bayinhui


bayinhui
Traditional music ensemble
Bayinhui (eight-tone associations) is a term used in many parts of China to refer to a variety of ensemble types, most of which serve ritual and ceremonial functions. Eight-tone associations may comprise combinations of wind and string instruments, as is the case in northern Shanxi, or mixed groupings of wind, string and percussion instruments, as is the case in much of Guangdong. In some rural regions of China bayinhui are formed by groups of villagers for self-cultivation and entertainment. Across wide areas of China, weddings, funerals and other events have been traditionally marked by bayinhui performances.
The repertoire of bayinhui is frequently related to that of regional opera, reflective of a widespread interpenetration of opera and ritual in China.
In rural parts of the Pearl River Delta near Guangzhou there is a long history of unstaged Cantonese operas being performed by eight-tone associations, particularly in conjunction with ritual events. Usually opera repertoire, when used, is adapted to particular ritual contexts.
The significance of bayin performance must also be understood in terms of sponsorship. In regions of the Pearl River Delta funeral custom dictates that bayin ensembles, known in the region as bayinban (eight-sound bands), be hired by familial and social sectors as tributes to the deceased. In Taishan, just west of Guangzhou, there are instances of multiple ensembles being hired for a single funeral.
Jones, Stephen (1995). Folk Music of China: Living Instrumental Traditions. Oxford: Clarendon.
JAMES DALE WILSON

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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