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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Shanghai Culture  »  Shanghai Folk Music  »  
Yuepu Gong and Drum

Yuepu gong and drum(月浦锣鼓) is a traditional Han folk music in Shanghai. It is an important part of Shanghai culture.Traditional gong and drum was active in the Han nationality folk festival activities and became the popular program form. Modern Yuepu gong and drum, not only strike a pose on the stage of many international appearances, city, district cultural activities, and has become a Han nationality characteristic symbol of folk culture in Yuepu.

In the middle of the Qing dynasty, Yuepu local vendors in business picked the cargo wander about the streets, and shouting, and knock down the side drum with a loud voice to attract customers to go out shopping. Allegedly, these vendors’ fashioned-like drum is similar to the "flower drum" in the south of Jiangsu. The volume is small, but the sound is ringing and characteristic. Later, the local Han Chinese folk artists used peddlers’ side drum as a musical instrument and played in Jiangnan Sizhu, but only play the role of the ornament.

In the late Qing dynasty, in order to attend the temple fair and Lantern Festival celebration activities, the local drummer expanded peddler side drum shape to 33 centimeters in diameter, the thickness of 7.7 cm, and both covered surfaces skin, also made the drum frame. In this way, they had greatly increased the volume and the tone was more vigorous and more suitable for outdoor play.

After a long period of evolution and the creation of the generations of the Han nationality folk artists, performing form of Yuepu gong and drum is also relatively finalize the design. The performance usually has eight small drums stand on both side of the artists and in order to add more colors into the performance, people paint the figures of the Eight Immortals on the drum surface.

In order to enrich the expressive force of the Eight Immortals, they also often join wooden fish, small gong, a small bowl and small percussion instruments, thus becoming the form of Shanghai “thin gong and drum" or "pure gong and drum". For special grand occasions, they also join the suona, flute, and music instruments, become a concoction or in the form of folk music ensemble. On every March 28 of the temple fair, the fifteenth day of the lantern lights and the Dragon Boat Festival in May, musicians gathered together across to beat the gong and drum and go on a rival, which has become the most attractive tourist programs. Whenever a nearby farmhouse has wedding festival, country musicians would also want to beat the gongs and drums to entertain with their music.

Yuepu gong and drum has its splendor square performances and novel conception stage and it has left a deep impression to the Chinese and foreign audience. Since the establishment of gongs and drums association in Yuepu district, there has successively held the eighth "Gong and Drum Anniversary” and three "Baoshan International Folk Art Festival" activities. In 2005, the nation's first township Asia world-expo drum "hundreds of drum exhibition" was held in Yuepu County. In 2007 Yuepu art trip took part in European folk arts festival. Yuepu town has been rated as "the hometown of Chinese folk culture and art" and "national culture advanced communities" and Yuepu gong and drum was listed in Shanghai the first batch of intangible cultural heritage list.

Add on: Jiangnan Sizhu
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