An analysis of hybrid music and ethnicity in Quangang Beiguan


Thirteen Tones
Hybrid Music




Quangang Beiguan, widespread in Quangang District, Quanzhou, also spreads to Hui’an County, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and elsewhere. In 2006, it was included in the first batch of representative protection projects inscribed in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China. Taking this paper as a unique showcase for Chinese traditional culture, the translator sticks to the vernacular names with English translations and/or romanization beside. Beiguan consists of two parts: one is qu (“songs”) featuring lyrics, the other pu (“notation”) characterized by purely instrumental music, with a total of more than 200 pieces remaining. Relative to Nanguan (Nanyin, literally meaning “southern pipes”), “Bei” in Beiguan, which means “north” in English, refers to the north of southern Fujian, especially the Jianghuai area. Beiguan’s tunes and many of its musical instruments come from the north, and they are sung in Mandarin Chinese. This is quite strange given that the people of Minnan in Southern Fujian Province only love to speak their own local dialects. Mandarin with a Hokkien accent, coupled with the characteristic local musical instruments in the Minnan region, Beiguan has formed part of local music genres. Beiguan is a near-relative hybrid music mixing the music cultures of adjacent areas within the Han ethnic group.



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