Home> Arts


ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: August 12, 2016 L M S

Development of Townsfolk Music Culture

After the Sui and Tang Dynasty, Zhejiang become increasingly important as the Chinese economic and cultural center gradually moved southward. Hangzhou was chosen as the capital for both Wuyue State of the Five Dynasties Period and the Southern Song Dynasty. Especially the Southern Song's sovereignty resided in Hangzhou for more than 140 years, making the beautiful city the political, economic and cultural center of the country.

Qu Zi Ci

The thriving economy and culture of the city accelerated the development of townsfolk music culture. One of the typical city music of the time was the Qu Zi Ci, which began in the Tang Dynasty and popularized in the Song Dynasty. It was a quite novel form of folk songs in cities. As scholars and poets emulatively composed lyrics to the tunes for singers, they left behind a rich of masterpieces. These activities gave a positive push to the development of the townsfolk music culture of Hangzhou.

Xiao Ci

While absorbing nourishments from the folk songs, the scholars tremendously increased the popularity of folk music culture in Zhejiang. In addition, a kind of "Xiao Ci" (mini-Ci, classical poetry conforming to a definite pattern) emerged in Lin’an, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. A team of three to five performers would sing Xiao Ci along the streets while one or two small girls dancing and twisting on their heads, shoulders or their stretching arms. These drifting performers sang in the tea houses, restaurants or along the streets instead of the training workshops; They sang to the common passersby instead of the nobilities. As a result, the Xiao Ci they sang was not as delicate and elegant as Qu Zi Diao and Zhu Gong Diao. Instead, it was a kind of more exoteric songs with popular lyrics and tunes which better suited lower-class people. Some tunes of Xiao Ci were probably the offhand works upon their familiar tunes in life. As Ment Liang Lu put it, the songs were actually imitations of the voices in the capital or in the fair such as peddlers' shouting with the five-tone scaled music.

< 1 2 3 4 >