This form of Dagu originated in Henan
and has a history of over 100 years. It became popular in Henan, Shandong and
Anhui provinces as well as in the cities of Tianjin and Beijing. Its main
musical instrument is the Zhuizixian, now known as the Zhuihu, which
looks somewhat like a three-stringed instrument. It is sung in the Henan
dialect, hence it got the name Henan Zhuizi.
Henan Zhuizi usually needs only one performer,
who holds two pieces of sandalwood or jujube wood planks in his left hand and
plays it while singing. Sometimes, there are two performers who sing one by one
with one playing wood planks and the other playing Danba (cymbals) or
Shugu (a kind of drum). And, a few performers play these instruments
themselves while singing. Most of the lyrics are seven-character lines. In the
early period, the majority of performing items were short and part of them were
long. All performing items relating modern subject matters are short.
|Zhang Kai, a young artist, performing Henan Zhuizi
During the formation, Hezhan Zhuizi featured
novelty and vivacity and lured many artists of Sanxianshu (storytelling
and singing while playing the three-stringed instrument) and Shandong Dagu
(storytelling and singing in Shandong dialect while beating a drum) to join
the reform and thus added many performing items to Henan Zhuizi and
improved performing skills.
Henan Zhuizi kept its plain
countryside style and close connection with life from its formation to
prevalence among ordinary people. It learned from other traditional genres and
good performing items and formed many unique performing items, which totaled
over 200 types either long, medium-length or short. After the founding of new
China, obvious achievements were seen in arrangement of traditional outstanding
items, writing of new works that reflect real life, reform of music and
performing skills, etc.