Melodies from the depths of history: Musical heritages from ancient China

Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

Updated: Feb 9, 2023 www.chinaservicesinfo.com Print
Share - WeChat

Yuanqu, or Yuan Dynasty poetry, evolved from popular folk songs. It spread extensively in the northern and southern regions of China, mainly from two cities -- Dadu (now Beijing) and Lin'an (now Hangzhou) in the 13th century. Yuanqu has a strict meter, and its sentence structure, number of lyrics and rhyme schemes have fixed formats. Generally speaking, Yuanqu consists of Yuan Poetic Drama (Yuanzaju) and Yuan Literary Song (Sanqu), both of which can be sung with Beiqu -- the music used for dramas and folk songs popular in northern China during the Jin and Yuan Dynasties (1115-1368).

Ceramic pillow with black motifs and Sanqu libretto inscriptions, Yuan Dynasty

The ceramic pillow is a product of Cizhou Kiln, a renowned folk kiln in today’s Hebei province. Cizhou ware was popular during the Song and Yuan dynasties. [Photo/Official website of Cizhouyao Museum]

With a length of 31 centimeters and width of 16.5, this ceramic pillow is inscribed with the libretto of a piece of Sanqu that vividly details the inner world of a lonely young woman in a boudoir who misses her lover.

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.


京公网安备 11010502032503号 京公网安备 11010502032503号