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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Literatures  »  
The Book of Songs

Book of Songs"is China's first poetry collection and it is a collection of 305 poetries from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Spring and Autumn period altogether five hundred years. In pre-Qin period, it was called “poetry” or “three hundred poems”. The Book of Songs is a treasure in Chinese Culture. In Western Han Dynasty, it earned the title of the Confucian classics, it is called "The Book of Songs" and still in use.

Book of Songs was appeared in the Spring and Autumn Period. In the Han Dynasty, it is regarded as a classic of Confucian. In Han Dynasty, there are Qi, Lu, Han, Mao four families teach the "Book of Songs". After Eastern Han Dynasty, Qi, Lu and Han has lost their books. The only remaining one is “an unofficial biography of Han family." The book of Mao was prevailed over the Eastern Dynasty and it has spread so far.


















Source of the Artwork
The authors of The Book of Songs is not only one person as it was produced in a wide geographic field. In addition to the production of the Zhou Dynasty official music songs of Lords and songs offered by aristocracy, there are many original popular folk songs as well. As for how these folk songs come to court, there are different versions. Some scholars in Han Dynasty believed that the Zhou Dynasty had ordered people who were specialized in collecting folk songs, in order to understand the pros and cons of political and customs of ups and downs. But there are another version: there folk songs were collected by musicians in each country. Musicians are officials and experts in charge of the music, to sing and compose them as a career, collecting songs to enrich their lyrics and melody.

The Genre of the Book of Songs
The Book of Songs collected three hundred and five poetry within about five hundred years since the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Spring and Autumn Period. The content of the book includes Feng, Ya and Song, altogether three parts. Feng is the folk songs of every field within Zhou Dynasty and there are 160 folk songs in The Book of Songs. Ya is the music of the imperial court and it was divided into Daya and Xiaoya with a total of 105 pieces. Song is the music of the ancestral temple of a ruling house with a total of 40 pieces.

The technique of expression in The Book of Songs are Fu, Bi and Xing. Fu is the way to express the story plain and ungarnished. Bi is similar to analogy in which the poet may use one thing to signify another thing. Xing is to enlighten, that is to say, the poet may begin his topic through another related thing instead of expressing it directly.


















Background of the Poetry
According to legend, Chinese Zhou Dynasty has officials who was specialized in collecting poetry. Every spring, they rocking a bell with a wooden clapper to collect folk songs. The folk songs were able to reflect the joy of the sufferings of the people's work. The official would gather the songs and handed them to prime minister (officer in charge of music) to compose music, singing to listen to the emperor as the reference of the policy.

The development of agriculture would promote social progress. After King Wu's conquest over Yin, King Wu of Zhou become world overlord. Family patriarchal system, land, slaves and aristocrats private lords rule become social and political characteristics of this historical period. Religious beliefs and social politics integrated. This is why is there a lot of the social basis of sacrificial odes and elegant poetry in Book of Songs.

By the foundation of King Wu and Wen and the prosperity of King Cheng and kang, altogether about 40 years, then can be called the golden age of the Zhou Dynasty. After King Zhao and Mu, Mu later, national power gradually decline. Later, King Li was expulsed, King You was killed, King Ping moved eastward, the central China went into the Spring and Autumn Period. The royal court in Spring and Autumn Period were weak. Dukes or princes under the emperor invaded each other so that the society is in great turmoil. "Book of Songs" which is a reflection of the social aspects of life from the beginning of Zhou Dynasty to the middle of the Spring and Autumn Period. On the whole, it reflected social aspects of life in China's image in five hundred years, including the ancestors of entrepreneurship carol and ghost worship music movement; the Noble feast interaction and uneven grievances between work and rest; moving chapter reflect labor, hunting, love, marriage and social customs. 




Trista





 

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