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Traditional Quyi Art -- Fengyang Huagu

http://www.chinese.cn 10:30, November 10, 2010 chinaculture

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Fengyang Huagu
Fengyang Huagu

Fengyang Huagu (flower drum), also called Huagu Xiaoluo or Shuangtiao Gu, is a local Quyi genre in Fengyang County of East China's Anhui Province. It was formed along the Huahe valley in late years of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). At that time, Fengyang County was plagued by floods and draughts, and many people went out begging, singing Huagu. Thus, Huagu became a symbol of begging out of poverty at the first beginning.

Most performers of Fengyang Huagu were female and usually sisters-in-law sang together. During the performance, the two persons sang together while sitting on a bench and beat gongs and drums during interval of two sections without accompaniment of thread or string instruments. Later, Shuangtiaogu replaced Huagu, i.e. the performer holds a small drum in her left hand and beats it with a double-drum arrow in her right hand. Huagu artists brought back many kinds of folk songs and music from other places, and gradually enriched arias of Fengyang Huagu and developed several dancing and singing forms based on the Huagu tune. Fengyang Huagu does not have long traditional items, its materials are mainly love stories and singing style is relatively flexible. Fengyang Huagu is widespread and has certain influence on tunes and performing styles of Quyi arts in other places.

After China's reform and opening-up in 1979, Fengyang Huagu witnessed many changes in forms and contents. It became a tool of self-entertaining for people in Fengyang County and was more popular in townships. Beating the flower drum, dancing and singing integrated some skills of modern dances and the forms of Fengyang Huagu became more vivacious and diversified. Fengyang Huagu became more and more famous and its artists were invited to perform in countries such as Japan several times in recent years and won much recognition there.


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