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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
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Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
A Miracle in Southern Hubei — Chongyang Tiqin Drama 09-06-30

  Tiqin Drama is named for its main instrument, which is called Tiqin. Tiqin has a short pole and a long tube, its axle likes Banhu, which is a bowed two stringed instrument with a thin wooden soundboard, its tube likes Jinghu, which is a two-stringed bowed instrument with a high register. The tube of Tiqin is made of bamboo, one side of Tiqin is covered with snakeskin and placed with bamboo chip, Most of poles and axles of Tiqin are made of pear wood or paulownia, the head of the pole likes head of dragon, with axle being fixed at the end of both sides respectively. The fiddlestick is made of horsetail or palm sheet. Nowadays, the fiddlestick is the same as that of urheen. The sound of Tiqin is rough but hoarse, likes Datong, which is a king of instrument in Hunan Province.

  According to the record of Chinese Opera Dictionary, the type of Tiqin Drama belongs to Flower Drum Opera of Yueyang in Hunan Province. It spread to Chongyang, Tongchen and some other region of Hubei Province in the late Qing Dynasty, then it was renamed Tiqin Drama. In its evolution, it had been influenced by Baling Opera, Flower Drum Opera of Jingzhou. From 1885 to 1889, some people such as Jiang Chuanyu, Peng Ruisheng, who were artists of Flower Drum Opera of Yueyang, leaded their theatrical troupes and made a living in Chongyang by performing Tiqin Drama and then their troupes were dismissed. However, Jiang Chuanyu settled down in Huapi, Chongyang and taught skills of Tiqin Drama by accepting apprentices. Tiqin Drama, which is a kind of local opera with special style, was established gradually.

  At the primary period of Tiqin Drama, its roles only contained a Sheng, a Dan or a Sheng, a Dan and a Chou. Because an actor could act several different roles or act as several kinds of heterosexual role in one time, thus a theatrical troupe was often composed of seven or eight actors. Generally, a theatrical troupe hired a teacher for teaching skills, then after apprentices became skillful, the teacher would teach other troupes, so operas of a teacher’s would be taught to many theatrical troupes and they could be preserved well. In its evolution, Tiqin Opera absorbed some devices of Chongyang folk songs such as syntactic treatment, tune structure. Then it formed a basic tune with rich local color.

  Positive tune: it is in the two-part format, played in the same aria by male and female actors but a bit different in the last part of each sentence among different players. The singers who play young man and young woman usually end with tone “6” in the second part, singers who play old men end with tone “6” or “i” in the second part while the leading actor usually with tone “2”. However, all the singers end in HE tune with tone “5” in the end of each segment. Positive tune is composed of two singing patterns, namely one-sentence and two- sentence form, with the first form more often employed. These two singing patterns could be alternatively used, each segment usually ends with He tune, or Shao tune (ending tune), with the accompaniment of suona horn blaring and gong and drum beating. The measure consists in adagio which has two beats in a bar with one beat strong the other weak, normal tempo and presto. The presided two-stringed Chinese fiddle tunes up “26”, tone setting at 1=C.

  Plaintive tune: it is also in the two-part format, played in the same aria by male and female actors. The first part ends in tone “5” or “3”, second part in tone “6” or “2”, with the last part of each segment ended in He tune with tone “5”. The plaintive tune is also composed of the two singing patterns of one-sentence and two-sentence form. At the beginning of a segment, there is usually no libretto but an outcry accompanied by designated music, which is called Qi tou measure (leading beat with a sorrowful outcry) or Pao luo measure (leading beat with the accompaniment of gongs and other musical instruments). During the main part, the singer often sings in a dismal and pathetic manner. The measure, the tune of the fiddle and the tone shall be the same with of those in positive tune. (To be continued, Reported by Rao Haoliang)

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