Shanxi badatao


Shanxi badatao
Regional traditional ensemble music genre
Shanxi badatao is a local drumming and blowing instrumental genre which is popular in northern part of Shanxi province, around the counties of Wutai and Dingxiang. Because the repertory includes eight suites, this genre is called ‘eight great suites’ (badatao). The eight suites are: ‘Blue Sky’ (Qingtian), ‘Dressing Table’ (Banzhang tai), ‘Turning the Winch’ (Tui luzhou), ‘A Building with Twelve Floors’ (Shi’er ceng luo), ‘Swearing’ (Dama yulang), ‘Admonition’ (Zhenyan), ‘Gander’ (E lang) and ‘Golden Cup’ (Quan jinbei). A suite includes a prelude and three sections: slow, mid-tempo and fast. The slow section is called the ‘main piece’ (zhengqu), having two or more long labelled melodies. The second section is usually the variation of the opening and concluding phrases of the main piece. The third, called the ‘supporting piece’ (peiqu), is a semi-improvised section.
The badatao repertory includes sixty-one melodies originating from traditional instrumental pieces, folksongs, opera music and religious music. A band playing this genre is called ‘eight-tone association’ (Bayinhui) and usually includes two cylindrical double reeds, one shawm, one bamboo flute, two mouth-organs, and percussion (drums, gongs and cymbals). The genre is traditionally used for funerals and calendrical rituals, such as the New Year Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Ghost Festival in the fifteenth of the seventh lunar month, and at the ancestral offering ceremonies at the beginning of the tenth month. At the beginning of twentieth century, local Buddhist monks and Daoist priests learned the genre from the ‘eight-tone associations’ and currently use this genre in their religious ceremonies.
Miao, Tianrui, Ji, Liankang and Guo, Naian (eds) (1985). Zhongguo yinyue cidian [Dictionary of Chinese Music]. Beijing: Renming yinyue chubanshe.
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Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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