RCTCO develops Hong Kong’s first-ever app on Yueju

During the press conference, Professor Leung Bo-wah, far right, and Dr Leung Chi-hin, far left, discuss with in-service teachers their experiences of using the app for teaching during its trial stage.

RCTCO Director Professor Leung Bo-wah introduces the features of “Yueju Accomp” at a press conference on 18 March, 2023.

Audience members try out the app and perform “Fragrant Sacrifice” together.

The Research Centre for the Transmission of Cantonese Opera (RCTCO) introduced its newly developed iPad application, “Yueju Accomp”, at a press conference on 18 March. The app was developed by RCTCO Director Professor Leung Bo-wah and Dr Leung Chi-hin, Assistant Professor from the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts (CCA), with support from the EdUHK iTech Fund. “Yueju Accomp” helps to create musical accompaniments for Cantonese opera. It has been granted a patent by the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department.

Professor Leung, also a CCA professor, said he hoped the user-friendly innovation would help the public to better understand Cantonese opera, and for Cantonese opera to reach a wider audience. He also expressed his wish for the app to function as a Cantonese opera music teaching platform for universities and local schools.

Most of the instrument sounds in “Yueju Accomp” were produced by professional musicians from live studio recordings, resulting in high-quality sound. The app also enables users to manipulate sounds and notes with multi-touch gestures on a tablet, using an Expression Grid. Ten default scores have been preloaded into the app, and users can also import their own PDF scores. Twelve types of melodic instruments and 14 types of percussion instruments, along with five modes and scales, are available.

Professor Leung said that RCTCO strives to popularise the traditional art form among new and young audiences by releasing technological inventions that help audiences appreciate Cantonese operas more, conducting studies and surveys, and organising seminars and training workshops. The centre also aims to cultivate quality audiences who will truly appreciate Cantonese opera performances.