Jingyun dagu, a kind of drumbeat performance, is a branch of Dagu, in which stories are told in the Beijing dialect with a drum accompaniment.
Jingyun dagu focuses on singing and concentrates on depicting short episodes. It was popular in Beijing and Tianjin at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the beginning of the Republic of China period. Liu Baoquan initiated this particular dagu, telling stories in the Beijing dialect, replacing Hebei regional pronunciations. He absorbed vocal music of Peking Opera and Beijing folk tunes, which he incorporated into Jingyun dagu, using the sihu and pipa in addition to three-stringed lutes and wooden clappers.
Jingyun dagu is popular to this day in the Chinese capital. It is divided into three schools, headed by Liu Baoquan, Bai Yunpeng, and Zhang Xiaoxuan. Liu attained the highest artistic achievement by earning the title King of Dagu.. In the emergence of the three schools, another appeared, known as junior Bai School and headed by the brothers, Bai Fengyan and Bai Fengming.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Jingyun dagu took greater strides. Singers were regarded as people's artists or actors. While they continued to sing and tell traditional stories, themes reflecting contemporary life emerged, such as the Glorious Journey, Red Flag Over Mount Everest, Patriotism and Roaring Waves, Han Ying Meets Her Mother, and Bai Niu Tells a Story.
Many young artists were trained. Today, Zhao Xueyi (Bai school), Yang Fengiie (Liu school), Liu Chun'ai (Luo school), and Zhong Yujie (Liu school) rank as successful young artists.