The Teochew Store Blog / traditional music
Music expresses the soul of a people. Since the Song dynasty (960-1279), the Teochew people have had our own music tradition that is distinct from other Chinese regional music. Shaped by Teochew folk sensibilities, it is characterised by an intense concern with melodic variation. There are seven main genres of traditional Teochew music...
A documentary retelling the 400-year history of the Teochew Opera - the finest representation of Teochew performing arts. This production is worthwhile watching not only because of its subject, but also because it is the fruit of the personal efforts of a young Teochew, Tan Tek Meng 陳迪鳴 to keep alive a tradition close to the heart of himself and his people.
With a hand slickly pressing the strings and the other drawing the bow, 84-year-old Li Xuewen was playing erhu, humming a tone to himself.
Li was a teacher and then a principal at schools in Jieyang, a city neighboring Shantou, for several decades.After retiring in 1985,he began to teach himself play several music instrument including, and gave children in his village music lessons for free.
In 2004 , with the support of Seniors’ Association in Li’s village, he set up a local music training session, teaching the children basic music knowledge and how to play music instruments.
Teochew opera is said to have over 1200 traditional plays that fall into two broad categories - those adapted from the 12th century nanxi 南戲 from Southeast China as well as chuanqi 傳奇, and others derived popular local lores including romance tales and ghost stories... The most dramatic episodes however were the ones played out behind the scenes that were summed up by this Qing Qianlong era (1736 to 1796) saying: