chapter  6
8 Pages

Shengguan Instrumentation

A complicated, shifting relationship has long existed between monastic Buddhism and the political power structures of China. When Buddhism has fallen out of political favor, monastic Buddhists have suffered severe consequences. During the dynastic eras, monastic Buddhism came under fire as an unnecessary drain on the human and material resources of the empire in the years 446, 574, 845 and 955. Rituals have long been used as a means of making monastic Buddhism useful to the state. While monastic Buddhists generally do not make material contributions to a state's economy, they can perform rites to provide spiritual protection to the state and its leaders. In the decades after the Cultural Revolution, it appeared to most scholars that Wutaishan's local style of Buddhist music would not be successfully reestablished in the area's monasteries. Shuxiang si is also the most active monastery in cadre-organized musical performances and recordings.