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     As early as in the last years of Qing Dynasty, some artists from countryside of Shengxian County made a living on singing door to door folk tunes like Xuan Juan, Dao Qing and Lian Hua Luo. Later, they combined walking-and-singing art of Ningbo, and created a tune of their own: Si Gong He Diao. The local dialect and legend stories in the area were both worked into the tune. During the slack seasons, these countrymen would call on their neighbors and sang in the yard. They had no stage properties like even a table or a chair, nor did they have any motions to go along with their singing. So their performance was a lot different from those staged operas and the artists gave a rather self-abasing name to their art "Luo Di Chang Shu (ground singing)". In its course of development, the art experienced successively the 1852-1889 early stage when the performers sat on the ground and sang and the 1889-1906 later stage when they began to perform on the platforms. Programs for the early stage were mainly auspicious wishes and short introductory stories such as Blessings, Happiness and Longevity, Eight Immortals Crossing The Sea, Good Luck Of Wealth, and Good Harvest. There were also some short or medium-length novels centering on daily life and folk anecdotes, for example, Ten Weird Things, Ten Rare Things, Silk Worm Girl and Child Bride Going Home. Later, another tune, namely, Yin O Tune (named after the assisting tune in the following pattern: Yin-O, Yin-O, Yin-Yin-O) evolved from Si Gong He Diao and marked the fundamental change in its history. The art moved from countryside yard ground to the teahouses in the cities, and changed from the single or pair performance to the multi-actor performance. Artists used different voices according to their different roles as being the young male character, the young female character, the painted face, the mid-aged male character and the clown. It was greatly enriched with the adoption of such stage properties as a table, two chairs, Xing-Mu (striking wooden block), folding fans and some Chi-Ban and Du-Gu to make time. Most of the early programs were retained; some were revised into long stories such as Child Bride Going Home and Trussing The Buckets. Affinitive tunes like Su Tan, Hu Tan, Yao Tan, Gao Qiang and Luan Tan were transplanted into the art, and so did many programs like Shaving The Both, Reunion At The Nunnery and Dragon Picture Roll. It was not only rich in country flavor, but also elegant and appealing to the audience. This kind of "Di Du Ban (general name of the singing troupes)" went popular around Jiangsu and Zhejiang province. The top troupe Jin Zhi Tang enjoyed high reputation among the audience of the time.
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