chapter  9
14 Pages

Shengguan Repertoires

The pieces preserved in gongchepu notation and performed by shengguan ensembles at Wutaishan cover a wide span of music history in China, with some thought to date back as far as the Tang Dynasty and others composed in the twentieth century. Since the revival of shengguan practice after the Cultural Revolution, though, no newly composed works have been added to the repertoire. In fact, even those twentieth-century pieces that survive in the notated repertoire are rarely or never performed. Some pieces have recently been added to the repertoires, but those are all ancient pieces for which notation has recently been found. In choosing repertoire to perform, today’s shengguan ensembles display traditionalism uncharacteristic of the practice in the centuries prior to the Cultural Revolution.