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Opera and the CityThe Politics of Culture in Beijing, 1770–1900$
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Andrea Goldman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778312

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778312.001.0001

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Musical Genre, Opera Hierarchy, and Court Patronage

Musical Genre, Opera Hierarchy, and Court Patronage

(p.115) Three Musical Genre, Opera Hierarchy, and Court Patronage
Opera and the City
Stanford University Press

This chapter considers opera genre as a contested cultural field in which various agents—the court, Jiangnan music sophisticates, marginalized men of letters, and acting troupes—each held a stake. Opera genre became a cultural field in which both the Manchu court and Han connoisseurs attempted to maintain authority. Yabu and huabu can be understood as a response by diverse commentators to the variety and mixture of musical genres within the metropolitan opera marketplace. The court had a growing interest in huabu (more specifically, pihuang) in the nineteenth century. Court patronage of the once lowbrow pihuang was helpful in eliciting the genre to elite status, acknowledged empirewide. In general, the court patronage, court oversight and management of commercial troupes via the Jingzhong Temple Actors' Guild, and the unintended consequences of war all influenced the rise of pihuang opera.

Keywords:   opera genre, pihuang opera, Jiangnan music sophisticates, yabu, huabu, court patronage, Jingzhong Temple Actors' Guild, war, acting troupes

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