Chinese theater traditionally
was considered as the highest
form of arts in China.
• is also known as the Beijing opera
• still follows traditional Chinese arts in
stressing meaning, rather than precise
• is a stylized Chinese form of opera
dating from the late 18th century, in
which speech, singing, mime, and
acrobatics are performed to an
• became fully developed and
recognized by the mid-19th century
• was regarded as one of the cultural
treasures of China and was extremely
popular in the Qing Dynasty court
• The opera artists’ goal is to make
every performance exceptionally
beautiful in every movement they will
Basically, the Peking opera has two main
styles of music:
These styles are very
similar and the only
difference is the key.
His-p’l has lower sound than erh-
They also utilize the
fan-pan which is
commonly used for
sorrowful songs, and is
only sung by bearded characters.
• It comprises about 8 musicians sitting
on stools in the far corner of the stage.
• Each performance in a Peking opera
begins with the ta-lo and siao-lo, a
small and large gong and cymbals.
• In some performances, they also start
with a single skin drum or kettle drum.
• The conductor usually sits in the center
of the orchestra and creates tempo
with this drum.
• The actor’s delivery of lines is rigidly
controlled by conventions.
• Each role has its prescribed vocal timbre
and pitch, and syllables are often drawn
out with regards to conversational usage in
order to maintain the appropriate rhythm.
• Even spoken passages are governed by
strict rhythms and tempos.
• Chanted and sung passages are freely
inserted into spoken monologues or
• Thus, lines are rendered in an extremely
1. Ti-ts – cross flute; usually played
2. Siao – recorded flutes; usually
played along singing
3. Sona – trumpet; announces
prosperous occasions (victories,
good news, etc.)
1. Hu-ch’in – is a two-stringed violin-
like instrument that is held upright
against the knee
2. Bu-ch’in – is also a two-stringed
violin-like instrument that has a
more graceful sound
1. Yue-ch’in – is a four-stringed moon
2. San-sien – is a three-stringed
3. Pi-p’a – is similar to lute with four
3. Tan-pi-ku – kettle drum; used to
create the tempo of the
}gongs; signify the
beginning of the