Folk Daoist Ritual Music of North China. The Li family Daoist band

By Etnomusicology


The Li family Daoist band

Researcher: Stephen Jones 

Collection Intersezioni Musicali DVD IM03

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Folk Ritual Daoist Music of North China, the third publication of the series INTERSEZIONI MUSICALI of the Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music Studies (IISMC) of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, inaugurates a new format, that of the DVD-book aiming at documenting on video a little known musical tradition, such as the ritual Daoism of the rural areas of Northern China.

The video presents a concert held by the Daoist band of the Li family in Venice (March 25, 2012), together with other video images taken during a public performance in Beijing (October 8, 2013). The text of the booklet is written by Stephen Jones, a scholar who has been researching this tradition for many years, and contains also an Italian translation.

Daoist ritual is one of the great glories of Chinese civilization, and is still ubiquitous throughout rural China today. For nine generations, the Li family has performed long complex rituals for funerals, temple fairs, and ‘Thanking the Earth’. The present members are all disciples of the late great maestro Li Qing (1926–99). Their recent visits to the concert platform remain only a rare intermezzo between their daily routine of providing ritual services for local village families.