the Wu Ballads

Home Culture 2019-06-29

the Wu Ballads

Wuge, a local traditional folk literature in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, is one of the national intangible cultural heritages.

Wuge is the oral literary creation of the majority of the people in Wu dialect area, which originated in southeastern Jiangsu Province, and Suzhou is the central area for the generation and development of Wuge. Wuge is handed down orally and from generation to generation, with strong local characteristics. It has the characteristics of gentleness, gentleness, implication, twists and turns of metaphor and strong recitation. It is juxtaposed with Tang Poetry, Song Ci and Yuan Qu, and occupies a position in the history of Chinese literature. It was once called "one unique" in the Ming Dynasty.

On May 20, 2006, Wu Ge was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage catalogues, the heritage number: I-22.

Historical Origin

Wuge originated in the southeast of Jiangsu Province. Suzhou is the center of Wuge's production and development. Wu Song is the oral literary creation of the lower class people in Wu dialect area. It mainly relies on oral transmission among the people from generation to generation. It is a rhyme with strong national and local characteristics. Wu Song has a long history. The Song of Chu has a long history. "Wu Xin Cai Jian, play Dalu" was compiled by Guo Maoqian in the Wei, Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties. When compiling Yuefu Poetry Collection, the collected Wu Song was compiled into Qing Shang. Among the Wu Sheng Songs in Quci, the five-character sentence pattern is mostly love songs. Midnight Song is the most characteristic of the folk songs at that time.

In the Ming Dynasty, Feng Menglong collected a large number of Wu songs from Song and Yuan Dynasty to the middle of Ming Dynasty, recorded in Wu dialect, and compiled "Mountain Song" and "Hang Zhier", mostly love songs. The Qing Dynasty is a mature and prosperous period of long narrative Wu Song. A large number of long narrative Wu Songs have been preserved by booksellers, writers and folk artists.

Before and after the May 4th Movement, Peking University launched the Ballad Movement and published the weekly "Ballads", "Wu Ge Jia Ji", "Wu Ge Yi Ji", "Wu Ge Xiaoshi". Since the 1980s, Wu songs have been collected, sorted out and studied, especially the discovery and excavation of long narrative Wu songs, and the compilation and publication of "three sets of integrated folk literature" ballad volumes, which have made a large number of Wu songs salvageably collected and preserved. In the 21st century, he has published millions of words of Wu Ge oral and research materials, such as "China Baiji Mountain Song Collection", "China Luxu Mountain Song Collection", "Wu Ge Heritage Collection", "China Wu Ge Forum".

Cultural characteristics

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Luxu Mountain Song

Luxu Folk Song is located in Fenhu Valley, southeastern end of Suzhou. Luxu folk songs have a long history and are widely spread in Luxu, Shenta, Beidao, Lili and other places. What made Luxu folk song famous was the publication of Wu Song "Five Girls" collected and arranged by Zhang Fanlan and other scholars in the early 1980s. "Wu Nongzhu, a fishing village, has a long lingering charm. There is no great Modaohan family. It has a long song"Five Girls". This is Professor Zhao Jingshen, a famous popular writer, who wrote the seven Masterpieces for Five Girls. The epic lasts for more than 2900 lines. Her appearance completely broke the traditional saying that there is no long narrative poem of the Han nationality, and attracted the attention and investigation of scholars all over the country and even overseas. Luxu Town was officially named "Town of Folk Songs" by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture in 1998.

Baiji Mountain Song

Baiji Mountain Song was born in the southeastern part of Changshu, Suzhou. It is known as "Wudi Yiju". Its history can be traced back to the time when a tribe of Liangzhu Culture migrated to Wuqiu Village, which connects Taihu Lake and Changjiang River. Baiji Mountain Song is an outstanding representative of Wuge in Suzhou. Even Japanese friends have inscribed the words "the origin of Japanese Mountain Song seems to be the hometown of Baiji Mountain Song in China". Although the Changshu Dialect on which Baiji Mountain Song was sung is a little harder than other Wu dialects, it shows a natural, frank, fresh and fluent style, forming a unique "three-tone and three-ring" tune in the Wu Song system with great tension and shock.

Heyang Folk Song

Heyang Folk Song takes Fenghuang Town of Zhangjiagang as its center, including port, tranquility, Xizhang and surrounding areas. Compared with Luxu folk songs and Baiji folk songs, Heyang folk songs are known to the world for their dense river network and closed environment later, but the discovery of Song of Zongzhu is enough to shock the academic circles. It brought people's eyes to the ancient Huangdi period. It even rewrote the history of Chinese music and poetry. It is the living fossil of ancient Chinese music culture. Today, Zhangjiagang City is the only named "Town of Wuge in China". In addition to the Song of Chaozhu, which can be traced back to ancient times, Heyang Mountain Song is also the longest and most copied representative of Wu Songs in various places.

Other branches

In addition to the three famous folk songs at home and abroad, Suzhou also has many branches of Wu Song, such as Yangcheng Lake Fishing Song, which has the characteristics of Jiangnan Waterfront and different style from coastal fishing song; Taicang Shuangfeng Mountain Song, which provides music material for the reform of Kunqu Opera "Shuimu Tune"; Shengpu Mountain Song, Baiyangwan Mountain Song, Shiwan Mountain Song, etc. Kunbei Folk Songs, etc.

Main types

Wuge originated from labor, which is closely related to rice culture and Zhouzhi culture in southern Jiangsu. According to its content, Wu songs can be divided into ten categories:

First, introducing a song, that is, starting a folk song.

2. Pange, also known as "Question and Answer Mountain Song", is sung by two or more people.

3. Labor song, including farm song, boat song and craftsman song.

4. Current political songs, in which the working people comment on current political affairs in the form of folk songs.

5. Ritual songs, including folk festivals, weddings and funerals.

Sixth, love songs, commonly known as "folk songs of private love".

Seventh, the life song, with daily life as the theme, compiles and sings by oneself or in pairs.

Eighth, most of the historical legendary songs are based on historical celebrities.

Ninth, nursery rhymes, such as lullabies, game songs and tongue twisters.

10. Long narrative Wu Songs, such as "Five Girls" and "Meng Jiangnu" and so on.

Among them, love songs are the most numerous, lyric and rich in language.

artistic characteristics

Wu Ge is performed by folk oral singing. Oral singing is the basic way of its artistic expression. Wu Ge is a bare song, singing without any accompaniment of musical instruments. Its types include introduction song (commonly known as "song head", long narrative song called "naughty head"), labor song, love song, ritual song of life customs, children's song and long narrative song. Liu Bannong prefaced Gu Jiegang's collection of Wu Ge Jia, saying that the interest of Wu Ge is nothing more than "language, local conditions and art", while "these three things, simply speaking, are the soul of the nation".

Wu Song also includes six kinds of music, including "Ming Xiao", "Hao Sheng", "Youqu", "Half-fold", "Six Changes" and "Eight Solutions". The latter three kinds of music have existed since the Han Dynasty. In addition, there are also "divine strings", which are local folk sacrificial songs. There is also an innovative compilation technique based on the old songs in Wu Sheng, which is called "change".

Wu Ge is rich in language. It uses Fu, Bi, Xing and other techniques to render and elaborate. It is very simple to use words to make sentences. Wuge's sentence pattern is flexible and changeable, and the number of words is not limited. In addition to short sentences, long sentences are often used in order to strengthen emotional color. The melody of Wu Ge is soft and smooth, euphemistic and fluctuant, elegant and soothing, just like running clouds and running water, beautiful and beautiful.

Inheritance and Protection

Current situation of inheritance

Although the protection and inheritance of Wuge in Suzhou have achieved some results, with the rapid development of economy and the strong impact of diversified culture, it still faces the problems that need to be solved urgently, such as serious damage to the dependent environment, lack of successors and mass loss of audiences. Rescue and protection work should be carried out as soon as possible.

Inheritance value

Literary value

Wu Ge has a long history and great influence. It also has a certain position in the history of Chinese literature and is of great value in terms of its content. Wu Ge has exerted a profound influence on the literary history of China since ancient times, opening up a generation of poetry style for ancient poetry, and many musical tunes of Wu Ge have become the source of inspiration for the creation of operas.

- Historical value

Since the birth of Wu Song, each dynasty has sung, and linked with the historical reality of each dynasty. From the rule of emperors to the living conditions of the common people, Wu Song has reflected it. It is rich in content, involves a wide range, and has a sense of reality of the times, which is not seen in the official history. Therefore, it has reference value for the study of history. Wuge has an important influence on the historical and cultural traditions of Jiangnan region, especially in Suzhou region. It is a unique local ballad in Chinese folk songs. Wuge has unique witness value to the local historical and cultural traditions. The singing content of Wu Ge is in the form of word-of-mouth transmission, which has formed a wealth of word-of-mouth literature in the long process of transmission. It is the most valuable material for studying Wu culture, historical tradition, folk customs and Wu dialect dialect.

Social value

The content of Wu Ge covers all aspects of society, including singing about peasant life, singing customs and customs, singing about building houses, marriage, celebrating birthday and funerals, etc. It reflects the social life style and the original ecology of social life in a specific historical period, and is extremely valuable information.

Art value

Artists can absorb nutrition from lyrics and music art, and draw lessons from them. Wu Ge's unique witness value and influence on the folklore research of the living form cultural tradition. Wu Ge still maintains its original artistic form today, which can better witness the historical traces of the development of folk music and art in the process of cultural development. It has outstanding artistic witness value and academic research value.

Entertainment value

In the era without movies and television, rural cultural life is quite poor, and singing folk songs is one of the best and most popular entertainment activities. In the leisure or festival, farmers have to gather to sing and enjoy together. Wuge is one of the most important cultural heritage in China. It is extremely precious and has been paid attention to internationally.

Heritage figures

Lu Ruiying, female, Han nationality, born in 1932, Changshu, Jiangsu Province. Lu Ruiying was selected as the representative successor of the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects and declared in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. Declaration item: Wu Ge.

Yang Wenying, female, Han nationality, born in 1948 in Wujiang, Jiangsu Province. Yang Wenying was selected as the representative successor of the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects and declared in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. Declaration item: Wu Ge.

Wang Xiyu, selected as the representative successor of the third batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects, declared in Qingpu District, Shanghai. Declaration item: Wu Ge.

Zhang Haosheng, selected as the representative successor of the third batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects, declared in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Declaration item: Wu Ge.

Zhang Yonglian, selected as the representative successor of the fourth batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects, declared in Qingpu District, Shanghai. Declaration item: Wu Ge.

protective measures

Research on Collection and Cataloguing

In 1984, the Chinese government launched an unprecedented census of Wu Ge. Accordingly, the compilation and publication of Jiangsu Volume/Shanghai Volume/Zhejiang Volume and Jiangsu Volume/Shanghai Volume/Zhejiang Volume are the most complete books of Wu Ge collected so far, which collect abundant materials to show the whole picture and style of Wu folk songs.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the relevant departments have published several millions of words of oral and research materials of Wu Ge, such as "Baiji Mountain Song Collection", "Luxu Mountain Song Collection", "Wu Ge Heritage Collection" and "Wu Ge Forum".

Construction of Song Gallery

In 1995, the first exhibition hall of folk songs was built in Baiji Town, Changshu, covering an area of more than 300 square meters. The exhibition room of folk songs materials systematically reflects the history and current situation of Baiji folk songs, including the collected manuscripts of folk songs, the activities of folk songs held over the years and the award-winning situation. There is also a performance hall in the hall, which can perform live or watch videos.

In 2005, the Luxu Folk Song Museum in Wujiang was built, which is divided into display areas of profound humanities, long-standing historical sites, outstanding treasures, successor singers, hereditary value, high rhythm and so on. It also has a small stage for singers to perform and a display cabinet for material materials of folk songs books and periodicals.

In 2008, the Heyang Folk Song Museum, which covers an area of 20 mu, covers an area of nearly 4,000 square meters and costs 32.08 million yuan, was built. It has 10 functional sites, such as historical relics exhibition hall, historical celebrity hall, folklore gallery, academic research center, training school and folk song performance hall. It contains important works of Heyang Folk Song, such as Zhaozhu Song and Shengguan Return to Soul.

Setting up a song team

In order to teach and spread Wu Songs, various parts of Suzhou have set up their own folk song teams. In addition to Luxun, Baimai and Heyang folk song teams, there are also Shiwan folk song teams in Shajiabang Town, Shengpu folk song team in Park, Baiyangwan Street folk song teams and so on. For example, the Luxu Folk Song Team was established in 1998. Its members have grown from 85 at the beginning to 325 at the present day (excluding students). Members include old mountain singers over 70 years old, middle-aged mountain singers over 50 to 60 years old, young mountain singers between 20 and 40 years old, and children singers at four age levels.

Take part in the song contest

Suzhou Wuge has been holding or participating in major folk art performances and competitions at all levels, which has made a great impact and achieved great results. Through various kinds of folk song festivals and competitions, it not only enlarges the dialogue and exchanges between Wuge and other folk songs, but also mobilizes the enthusiasm of mountain singers and local people, and promotes them to actively participate in the protection of Wuge and consciously inherit Wuge culture.

social influence

Domestic impact

Since 1981, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai Non-governmental Cooperative Zones have held six Wuge symposiums and published a total of 171 papers.

In 2003, the book "Wu Song essence" compiled by Wang Rongpei and Jinxu et al. Used the opportunity of Suzhou to convene the twenty-seventh World Heritage conference to go abroad. This is the first time in China to show Wu songs in the form of research results for the first time, laying the foundation for Wu Ge's external communication and protection in the world.

Foreign influence

Suzhou Wuge has also attracted the attention of many scholars and experts from UNESCO, Europe and the United States, Japan and Korea. They have visited Suzhou for many times to collect local customs and inspect the living conditions of Wuge. Among them, the most famous one is the Dutch scholar Sister Shi Niejie's "Chinese Folk Songs and Folk Singers: Sunan Folk Song Tradition", which is praised as "Detailed by Western Scholars". Introduce the first monograph of contemporary Wuge.

Birrell's Han Dynasty Folk Songs and Yutai Xinyong translated Wusheng songs of the Southern Dynasty into English; Feng Menglong's Mountain Songs translated and published by Cornelia Topman translated and translated Wu songs of the Ming Dynasty into German; Dutch scholar Shi Niejie's "Chinese Folk Songs and Folk Singers - Mountain Songs of Southern Jiangsu" was studied. Some modern Wu songs have been studied and translated. In addition, the UNESCO "Survey Group on the Preservation of Chinese Traditional Folk Songs" visited Suzhou and Changshu in 1994 to investigate the preservation of Wuge in detail.

Honorary recognition

In 2008, "Spring Rice Song" won the "Golden Spike Cup" Award for the first Chinese Farmers'Literature and Art Festival.

Important activities

In 2006, Phoenix Town of Zhangjiagang held the First Heyang Folk Song Festival and the Third Peach Blossom Festival, which fully demonstrated the ancient and modern style of Heyang Folk Songs. By 2014, the Heyang Folk Song Festival had been successfully held for four times.

Since 1998, Luxu folk songs have participated in many competitions, such as the Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai folk songs festivals, the Chinese Art Festival and the National Primitive Ecology Folk Song Concert.

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