As we all know, Xi'an is the best city, where you will see the splendid Tang Dynasty Performance.
The opening of the silk road also facilitated the exchange of music culture between the Western Regions and the Central Plains. As a result, many western musical instruments, as well as western music and dance were loved by the Han people.
Festive, grand in structure and elegant in style. Xi'an Guyue, also known as Xi'an wind and percussion ensemble, it has been played for more than a millennium in China's ancient capital of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
Xi'an wind and percussion ensemble, as its name indicates, is a type of music that integrates drums and wind instruments, and sometimes a male chorus. The content of the verses is mostly related to local life and religious belief.
From royal courts to open fields:
The music was first created to accompany royal banquets, outings and sacrifices to gods. However, it gradually prevailed among the public in temple fairs and religious occasions.
Marching drum music used to be performed on emperor's trips, but has now become the province of farmers and is usually played in open fields in the countryside.
Xi'an Guyue is usually divided into two categories – sitting music and walking music, with the latter also including the singing of the chorus.
The sitting music is played by performers sitting in a hall and subject to a strict and fixed musical pattern and structure, while the walking music is more casual and the performances focus on melodies.
Over the centuries, the tunes have never ceased to hymn and the scores, using an ancient notation system dating from Tang and Song dynasties, are passed down generation by the generation just as they were a thousand years ago.
Approximately 3,000 musical pieces are documented and about 150 volumes of handwritten scores are preserved and still in use.
Uprising from a time when the Middle Kingdom was the centre of the world and the royal house was greatly respected, Xian Guyue once played an important role in entertaining the crowds.
It is one of the most complete genres of folk music still surviving in China, earning the name "the living fossil of ancient Chinese music".
But in a fast modernizing society, its functionality and popularity are fading away at a great speed. What's left behind of its value seems to be only recognized in academic studies, tourism and religious practices in limited areas.
The Song and Dance Performance in Xi'an:
Chang Heng Ge (The Song of Everlasting Sorrow):
Based on Bai Juyi's long poem, the large-scale historical drama Changhengge(The Song of Everlasting Sorrow) is composed of more than 300 professional actors dressed in gorgeous Tang costumes. It shows the classic episode narrated in the poem in the form of dance: During the prosperous Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong called Yang Yuhuan into the palace, he dotes on Yangui Fei very much. However, after the An-Shi Rebellion, Yang Yuhuan died at Maweipo. The emperor's heart was broken and his soul was ascended to heaven, then Xuanzong met his concubine in the Moon Palace.
The Performance Venue: Huaqing Hot Spring Scenic Area
Tang Dynasty Dinner Show:
If you prefer a night performance to spend your night time, Tang Dynasty Show is the best option, which is on the most Xian visitors' top 10 attractions list. Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is an outstanding element of this ancient rich and prosperous society, giving an insight into the peaceful lifestyle of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907).
The Tang Dynasty Show showcases the costumes, music, and dancing of China's golden age: the Tang dynasty (618 - 907). The show begins with an ancient Chinese musical instrument ensemble while you dine and then later the cultural dance segment begins. The costumes are splendid and you can get some nice photos if you sit near the stage.
The Tang Dynasty Show you are going to see is performed by Shaanxi Song & Dance Troupe with a long history and renowned reputation, and also is the largest performing group in western China. This group has become the cultural window to the world of the ancient capital Xian. Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe boast a powerful staff of artists. The young performers are highly gifted and have also received rigorous training in the arts since 1982. It initiated the first show of song and dance in the imperial style of the Tang Dynasty. Shaanxi Song and Dance Troupe has performed in over 40 foreign countries and has received government heads of state and VIPs from over 100 countries. It is reputed to be the oriental art and treasure of distinctive songs and music in the Tang Dynasty style.
The Performance Venue: Shaanxi Song & Dance Theatre and Tang Dynasty Palace.
Qingqiang is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called "random pluck" (Luantan), it is the main type of drama in Shaanxi province. As one of the earliest ancestors of Peking opera, Yu Opera, Sichuan opera and Hubei Opera, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting.
Recommended Xi'an Travel Guide