Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Asian Studies; Art History
Project Advisor 1
The role of music has been very important to Chinese society for thousands of years. Through the timeline of Chinese history, representations of music making were widely found in Chinese tomb arts, wall paintings and scroll paintings. The Guqin, generally called “Qin” for short, in time became the most traditional and popular instrument for Chinese literati and officialdom. When Ji Kang (223-262 AD) wrote his Poetic Essayon the Qin, it established the development of the Qin as an instrument harmonized with nature and suited to self-development. Illustrations of playing the Qin were very few until the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD.) The trend of playing the Qin during Song times, along with its related artistic creations and practices, brought out enormously notable artistic values.
The subject of this Senior Project is the Qin’s history and importance in Chinese culture and art. First we will look at the origins of the Qin before considering Ji Kang’s contribution. By the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD,) the Qin became less popular specifically due to the importance of other musical instruments at court. In the second part, we will discuss the role of the Qin in Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) culture. It enjoyed a renaissance in the Song Dynasty with the development of the elite class who was part of the court, like Su Shi and Mi Fu who were renowned artists. In no other period was it held in such high esteem.
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Wang, Xinyue, "The Role of the Qin in Chinese Culture and Art" (2019). Senior Projects Fall 2019. 4.
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