Chaozhou-Hakka sixian


Chaozhou-Hakka sixian
regional traditional music genre
Chaozhou-Hakka sixian refers to a genre of music common to both the Chaozhou and Hakka Chinese subcultures inhabiting the contiguous areas centred respectively in the cities of Shantou and Dabu in eastern Guangdong province. It is typically performed in an intimate indoor setting on an ensemble comprised largely of untempered plucked and bowed string instruments—hence the term sixian (silk strings)—as opposed to the balanced combination of wind and string instruments collectively known as Silk and Bamboo (sizhu). Occasionally, three small percussion instruments and a vertical bamboo notched flute are added.
The genre is likewise defined by a small core repertoire of pieces based on ancient melodies (e.g. Zhaojun yuan) as well as shorter stock tunes (e.g. Liuqingniang) also known in other parts of China. However, a complex system of modes, certain melodic and rhythmic motifs and techniques of ornamentation, and the manner and the extent to which the melodies are subjected to different types of variation in performance distinguish Chaozhou-Hakka sixian from other regional string ensemble music styles.
Since 1980, with the reopening of music clubs and other traditional presocialist sites for this music, Chaozhou-Hakka sixian has been flourishing again. In some counties of eastern Guangdong, there are a dozen or more clubs devoted to this music within a ten-mile radius. Playing a key role in its revitalization are Chaozhou and Hakka Chinese overseas whom the government is wooing with tax incentives as well as ethnic and nostalgic appeals to invest in the mainland. Higher levels of income and the increasingly open sociopolitical atmosphere today are undoubtedly contributing factors.
See also: string ensemble
Dujunco, Mercedes M. (1994). Tugging at the Native’s Heartstrings: Nostalgia and the Post-Mao ‘Revival’ of the Xian Shi Yue String Ensemble Music of Chaozhou, South China. Ann Arbor: UMI.
MERCEDES M.DUJUNCO

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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