The Daoqing Opera is popular in the Yellow River valley. It comes from the story-telling of Taoist priests and dates back to the Jiuzhen and Chengtian Taoist lyrics of the Tang Dynasty(618-907). It evolved into an opera genre in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). They are also called yugu or zhuqin or daoqingyugu because their percussion instruments are mainly yugu, or clappers.
"Daoqing" literally means to spread morals. The contents of the classical plays have the instructive function of establishing local customs, enlightening people, and promoting righteousness, morality, loyalty and filial duty. So the opera got its name. The local people consider it beneficial for morality, manners and public sentiment. Daoqing Opera themes were serious, and didn't waver.
The tunes and musical accompaniment of the Daoqing Opera are rich and are mainly performed in the form of the repetitive singing of two lines or four lines of its basic tunes, and sometimes in the form of a single tune or joint tunes. In its early stages, it was performed in the form of aria, or singing to rhythm. In recent decades, the number of singers of each performance has increased and more instruments such as the erhu, pipa, and bo, were introduced.
In the course of its spread, the Daoqing Opera has adapted different tunes from folk songs and local operas, and integrated them with dialects of the regions in which it spread. As a result, the Daoqing Opera often has a strong recital or chanting style and places great emphasis on expressing emotions.
They are widely popular in China and there are dozens of different kinds among which, the most famous ones are Huaibei (North of the Huaihe Region) Daoqing, Jinbei (Northern Shanxi) Daoqing, Chang'an (Xi'an) Daoqing, Longdong (East Shaanxi) Daoqing, Hubei yugu, Hunan yugu, and Sichuan Zhuqin.
1. Jinbei Daoqing Opera Declarer：Youyu County, Shanxi Province (east of the middle reaches of the Yellow River)
2. Daoqing Opera, Lin County Declarer：Lin County, Shanxi Province (east of the middle reaches of the Yellow River)
3. Taikang Daoqing Opera Declarer：Taikang County, Henan Province (lower reaches of the Yellow River)
4. Languan Opera Declarer：Laizhou City, Shandong Province (lower reaches of the Yellow River)
5. Long Opera Declarer：Gansu Province (upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River)