Twelve Girls Band

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12 Girls Band (simplified Chinese: 女子十二乐坊; traditional Chinese: 女子十二樂坊; pinyin: Nǚzǐ shí'èr Yùefǎng, sometimes abbreviated to 女樂 or 女乐) are an all female Chinese musical group that initially consisted of twelve members before the addition of a thirteenth. Twelve Girls Band use traditional Chinese instruments to play both traditional Chinese and Western music. Formed on June 18, 2001, the women were selected by audition from more than 4,000 contestants. Each woman is classically trained, and the band members come from various conservatories in the People's Republic of China (PRC), including the China Academy of Music, the Chinese National Orchestra, and the Central Conservatory of Music.[1]


Chinese numerology gave Wang Xiaojing the idea for the Twelve Girls Band.[citation needed] When Xiaojing decided he wanted to create a female ensemble, he knew it needed 12 members. Per Chinese mythology it is the twelve jinchai (12 hairpins) representing womanhood. For the new project, the women were inspired by the art of the yuefang, the ensembles who played in the Tang Dynasty courts during the years A.D. 618 to 907.

The group debuted their modern compositions on ancient instruments in China and Japan during the Northern summer of 2003. In Japan their debut album topped the charts for 30 weeks.[citation needed] Their debut album, entitled "Eastern Energy," was released in North America in August 2004 with cover versions of Coldplay's "Clocks" and Enya's "Only Time" included, and a massive television advertising campaign announcing the group's arrival.[2]

Among the instruments used by the women: erhu (Chinese fiddle), pipa (pear-shaped lute), guzheng (zither), yangqin (hammered dulcimer), dizi (transverse flute), and xiao (vertical flute). Occasionally, the duxianqin (single-stringed zither) and hulusi (three-piped gourd flute) are employed.


In July 2003, Beautiful Energy, their first album in Japan, reached the top of the J-pop chart. They won Japan Gold Disc Award in 2004.

The Twelve Girls Band toured in the United States in 2004 Miracles tour [3] and again in 2005.

On July 7, 2007 the Twelve Girls Band performed at the Chinese leg of Live Earth in Shanghai, and were accompanied by the Mexican folk singer Lila Downs. [4]

The Italian Soprano Giorgia Fumanti performed with the group in October and November 2007, on their North American tour. The tour traveled to the Midwest, and the East and West Coast areas of the USA and Canada.[5]

In 2008, the yangqin player, Ma Jingjing did concerts playing the yangqin and guzheng.[citation needed]

Members (by instrument)[edit]

  • Erhu (often referred as a "two-string fiddle")
    • Qin Zijing (秦子婧)
    • Shangguan Zhennan (上官振楠)
    • Yu Qiushi (于秋実)
    • Jin Jing (金晶)
    • Luo Pianpian (羅翩翩)
    • Jiang Jin (蒋瑾) – former member
    • Lei Ying (雷滢) – former member
    • Sun Ting (孙婷) – former member
    • Yin Yan (殷焱) – former member
    • Zhan Lijun (詹丽君) – former member
  • Pipa (a four-stringed instrument)
    • Shi Juan (石娟)
    • Zhong Bao (仲宝)
    • Zhang Shuang (张爽) – former member
    • Zhang Kun (张琨) – former member
  • Zhongruan (a plucked string instrument, a.k.a. "moon guitar")
    • Zang Xiaopeng (臧暁鵬)
  • Dizi (a traverse flute)
    • Chen Xuejiao (陈雪姣)
    • Sun Yuan (孙媛)
    • Liao Binqu (廖彬曲)
  • Yangqin (a hammered dulcimer)
    • Tian Chao (田超)
    • Sun Lili (孙莉莉)
    • Zhang Jing (张静)
    • Ma Yajing (马亚晶)
    • Ma Jingjing (马菁菁) – former member
    • Yang Songmei (杨松梅) – former member
  • Guzheng (a plucked zither)
    • Yu Qiuxuan (于秋璇)
    • Zhou Jiannan (周健楠) – former member
  • Duxianqin (a one-stringed plucked instrument)
    • Tang Xiaoyuan (唐小媛)
    • Lei Ying (雷滢) – former member


Studio albums (original works)[edit]

Studio albums (tributes and covers)[edit]

  • Red Hot Classics (CD, DVD and VCD, 2004)
  • Tribute to Wang Luobin (CD and DVD, 2004)
  • Merry Christmas To You (2005) – Christmas album published in Japan
  • The Best of Covers (2005) – Covers of mostly Japanese songs
  • White Christmas (CD and DVD, 2005)
  • Twelve Girls of Christmas (2005) – Christmas album published in the US

Studio albums (compilations)[edit]

  • Freedom (Greatest Hits) (2 CDs, 2004)
  • The Best of 12 Girls Band (2006) – Korean version available

Live albums[edit]

  • Kiseki/Miracle Live (CD, DVD and VCD, 2003)
  • Twelve Girls Band Live at Budokan Japan 2004 (DVD, 2004)
  • Journey to Silk Road (VCD, 2005)

Most of these CDs were released in different versions for in the USA, China, Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Korea. Please see the official individual album page for information on how the track list differs.

External links[edit]