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Major survey of storysinging and storytelling in China (cont'd)


In the first part of the book, the author outlines his definition of folk art narrative forms (quyi 曲艺), and discusses a classification of the many different regional genres. He theorizes on quyi to some extent. In the second part of the book, he presents thirteen representative genres of local storysinging and -telling, namely jingyun dagu 京韵大鼓 (Beijing drum songs), meihua dagu 梅花大鼓 (Plum Blossom Drum Songs), xihe dagu 西河大鼓 (West River Drum Songs), Jiaodong dagu 胶东大鼓 (Drum Songs from Jiaodong), Beijing qinshu 北京琴书 (Beijing story-telling), Shandong qinshu 山东琴书 (story-telling from Shandong), Henan zhuizi 河南坠子 (a type of storysinging from Henan accompanied by zhuizi fiddle plus foot percussion), Chaqu 岔曲 (another type of storysinging from Beijing, employing an eight-cornered framedrum), danxian pai ziqu 单弦牌子曲 (storysinging from Beijing, Tianjin and other parts of northern China, also employing an eight-cornered framedrum, and making use of qupai, fixed labelled melodies) Hebei shidiao 河北时调 and xiaodiao pai ziqu 小调牌子曲 (story singing genres from Hebei), Sichuan qingyin 四川清音, (storysinging from Sichuan), Yulin xiaoqu(榆林小曲)(narrative songs from Yulin in Shaanxi), and tanci 弹词   (narrative ballads from Suzhou and Shanghai). 


Yu Huiyong analyzes these genres, with detailed attention for differences in musical structure. He also discusses their sources, performance structures, accompanying instruments, tunings and the kind of scores (quben 曲本) used. The book includes 22 excerpts of narrative songs in music notation to introduce differences in style, idioms and form. above. The author intended this book as a useful reference source for both students and scholars at professional music schools, for composers and music theorists, for folk music researchers, and also for more general use in music education.

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