Cantonese music


Cantonese music
(Guangdong yinyue)
The term ‘Cantonese music’ (Guangdong yinyue) refers to the instrumental version of a genre called xiaoqu or ‘short songs’, which began in the Pearl River Delta as instrumental interludes during performances of Cantonese opera (see Yueju (Guangdong, Guanxi opera)) and narrative singing (quyi), and gradually merged with music from other regions in the early twentieth century.
Cantonese music is usually performed by small Silk and Bamboo (sizhu) ensembles of string and wind instruments, dominated by the Cantonese two-stringed fiddle (yuehu or gaohu). The music is fluid, natural and lively, often with flowery ornamentation and a wide ambitus or register between notes. The repertory, consisting of some five hundred tunes, keeps being enriched by musicians and composers who arrange existing tunes or compose new pieces.
Most notable is Cantonese music’s facility of adaptation to modern urban life.
In its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, it prospered in Hong Kong and in treaty ports such as Canton, Shanghai and Tianjin, and also among overseas Chinese communities, where it is still played today. Played as incidental music for operas or silent movies, or as music in dance halls, it has had broad commercial success, relayed by modern media and transmitted by amateurs practising in specialized societies. Cantonese music’s ability to assimilate Western and jazz instruments (including the saxophone and jazz rhythm section) and popular tunes, and to experiment, explains its continuing popularity. While some pieces composed in the 1930s and 1940s have been criticized by the current regime for their decadence, Cantonese music is largely supported by the authorities. Its orchestration has become a model for professional folk music in contemporary China.
ISABELLE DUCHESNE

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cantonese music — may refer to:*The music of Cantonese speaking peoples, especially the music of Guangdong, music of Hong Kong and music of Macau *Cantonese language music, especially Cantopop *A style of traditional instrumental music known as Guangdong music …   Wikipedia

  • Music of China — Timeline General topics Traditional Chinese instruments …   Wikipedia

  • Music of southern China — Music of China …   Wikipedia

  • Cantonese people — Edmund Ho poptime=70 100 million (est. worldwide)Fact|date=December 2007 popplace=China ( Guangdong , Guangxi , Hong Kong , Macau ), United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia langs=Cantonese +… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Guangdong — Music of China Timeline General topics Traditional Chinese ins …   Wikipedia

  • Cantonese (disambiguation) — Cantonese generally refers to people or things associated with a region around Guangdong Province of China.* Cantonese, or Yue Chinese, a language belonging to the Chinese language family. * Standard Cantonese, or Canton dialect, commonly spoken… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Vancouver — Music of Canada General topics Portal Genres …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Macau — Music of China Timeline General topics Traditional Chinese instruments M …   Wikipedia

  • Music FM Radio Guangdong — (Chinese: 广东电台音乐之声; literally Radio of Guangdong, Sound of Music ), which has an English moniker Music FM , is a music radio station on 99.3 FM in Guangdong, China. It is part of the Radio Guangdong network. External links Official Website… …   Wikipedia

  • Cantonese opera — Chinese pic=Vancouver Cantonese Opera Extravaganza 22May2005 11 crop.jpeg t=1. 粵劇 2. 大戲 3. 神功戲 j=1. jyut6 kek6 2. daai6 hei3 3. san4 gong1 hei3 p=1. Yuè jù 2. dà xì 3. shén gōng xìCantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.