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Cadence of Strings: A Little History of Cantonese Music

Cadence of Strings: A Little History of Cantonese Music

By Guangdong Federation of Literary and Art Circles

Guangdong Institute for Literature and Art

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84464-680-7

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84464-681-4

Hardback - 122 pages

November 2021


£65 €78 $98



The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Culture: Three Treasures of Lingnan Series is a set of brief and illustrated introductions to three traditional art forms -- Guangdong opera, Lingnan school of painting and Guangdong music -- in south China. We hope these three riveting books, including Love on the Stage, Beauty of Colors and Cadence of Strings, can attract more overseas readers who love Chinese and Lingnan culture to explore further their artistic and unique charm and history.

Cadence of Strings: A Little History of Cantonese Music mainly focuses on the history, soul, heritage, innovation, features and peak development of Cantonese music. It also tells the story of the imminent persons in Cantonese music history and introduces the instruments and classical works of Cantonese music.

Since the beginning of reform and opening up in 1978 and with the rise of China's economy, Chinese culture has become more and more influential in the world. As an important part of Chinese culture, Lingnan culture plays a key role and it manifests itself most notably in art, Cantonese opera, architecture and food. More and more young people of the overseas Chinese need to know the root and development of culture of their parents and ancestors. Moreover, foreigners who are interested in Chinese culture and history also want to learn this remarkable and robust culture.




Rooting in Lingnan—The History of Cantonese Music

Germination: Booming of the Folk Musical Bands

Origin: The Product of Multiple Cultures

Development: Masters and Masterpieces

Reforms of the Musical Instruments—The Soul of Cantonese Music

Prototype: Hard-Bow Performance to Depict Common Life

Transforming: Soft-Bow Bringing New Life

Maturity: Incorporation of the Western Music

Contemporary Cantonese Music—Heritage and Innovation of Cantonese Music

Heritage: Flowering Everywhere

Innovation: New Skills to Create Grandeur

Studies: Academic Reconstruction of the Culture

Combination of the East and the West—Features of Cantonese Music

Rhythm: Elegant Brisk Lyrics

Themes: Common Feelings over Different Generations

Styles: Merging of Soul and Music

Movement: Incorporation of the Western Musical Techniques

Musical Instruments: Changing with the Times

Great Masters—Eminent Persons in the History of Cantonese Music

The Three Hes: Pioneers of Modern Cantonese Music

He Liutang: A Master at the Transitional Stage of Cantonese Music

He Yunian: A Prolific Composer Determining the Position of Cantonese Music

He Shaoxia: A Master of Musical Instruments Expertizing in the Classical Literature and Lyrics

The “Four Kings”: Propellers Leading Cantonese Music to Its Golden Age

Lü Wencheng: A Master of Cantonese Music and Reformer of the Musical Instruments

Yin Zizhong: A Pioneer Who Nationalized the Violin

He Dasha: A Reformer of Guitar and Excellent Performer

He Langping: A Lover of Classical Literature Dedicated to Folk Music Creation

Qiu Hechou: The Initiator Providing Textbooks of Cantonese Music

Blooming—List of Classical Cantonese Musical Pieces

“The Pathetic Story of the Two Stars”: Classical Musical Piece Based on Chinese Folklore

“Lightning in the Blue Sky”: Music with New Performing Techniques

“Rain Spattering on Banana Leaves”: Early Masterpiece with Heavy Lingnan Flavor

“The Dragon Boat Race Champion”: Classical Cantonese Music with Western Techniques

“Rising Higher Step by Step”: Popular Music Singing about Musical Instrument Reform

“A Peacock Spreads its Tail”: The Musical Piece Employing Various Western Musical Instruments

“Little Taohong”: A Pioneer to Escape the Bondage of Tradition

“Birds Returning to the Woods”: A Musical Piece Embodying Nature

Breakthrough—The Peak of Cantonese Music in the New Age

New Birth: New Musical Pieces Created One after Another

New Trend: Creation not Limited to One Type

Following the Trend of the Times—Cantonese Music Opening a New Chapter

Folk Music: Following the Social Trends

Transformation: Carrier of Cultural Renaissance




Guangdong Federation of Literary and Art Circles is a provincial non-governmental organization in Guangdong province. Its mission is to unite and serve writers and artists, to train literary and art talents, and to promote the development and prosperity of literature and arts in the province.

Guangdong Institute for Literature and Art is an organization specialized in serving the provincial writers and artists to carry out their studies in the related fields.

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