Shandong guchui


Shandong guchui
Regional traditional ensemble music genre
Shandong guchui is a local drumming and blowing instrumental genre which is popular in the southwestern corner of Shandong province, surrounding the counties of Heze and Jijing. Its modern name is ‘drumming and blowing music of southwestern Lu’ (Lu xinan guchui). Lu was the ancient name for the province. The local people call these professional or semi-professional ensembles, which are composed of members of the same family, ‘drum music bands’ (guyue ban). Usually, the genre is used in ceremonies for weddings and funerals
The repertory includes traditional ‘labelled melodies’ (qupai) of the Yuan (1271–1368) and Ming (1368–1644) dynasties, melodies of folksongs and opera-mimicry (kaxi), and performances given by musicians who use double-reed instruments to imitate vocal music from local operas. There are three performing styles according to different leading instruments in the genre:
1 The leading instrument of the first style is shawm (suona), in a band of bamboo flutes, mouthorgans, cymbals, gongs and drums. This style can be divided into two types: (a) the band led by a single shawm is called dan dadi; (b) the band led by two shawms is called dui dadi, meaning paired suona.
2 The leading instruments of the second style are the cylindrical double reeds (shuangguan). The band includes shawm, bamboo flute, mouth-organ, a small gong called dangzi, and a temple block called ‘wooden fish’ (muyu).
3 The leading instrument of the third performing style is the bamboo flute. This band includes mouth-organ, small cymbals and wooden clappers called Bangzi.
Adding a ‘tassel’ (suizi) is the famous technique of this genre. The ‘tassel’ is a flamboyant improvisatory ostinato section employing short phrases, which revolve around several pivotal pitches. A’tassel’ is used at the end of a piece to create a climactic and humorous atmosphere. The most famous pieces of the genre are ‘One Hundred Birds Paying Respect to Phoenix’ (Bainiao ch chaofeng) and ‘A Flower’ (Yizhi hua).
Du, Yaxiong (1999). Zhongguo minzu qiyue gailun [An Outline of Chinese Instrumental Music]. Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe.
Miao, Tianrui, Ji, Liankang and Guo, Naian (eds) (1985). Zhongguo yinyue cidian [Dictionary of Chinese Music]. Beijing: Renmin yinyue chubanshe.
DU YAXIONG

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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