CHIME Journal 20, 2016


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CHIME, journal of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, is a peer- refereed journal which appears once a year.

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CHIME Journal No 20 (2015) Editor: Frank Kouwenhoven Published July 2015 Leiden, The Netherlands


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CHIME, journal of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, is a peerrefereed journal which appears once a year. For subscription details and back orders, contact the P.O.Box 11092, 2301 EB Leiden, The Netherlands. Tel (+31–71) 5133974 or 5133.123 Fax (+31–71) 5123.183. E-mail: Website: Giro: 6255037, c/o Chime, Leiden. Bankers: MeesPierson, Postbox 749, Rotterdam, Holland, no. GENERAL BOARD Rachel Harris, SOAS London, UK David Hughes, Durham, UK Stephen Jones, London, UK Frank Kouwenhoven, Leiden, Holland Barbara Mittler, Univ. of Heidelberg, Germany François Picard, Paris IV Sorbonne, France Helen Rees, UCLA, USA Tan Hwee San, SOAS London, UK LIAISON OFFICERS Wang Hong, San Jose, USA Li Shuqin, Central Conservatory, Beijing, PRC Dai Xiaolian, Shanghai Conservatory, PRC Liu Hongchi, Shanghai Conservatory, PRC HONORARY MEMBERS Laurence Picken, Cambridge, UK Barbara Mittler, Univ. of Heidelberg, Germany BOOK REVIEW EDITOR Books for review should be sent to: Professor Helen Rees Department of Ethnomusicology 2539 Schoenberg Music Building 445 Charles E. Young Drive East University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90095-1657, USA Please also alert her by email ( CD & DVD REVIEW EDITOR CDs and DVDs for review should be sent to: Dr Shzr Ee Tan 17A Pemberton Gardens London N19 5RR, England Email: PROOFREADING Rita DeCoursey, Leiden Bi Yifei, Leiden Lorin Zhang, The Hague COVER DESIGN & LAY OUT Klaus Kuiper WEBMASTER Yung Lie EDITOR CHIME JOURNAL Frank Kouwenhoven ISSN 0926-7263 EDITORIAL BOARD Giovanni Giuriati, Cambodian Studies, Rome Georges Goormaghtigh, Sinology, Geneva Barend ter Haar, Sinology, Univ. of Oxford David Hughes, Durham, UK Stephen Jones, London, UK Xiao Mei, Shanghai Conservatory of Music Ulrike Middendorf, Sinology, Univ. of Heidelberg Barbara Mittler, Sinology, Univ. of Heidelberg Jonathan Stock, Ethnomusicology, Univ. of Cork Dai Xiaolian, Shanghai Conservatory of Music PHOTO CREDITS Allegri Scheffer (Sichuan opera star Zhu Qi) 68, 206 Catherine Capdeville 73, 74, 75, 76, 82 CHIME Archive 9, 10, 191, 194, 201, 203, 207 Shi Yinyun 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27 Marnix Wells 86, 100 Yang Xiao 106, 107, 113, 117, 120, 121 Zhang Boyu 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49 Front cover: Performer of Kam (Dong) ethnic songs, Guizhou, Southern China. (Photo: Yang Xiao).


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CHIME Journal No 20 (2015) Table of Contents From the Editor Shi Yinyun Zhang Boyu C.Capdeville-Zeng Marnix Wells Yang Xiao Li Pengcheng & Lu Yao The new Beethovens. 1 Interconnectedness in the Story House: Gesture and Interaction in Live Suzhou Ping-tan Performance 11 Inheritance of Faith: Yunnan Dongjing (religious scripture) performance in Datun 31 A Chengdu Field Research Report: The Lively ‘Torch Troupes’ of Sichuan Opera 69 The Drunken Dotard Refrain – A rhythmic Rosetta Stone 85 Dòngzú shèhuì jiégòu biànqiān yǔ gā lǎo gēchàng chuántǒng de bǎohù kùnjìng [Structural Changes in Dong Ethnic Society and the Preservation of Ga Lao (Kgal Laox) traditional songs] (in Chinese) 106 Shànghǎi yīnyuè xuéyuàn ‘dāngdài yīnyuè zhōu’ (2008~2014) [The Shanghai Conservatory of Music ‘Contemporary Music Week’ 2008-2014] (in Chinese) 141 Levi S. Gibbs Beth Szczepanski Tanya Merchant BOOK REVIEWS Keith Howard, ed. – Music as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Policy, Ideology and Practice in the Preservation of East Asian Traditions. 143 Stephen Jones – In Search of the Folk Daoists of North China. 147 Rachel Harris, Rowan Pease, and Shzr Ee Tan, eds. Gender in Chinese Music. 149


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Bell Yung Lu Hsin-chun (Hsin-chun Tasaw Lu) – Wèi tuìshǎi de jīnbìhuīhuáng – miǎndiàn gǔdiǎn yīnyuè chuántǒng de zàixiàn yǔ xiàndài xìng. [‘Unfaded Splendour: Representation and Modernity of the Burmese Classical Music Tradition’]. 150 Hong-yu Gong Tang Yating – Dìguó fēisàn biànzòuqǔ–shànghǎi gōng bùjú yuèduì shǐ (1879-1949). [Variations of Imperial Diasporas – A History of the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra (1879-1949)]. 153 Yuanzheng Yang Hyun Kyong Hannah Chang Koo Siu-sun and Diana Yue – Writings on the Theory of Kun Qu Singing. 158 Donna Lee Kwon – Music in Korea: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. 159 Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy Frank Kouwenhoven and James Kippen, eds. – Music, Dance and the Art of Seduction. 162 Tan Hwee San Helen Rees ed. – Lives in Chinese Music 167 Yao Hui Tian Qing – Chán yǔ lè [Zen and Music]. (in Chinese) 170 CD & Media reviews 177 Announcements 183 About the authors 213


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From the Editor F ro m t h e E d i t o r 1 The$new$Beethovens In$the$late$1980s,$socialist$China$suddenly$found$itself$at$the$heart$of$the$international$avant< garde$music$circuit.$Young$composers$discovered$Western$avant


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2 Chime 20 (2015) Given$the$enormous$investments$in$concert$life$and$in$music$education$in$China$in$the$ last$ few$ decades,$ and$ given$ the$ sheer$ numbers$ of$ people$ involved$ in$ academic$ music$ making$ and$ composing,$ one$ might$ have$ expected$ a$ very$ different$ outcome.$ There$ is$ no$ lack$ of$ creative$ talent$ in$ this$ vast$ country,$ and$ at$ least$ in$ theory$ the$ People’s$ Republic$ could$become$one$of$the$world’s$leading$nations$in$new$music.$But$this$has$not$happened.$ Chinese$works$retain$a$presence$in$the$avant


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From the Editor 3 of$ Buddhist$ worshippers,$ the$ battering$ on$ gongs$ and$ drums$ of$ village$ bands,$ and$ the$ intricate$ rhythms$ hidden$ beneath$ the$ deafening$ surface$ of$ that$ music,$ the$ special$ vocal$ colours$of$southern$dialects,$the$vocal$acrobatics$of$Sichuan$opera....$In$all$sorts$of$ways,$ Chinese$ native$ elements$ were$ incorporated$ in$ new$ compositions$ so$ that$ they$ became$ at$ once$ recognizably$ ‘Chinese’$ and$ –$ in$ their$ synthesis$ with$ French,$ German$ or$American$ avant


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4 Chime 20 (2015) of$genre’,$says$Guo$Wenjing,$head$of$the$Central$Conservatory$composition$department$in$ Beijing$since$2001.$‘Opera,$symphonic$music,$chamber$music,$for$Chinese$or$for$mixed$ Chinese


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From the Editor 5 road’$–$topics$which$refer$to$the$new$economic$development$plans$launched$by$China$in$ cooperation$with$a$‘belt’$of$Central$Asian$states.$ One$ could$ list$ further$ examples.$ Naturally,$ professional$ musicians$ in$ any$ kind$ of$ society$are$sometimes$recruited$for$state$purposes,$but$in$China$(and$in$various$other$Asian$ countries)$ this$ happens$ moreoften,$ and$ on$ a$ larger$ scaleM$ a$ basic$ assumption$ behind$ this$ is$that$the$primarily$role$of$artists$is$not$to$be$critical,$independent$observers$of$their$own$ society,$but$to$be$loyal$supporters$of$state$doctrine.$ Composers$of$repute$are$unable$to$escape$from$performing$‘state$duties’$from$time$to$ time.$There$is$less$pressure$on$younger$composers,$they$can$perhaps$stick$more$to$their$own$ artistic$agendas,$but$they$may$occasionally$be$tempted$to$join$composition$competitions$ everyone$to$dodge$cultural$conventions$and$explore$genuinely$untrodden$paths. Today’s$ artists$ may$ feel$ every$ bit$ as$ curious$ as$ their$ predecessors$ about$ little$ known$ rural$ music$ traditions,$ and$ how$ they$ could$ be$ incorporated$ in$ new$ compositions.$ Nevertheless,$ the$ familiar$ urge$ to$ take$ cues$ from$ traditional$ music$ now$ lacks$ the$ strong$ immediacy$which$it$had$in$the$1980s.$At$that$time,$memories$of$the$Cultural$Revolution$ and$of$massive$destruction$of$cultural$heritage$by$Red$Guards$were$still$fresh:$composers$ of$Tan$Dun’s$and$Guo$Wenjing’s$generation$became$fascinated$by$rural$music$mainly$for$ musical$reasonsM$the$performances$they$heard$in$the$countryside$were$vibrant$and$catchy,$ and$ were$ intimately$ and$ mysteriously$ linked$ with$ a$ remote,$ ritual$ past.$ Many$ of$ these$ ‘feudal’$ types$ of$ music$ fell$ victim$ to$ violent$ political$ rejection$ during$ the$ Maoist$ years.$ There$had$been$so$much$destruction,$so$much$lack$of$understanding,$that$perhaps$the$time$ was$now$ripe$for$a$reappraisal$of$all$these$traditions:$one$needed$to$understand$them$on$ their$own$terms,$before$one$could$hope$to$explore$their$musical$potential$for$possible$use$ experience$ with$ rural$ village$ music:$ they$ could$ work$ directly,$ and$ for$ extended$ periods,$ with$the$villagers$who$produced$it. But$such$experiences$are$not$so$readily$available$any$more$to$young$composers$who$ study$at$today’s$conservatories.$If$they$employ$traditional$elements$in$their$music,$it$may$ not$be$so$much$in$ $of$state$propaganda,$but$(more$often$than$not)$in$support$of$it.$ Traditional$culture$has$become$a$political$commodity,$a$tool$in$the$state’s$attempts$to$secure$ nationalist$cause.$‘Intangible$Cultural$Heritage’$projects$are$now$massively$promoted,$so$ much$so$that$almost$every$adult$in$the$People’s$Republic$knows$the$meaning$of$this$term$ –$a$triumph$of$state$propaganda.$ But$ the$ vast$ majority$ of$ China’s$ traditional$ music$ genres$ function$ meaningfully$ only$ within$ a$ regional$ context,$ and$ are$ wholly$ unsuitable$ as$ ‘national$ music’.$They$ are$ rarely$shown$on$television,$because$TV$directors$see$little$credit$in$them,$except$perhaps$ as$occasional$‘colourful$oddities’$in$song$competitions.$How$could$this$music$ever$serve$ to$unite$the$nation?$Any$‘national$music’$derived$from$such$regional$genres$would$need$ to$ be$ a$ newly$ invented$ tradition,$ something$ shaped$ by$ urban$ composersM$ it$ would$ have$ to$ be$ fairly$ plain$ and$ straightforward,$ and$ pop


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6 Chime 20 (2015) The$ idea$ of$ ‘songs$ for$ the$ masses’$ evidently$ runs$ counter$ to$ any$ notion$ of$ avant


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From the Editor 7 in$ China$ is$ rare,$ although$ last$ year’s$ initiative$ of$ a$ summer$ course$ on$ music$ criticism,$ carried$out$at$the$Central$Conservatory$in$Beijing,$has$led$to$some$lively$discussion$and$to$ an$increasing$number$of$critical$reviews$appearing$in$music$journals$and$on$the$internet. There$are$few$ensembles$in$China$which$specialize$in$contemporary$music$(even$the$ respected$Ensemble$Eclipse,$founded$by$Ye$Xiaogang$in$Beijing,$only$plays$during$festivals$ and$special$projects),$and$established$composers$need$to$rely$on$foreign$publishers,$such$ as$ Schirmer,$ Billaudot,$ Ricordi$ or$ Sikorski,$ to$ print$ and$ distribute$ their$ music.$ Chinese$ conservatories$have$their$own$publishing$facilities,$but$take$on$too$little$newly$composed$ music.$Concert$rehearsals$in$China$frequently$turn$into$struggle$sessions,$since$academically$ trained$musicians$–$though$highly$skilled,$technically$probably$even$better$equipped$than$ the$previous$generation$–$tend$to$be$put$off$by$very$complex$rhythms$and$other$demanding$ aspects$of$contemporary$scores.$Most$conservatory$musicians$in$the$PRC$still$get$only$a$ very$limited$exposure$to$new$music,$and$spend$too$little$time$rehearsing$and$playing$it.$The$ vast$majority$of$new$pieces$are$premiered$during$competitionsM$virtually$every$established$ Chinese$composer$now$hosts$a$competition$of$his$ownM$the$music$conservatories$are$the$ most$active$concert$locations,$but$new$music$gets$limited$exposure$outside$these$places.$ contemporary$music. But$after$all$these$gloomy$facts,$let’s$return$to$the$bright$side$of$things.$Music$groups$such$ as$Jia$Guoping’s$Ensemble$Contempo$and$Liu$Shun’s$Forbidden$City$Chamber$Orchestra$ sometimes$ work$ miracles,$ offering$ concerts$ of$ high$ quality,$ and$ presenting$ works$ of$ genuine$interest.$The$modern$music$festivals$in$Beijing$and$Shanghai$sometimes$present$ splendid$programmes,$with$both$foreign$and$Chinese$performers$and$new$repertoire.$And$ admittedly$there$is$now$something$of$an$expert$audience$for$new$Chinese$music,$although$ the$public$of$the$1980s$and$90s$in$China$tended$to$be$more$curious$–$$probably$also$more$ likely$ to$ get$ surprises$ –$ than$ their$ counterparts$ today.$ Concerts$ of$ $ music$ (‘new$ wave$music’,$as$it$is$called$in$China)$have$become$a$respectable$habit,$albeit$without$the$ highly$ complex$ and$ cacophonic$ pieces,$ which$ make$ great$ demands$ on$ listeners,$ though$ not$exactly$popular,$can$now$reckon$with$polite$applauseM$of$creative$newcomers$listed$in$ concert$programmes,$a$handful$have$managed$to$carve$out$national$or$international$careers$ of$any$stature.$They$help$to$keep$new$Chinese$music$vibrant$and$strong,$and$may$yet$set$ in$motion$a$second$‘new$wave’. Jia$Guoping$ $(b.1963)$and$Qin$Wenchen$ $(b.1966,$of$Korean$descent)$ Dun’s$generation$and$to$make,$with$technically$sophisticated$works,$a$more$lasting$impact$ in$ China$ and$ abroad.$ Both$ studied$ in$ Germany$ (with$ Nicolaus$ Huber$ and$ with$ Helmut$ Lachenmann,$ respectively)$ and$ then$ returned$ to$ China.$ In$ a$ way,$ their$ position$ is$ little$ enviable,$because$they$had$to$try$hard$to$emerge$from$the$pioneers’$shadows,$and$could$not$ reckon$with$the$element$of$surprise$which$gave$their$predecessors$such$quick$recognition.$ If$they$had$been$born$a$decade$earlier,$they$would$clearly$have$been$counted$among$the$ frontrunners$ of$ new$ Chinese$ music,$ sharing$ their$ distinction$ and$ fame.$ But$ the$ quality$ of$ their$ works$ is$ consistent,$ and$ certainly$ high$ enough$ to$ win$ them$ great$ esteem$ among$


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8 Chime 20 (2015) present


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From the Editor 9 He$detects$‘gradual$progress’$in$art$and$culture$in$China,$but$also$signals$major$problems:$ ‘The$very$notion$of$‘art’$is$actually$an$alien$concept$in$Chinese$culture.$Art$with$a$critical$ Chinese$ artists:$ many$ are$ too$ afraid$ of$ what$ others$ will$ say,$ and$ too$ keen$ to$ earn$ public$ approval.’4$This$problem$is$also$recognized$by$critical$minds$inside$China.$During$a$recent$ composition$ competition$ –$ as$ witnessed$ by$ Dutch$ composer$ Joel$ Bons,$ who$ was$ in$ the$ us!$Follow$your$own$way!’$ Some$young$composers$do,$and$under$the$present$circumstances,$it$is$no$less$than$a$ miracle$ that$ they$ manage$ to$ accomplish$ it.$ Some$ turn$ to$ music$ at$ a$ precocious$ age,$ and$ no$ longer$ necessarily$ rely$ on$ classical$ Chinese$ literary$ or$ philosophical$ themes$ for$ their$ inspiration.$ For$ example,$ Wang$ Erqing$ Fifth$River$Awards$Composition$Competition$in$Shanghai$for$his$piece$ $ on$the$effects$of$global$warming.$The$15



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