Archive for August, 2010
Also called as Meihua Tune, Meihua Dagu is a category of Dagu that flourished in Beijing and Tianjin towards the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China. It originated from Qingkou Dagu, becoming popular in northern Beijing at the end of the Qing Dynasty.
Meihua Dagu underwent reform and adaptation in the 1920s by Jin Wanchang, a Beiing Dagu artist, who made the Meihua Dagu sweet and lovely in melody. Lu Chengke, the famous Tianjin stringed instrument player, learned a number of popular tunes and enriched as well as improved the Dagu melody and musical effect in accompaniment. He trained a number of girls to sing Meihua Dagu, including Hua Sibao, Hua Wubao, and Hua Xiaobao (Shi Wenxiu). The reformation by Lu led to the development of a woman’s voice in singing high pitch. This resulted in the soft and sweet style of the school of Meihua Daguwith high pitch tunes for female voices. It became known as the Lu or Hua School and differs from the Jin Wanchang School, which is known for its delicate, minute, refined, elegant, bold, vigorous and beautiful rendition. The songs of Meihua Dagu are presented as short pieces, and use Beijing dialect in singing. The more famous works include Thoughts of Husband Surging over the Mind of Wang Er jie and Daiyu Buries Flowers.
After the 1960s, Meihua Dagu again went through a period of formation in vocal music. The routine opening words in the slow movement were dropped. This changed the style of using few words which drag on and on in singing. Fine music filled the air instead. The melody of Meihua Dagu becomes more elegant and pleasing to the ear Two Springs Reflect the Moon performed by the young artist, Ji Wei, leaves a deep impression on the audience. Ji Wei, born in 1956, sings with a beautiful, mellow and sweet voice and acts naturally with a poised manner. She is credited with having made many innovations to the Meihua Dagu. She studied Jingyun Dagu at first. Later she changed her course and studied Meihua Dagu under Shi Wenxiu and Hua Wubao.
M: Dàjiā hǎo. Huānyíng nǐmen dào Xiànzài Xué Hànyǔ. Wǒ shì Manli.
S: Wǒ shì Stuart.
M: We’re still in the Yíhéyuán. Wǒmen hái zài Yíhéyuán.
S: We’re going to take some photos, zhàoxiàng.
M: And learn some ways to describe position. Very useful.
S: Here goes. Mary and Jiànguò, Miss Zhang, Mr. Li, (where did they come from? Never mind. It’s the magic of radio!) 玛丽, 建国, 张小姐, 李先生, 我们照相, 好不好? Wǒmen zhàoxiàng, hǎo bù hǎo?
M: Hǎo zhǔyi.
S: And you guys at home, try to pick out the words for ‘stand’, ‘at the back’ and ‘at the front’.
M: 李先生，你比我们高。You stand at the back. 你站在后面 nǐ zhàn zài hòumiàn.
LXS: 好，我站在后面 hǎo, wǒ zhàn zài hòumiàn.
S: Jiànguó, you also stand at the back. 建国, 你也站在后面 nǐ yě zhàn zài hòumian.
M: Zhāng Xiǎojiě, we’ll stand at the front. 我们站在前面 wǒmen zhàn zài qiánmian.
Mary: Stuart, where will you stand? Stuart, 你站在哪儿 nǐ zhàn zài nǎr?
S: I’ll take the photo. 我来照相 wǒlái zhào xiàng. Someone’s got to do it.
S: Hǎo! Now let’s look at the new stuff. I said 玛丽, 建国, 张小姐, 李先生.
M: Zhāng Xiǎojiě. xiǎojiě, remember, means ‘young lady’ or ‘miss’, Miss Zhang, Zhāng Xiǎojiě. And xiānshēng means ‘man’ or ‘Mr.’ Mr. Li, Lǐ Xiānshēng.
S: Then I said: 我们照相, 好不好?
M: Wǒmen zhòoxiòng, hǒo bù hǎo? We’ll take photos, ok? Wǒmen zhàoxiàng, hǎo buù hǎo?
S: And ML told Lǐ Xiānsheng he was taller than us.
M: 李先生，你比我们高。You stand at the back. 你站在后面
S: nǐ zhàn zài hòumian. 站 ZHAN zhàn, 4th tone, means ‘to stand’. 在后面，hòu HOU hòu, means ‘at the back’ or ‘behind’. It’s the same hòu as in hòutiān, the ‘day after tomorrow’. 面 MIAN miàn, here means ‘face’ or ‘side’. We’ll meet it a lot when learning position words. Hòumian, ‘back’ or ‘rear’. Note that the miànin hòumian loses its full tone. It’s not hòumiàn, it’s hòumian.
M: You stand at the back, Nǐ zhàn zài hòumian. Say it everybody, nǐ zhàn zài hòumian, nǐ zhàn zài hòumian.
S: And then ML said –
M: Zhāng Xiǎojiě, wǒmen zhàn zài qiánmian.
S: 前面, 前QIAN qián, here means ‘front’. It is the same qián as in qiántiān, the ‘day before yesterday’. You stand in front, nǐ zhàn zài qiánmian. Say it, nǐ zhàn zài qiánmian.
S: Good. Now let’s finish with a quick practice of the new stuff.
M: 我们要照相 wǒmen yào zhàoxiàng. 李先生，你站在后面 nǐ zhàn zài hòumian.
S: ML，玛丽，张小姐，你们站在前面 nǐmen zhàn zài qiánmian.
M: Stuart, 你站在哪儿 nǐ zhàn zài nǎr?
S: 我来照相 wǒ lái zhàoxiàng.
M: Good, he won’t be in the picture.
S: Huh! I’m leaving!
M: Angry again! Never mind, he’ll be ok next lesson. See you then!