Northeast Drumbeat Music


Originated in the Han Dynasty, the northeast drumbeat music was played in the army at first, known as “horizontal blowing” , and then found its way into the royal court which was used on the emperor's banquet and in the time when the emperor journeyed out, knows as “drum blowing”. As far as the Liao and Jin Dynasties are concerned, the imperial court's " drum blowing " is more grand, and its scale, etiquette and melody are also quite exquisite. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, drumbeat music has become an indispensable form of sacrifice rite and performance in the major activities of the court.

The traditional northeast drumbeat music is mainly composed of big and small suona horns, big drum, hall drum, big and small cymbals. Now, this set of musical instrument is used when performing northeast Yangko dances, playing lion dances and dragon lantern dances. In celebration activities such as wedding ceremonies and birthday ceremonies, Sheng (a Chinese Mouth Organ), flute and tube are added.

The tunes played by the northeast drumbeat music also have a long history, with various repertoires and titles. Most of the tunes called "basic skills" by artists come from manuscripts in the middle and late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China era. The birth of tune names can be traced back to the Liao, Yuan and Ming Dynasties. With the changes of the dynasties, the artists made their own choices of adding, deleting and passed it on to today.

In the past one hundred years, northeast drumbeat music, with its unique artistic charm, and unique style of folk customs, etiquette and entertainment, has highlighted its historical, aesthetic, social and academic value. It has become a deep-rooted cultural phenomenon. At the sixth "voice of China" performance conference in China, northeast drumbeat music was called "treasure of national music" by experts.

Today, the northeast drumbeat music has been deeply rooted people’s life, which has played an indispensable part raising spirits, promoting relationship and developing entertainment. For now and for future, the northeast drumbeat music will continue to play its role in helping people expressing feelings and enriching cultural lives.