did paintings in black ink, instead of color, dominate the Chinese painting tradition for many centuries?

  • Color was thought to appeal to the senses rather than the mind.

10. Why is Li Bai, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, often referred to as a “romantic poet”?

  • His language was colorfully exaggerated and imaginative.

11. What qualities of rocks do Chinese gardeners normally use to represent miniature mountains and objects of contemplation?

  • Highly irregular, eroded surfaces.

12. In Chinese calligraphy, four tools are collectively called the Four Treasures of the Study. What are the four tools?

  • Writing brush, paper, ink stone, and ink plate.

13. The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. In what city were they found?


14. Who was the director of the internationally acclaimed films Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Raise the Red Lantern, and To Live?

Zhang Yimou

15. Who is the first Asian film director to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director?

Ang Lee (李安)

16. What do most Chinese do on Chinese New Year’s Eve?

  • Get together with families for that year’s last dinner and stay up past midnight.

17. What do most Chinese do on Chinese New Year’s Day?

  • Wish relatives and close friends a prosperous year.

18. Chinese New Year lasts 15 days. What is the last day of Chinese New Year called?

  • Lantern Festival (元宵節) that occurs on January 15 of the lunar calendar.

19. May 5 of the lunar calendar is an important Chinese festival. What is the festival called?

Duanwu Festival (端午節), otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival

20. Where did the name “china”, as in plates, spoons, dishes, cups, and bowls, come from?

Changnan (昌南). The old name of Jingdezheng is Changnan (昌南), which sounds like “China”. Jingdezheng is one of the most famous places for their porcelain in China. In the 18th century when European visited Jingdezheng in Jiangxi province, they were astonished by how exquisite the porcelains were. Back then Jingdezheng was also called Changnan. Thereafter European started calling porcelain “china”.

21. Some people say that Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy have the same source. Why?

  • Because Chinese words/characters have strokes that need to be placed properly in order to be well presented. Namely, they look like paintings.

22. Where is the official Chinese imperial art collection housed?

Taipei, Taiwan. The collection is housed in the National Palace Museum (國立故宫博物院), and was taken to Taipei by Chiang Kai-shek between 1933 and 1949. The National Palace Museum and Palace Museum, located inside the Forbidden City in China, share the same original roots, which were split in two as a result of the Chinese Civil War.

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