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A Study on the Song Music Bureau Poems

Author: Luo
Tutor: ZhangMing
School: Beijing University
Course: Ancient Chinese Literature
Keywords: Song Poetry Music Bureau Poems Non-Musical Poems the Supplementof Music Bureau Poems Royal Ceremonial Music Bureau Poems Local CeremonialMusic Bureau Poems Lyrics of Guqin Songs
CLC: I207.22
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 158
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Music Bureau poems stands a large but seldom studied section in Song poetry. However, studies on Music Bureau poems in academia by now largely focus on pre-Song literature due to the complexity and disorder in the literature records of Song Dynasty Music Bureau poems.Song Dynasty was a crucial era for the development for the genre of Music Bureau poems. Song poets inherited the previous Music Bureau poems tradition, yet at the same time presented their new take in creation. Song literati shared the literary view of admiration to, pushing the Music Bureau poems back until the age of Shijing and Chuci. They paid special attention to the content of the poems, of the connotation and criticism involved, and therefore incorporated it into the Confucius moral structure guided by the sense of mission for the society. They accepted the previous Music Bureau poems literature from the aspects of theme and music, and basing on it, structured the total architecture of Music Bureau poems literature. During this process, they developed a comparative broad and tolerant understanding towards the Music Bureau poems genre, playing a role of further development. In the field of creation and practice, Song literati modeled, imitated and inherited the tradition of Shijing, Chuci, Han and Wei Music Bureau poems and Tang Music Bureau poems, showing their emphasis on Music Bureau poems as music-less poetry writing, i.e. Non-Musical Poems. Besides strong reverence towards the ancient models, they also celebrated the creation idea of "the supplement of Music Bureau poems." Namely making up the omission of the precedents, this idea actually enlarged the freedom of creation. Their new creation basing on the old Music Bureau poems titles presented a tendency of research and appropriation, while their new created titles emphasized innovations, taking the old to shift to the new. Therefore they inherited the narrative of previous Music Bureau poems, but also simultaneously achieved a new shift in the Music Bureau poems creation.With the shift from Music Bureau poems to Non-Musical Poems in Song, the themes and topics of Music Bureau poems were largely expanded, and bore the clear characteristics of Song Dynasty. First, most Song literati had the ambition of the sense of mission for the society, which led to their choice of inheriting the literary traits of Tang Xinyuefu, presenting a close attention to the ordinary people’s lives as well as expressing their own political ideals, and showing a pervasive care to the nation and the people. Second, Song literature displayed a new development of narrative literature. High-brow and low-brow literature converged and in a large degree enhanced the narrative tradition of literati’s Music Bureau poems. With their emphasis on reading, knowledge and talent, Song literati took pleasure in searching for allusions and ancient stories, while with the tradition of Music Bureau poems, they also paid attention to description of contemporary anecdotes. Finally, besides special attention towards ordinary people’s suffering. Song Music Bureau poems also showed an interest for everyday rural lives—basing on their own experience, literati summarize and transcribe the folk tradition of the places they had been to, focusing specifically on the everyday details. These characteristics make Song Music Bureau poems unique, and signify it as an important transitional period.Although Song Music Bureau poems almost completely shifts to Non-Musical Poems, it also largely preserves and inherits the previous musical tradition linked with Music Bureau poems, including three major types:royal ceremonial Music Bureau poems, local ceremonial Music Bureau poems and lyrics of guqin songs. Royal Ceremonial Music Bureau poems developed simultaneously with the rebuild of Song Palace Music, the ritual connotation significantly overshadowed its meaning of individual literary products. Therefore this dissertation will enter in the aspect of institution and ritual to discuss its production in the practice of Song Palace Music. The creation process of local ceremonial Music Bureau poems also involves negotiation with the royal ceremonial Music Bureau poems of previous dynasties, yet Song literati wrote local ceremonial Music Bureau poems voluntarily, aiming an ideal of elegance and virtuous, thus shifting it from ceremonial songs into the literati poetry system. Song literati paid special attention to research and imitate old lyrics of guqin songs. When they develop new titles, they combined their understanding and discovery of the ancient history, as well as a harmony between lyrics and music, pushing the reverence of the ancient towards the extreme.

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CLC: > Literature > Chinese Literature > The body of literature reviews and research > Poetry,verse > Poem
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