In the Tang Dynasty there emerged a type of literary form in which alternate narration and singing were used to expound the Buddhist scriptures. A cycle of stories, episode by episode, was related using the traditional Chinese method of singing interspersed with recitation.
Taoism is a religion native to China. Besides having the normal trappings of a religion, it incorporates the supernatural elements of ancient Chinese culture. Taoism has also been influenced by Confucianism and Buddhism. It uses music as a medium through which to communicate with the spirits during religious ceremonies. One of the earliest references to the employment of music by Taoism came in the year 415 when the Northern Sky sect of Taoism, founded by Kou Qian, was said to have used "cloud music" (also known as "huaxia hymns" or 'buxu music"). With the reform of Taoism in the south of China, under the auspices of Lu Xiujing, its music also became more and more regularized.
The founding father of Taoism was Laozi, whose real name was Li Dan and who lived in the Spring and Autumn Period. The ancestral name of the Tang emperors was also Li, and partly because of this connection, Taoism found imperial favor under the Tang. The Zhengyi sect of Taoism came to be regarded as the orthodox school. Not only that, but Taoism was even exalted as the state religion, and a Taoist master was made the imperial tutor Both the imperial household rituals and state sacrifices had a Taoist tone. So it was natural that Taoist music was also highly regarded in this period. Emperor Gaozu ordered his court musicians to compose Taoist music, and Emperor Xuanzong got his senior minister who was also adept at Taoism to do the same. Xuanzong also taught the Taoist buxu music.
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