Daoist Music of Mt Mao
The Daoist music of Mt Mao and Fasts and Offerings (齋醮 Zhaijiao ) activities thrived during the Sui and Tang dynasties, and were favored by the court during the Song and Yuan dynasties, so there is rich literary and historical literature on them. In the Records of Mt Mao (茅山志 Maoshan Zhi ) in the Daoist Canon (道藏 Daozang ) published during the Zhengtong era of the Ming dynasty, and in the Collected Records of Mt Mao (茅山志合編 Maoshan Zhi Hebian ) published during the Jiajing era, there are fairly detailed records on the ritual offerings held by imperial order on Mt Mao, the order of the festivals and the music of these rituals, and even the Magical Instruments (法器 Faqi ) and musical instruments used in the offerings, the singing and instrumental performance staff, and the like.
There are a good many Daoist temples on Mt Mao, and the most famous of them are "The Three Palaces and Five Temples (三宮五觀 Sangong Wuguan ) ". The three palaces refers to the Nine Heavens Palace (九霄宮 Jiuxiao Gong ), the Primordial Talismans Palace (元符宮 Yuanfu Gong ), and the Palace for the Worship of Happiness (崇禧宮 Chongxi Gong ), while the five temples refer to the Virtuous Blessing Temple (德佑觀 Deyou Guan ), the Benevolent Blessing Temple (仁佑觀 Renyou Guan ), the Jade Morning Temple (玉晨觀 Yuchen Guan ), the White Cloud Temple (白雲觀 Baiyun Guan ), and the Heavenly Origin Temple (乾元觀 Qianyuan Guan ). The "three palaces" hand down the Orthodox Oneness tradition (正一道 Zhengyi Dao ), and the "five temples" learn from and transmit the Complete Perfection sect (全真派 Quanzhen Pai ). So the Mt Mao tradition (茅山道教 Maoshan Daojiao ) has characteristics of both the Orthodox Oneness sect and the Complete Perfection sect. Since the 1950s, the Daoist priests of the Three Palaces and Five Temples of Mt Mao have been unified and have discarded sectarian bias. Since then, all the temples and palaces are generally referred to as the Daoist Temples of Mt Mao (茅山道院 Maoshan Daoyuan ). Having been devastated by wars and the Cultural Revolution, the present Mt Mao tradition has not yet been restored to its former prosperity. Owing to the coexistence of the Orthodox Oneness sect and the Complete Perfection sect both in history and at present, the Daoist music of Mt Mao has both the Orthodox Oneness style and the Complete Perfection style, and besides, it has the characteristics of Mt Mao itself.