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16:42 Dec 15 2008

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English>>Tibet Online>>Culture
Performers of Tibetan Opera
16:49, December 11, 2008  

One drum and one cymbal were used as accompaniments in traditional Tibetan opera performance, which determines the crucial role of their players and the beats of drum and cymbal. Like other local dramas, Tibetan drama contains a large quantity of patterned dancing acts and performers must be in harmony with the beats of drums and cymbals, otherwise they feel lost in dance and are unable to continue the dances.

Jiang Cunm, a famous drum and cymbal player in Jue Mu Long Tibetan opera troupe, viewed the art of playing drum and cymbal as "the shining eyes in the face, the beating heart in the chest, the heaven I adore all the life."

When he was young, Jiang Cun spent some time in Xue Chi Lin Ka, where Ge Er Ba, the Palace musical band of Dalai's, practiced drums and cymbals, and where Zi Qia Men Zhe Bu taught the traditional beats of drums and cymbals. Jiang Cun went there every day. He also learned from his teacher La Wang Ou Zhu the art of drum and cymbal and the rigidly craving for art. With the small hammer, less than 13 inches long, Jiang Cun can play dozens of moods and rhythms, making the beating and rhythms properly go with the delicate expressions of various characters. Weak beatring is for sorrow; strong beating for anger. Both beatings are slow drumbeat, called Duan Tong in Tibet. Fast beating is for tension and excitement. Allegro drumbeat is used in intermezzo for line reading; integrated drumbeat in riding, advancing, and climbing in the performance; Beng Zi has its own drumbeat. Jiang Cun's drumming evoked, intensified, and strengthened the artistic charm in Jue Mu Long school of Tibetan opera. Jiang Cun mastered the drum system for traditional Tibetan opera:the drum system used the syllable of the Tibetan language to reflect the beat and rhythm of drums and cymbals.

The old drum system cannot fully meet the need of the development of Tibetan opera. When it comes to the greeting action in the show, the old drum system fails to express it. Then, Jiang Cun cooperated closely with the dramatist and the performers. Given the performers' conditions and the situation that Tibetan drama art has developed into a new level, they reformed the old drum system by extending some beats, changing some beats and even creating some new beats.

Source:China Tibet Tourism Bureau

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