Analyses and Interpretations of Chaozhou music: The Case of The Lion Playing with a Ball - Standardization and Professionalization of Folk Tradition
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AbstractMany statements about Chinese music are interpretive and analytical, identifying and explaining specific features in particular musical genres. I believe the analysis of Chinese music affords a deeper understanding and appreciation. Initially attracted to the Lion Playing Ball by its sheer vivid and melodious characters, I discovered this music may be correlated to formulate an ethno-analytical view in understanding recent musical developments in Chinese music from a regional perspective. Drawing from an ethnographic research, I focus on the performances by a local Chaozhou group, known as the music division of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Merchants Mutual Assistance Society Limited.

Musically and linguistically, mainstream Hong Kong is part of a regional system extending from the neighboring province of Guangdong. The Chaozhounese, originate from Guangdong province, and their role in Hong Kong’s musical daily life is a relatively prominent one, including performing xinshi (“string poem” ensemble), big gong and drum, and Chaozhou opera. I was intrigued by the piece, the Lion Playing Ball, as it is clarified as a “new composition” in a latest published handbook, Popular Chaozhou Xianshi (2016). What is “new” means to Chaozhou musical tradition? How “new compositions” is perceived by musicians? Through comparison of different recordings and notated scores which I recorded and collected from Chaozhou musicians in Hong Kong, I demonstrate how a “new composition” is developed from old or existing xinshi elements. A variety of analytical approaches are also employed to analyze this piece. I explore the instrumentation, modal, and motivic features. Form and rhythm are discussed in relation to the piece as a whole, revealing how variations and large-scale phrases are formulated. By exposing the local style of Chaozhou music, my paper provides a tool to analyze non-Western music.
All Author(s) ListSit Fung Kwan
Name of Conference21st International CHIME Conference
Start Date of Conference09/05/2018
End Date of Conference13/05/2018
Place of ConferenceLisbon
Country/Region of ConferencePortugal
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-25-06 at 16:33