Monday, November 12, 2012

kanqu and jingju

The main difference I found between kanqu and jingju was in the roles of the orchestra instruments. In the kanqu, the leading melody instrument was the side-blown bamboo flute, dizi, whereas in jingju it is the high-pitched lute, jinghu. I read online that the dialect used in kanqu is slightly different and more stylized version of Mandarin than is jingju. The voice roles are similar, with young male and young female voices singing in the affected falsetto range. Painted faces are also common to both, and costumes can be elaborate. While it is difficult in some ways to campare and contrast a video clip versus an audio clip, the track 26 on the CD seemed to allow the male role to sing slightly lower in pitch. As I read more background information online, I found the kanqu opera seems to date from as early as the 14th century, while the jingju began in the 1800's.

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