Qin Shi Chubian 6  
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Chapter Six: Song and Yuan dynasties 1
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p. 83

6. (Song and Yuan Dynasties, Introduction) 2

The Song dynasty ended a phase of separate states and disorder among the remnants of the Tang dynasty [618-906] and Five Dynasties [907-959], once again re-instating national unity. Agriculture and handicrafts were somewhat restored and developed. The inventions of gunpowder, the compass needle and printing, which gave rise to important advances in world economic and cultural development, were brought to completion during the Northern Song. Along with the rise of industrial cities, literature and art forms such as theatrical performances, narrative songs, ci lyrics, and instrumental music also flourished even further, greatly surpassing the Tang dynasty. The art of qin music also similarly had outstanding development.

Song dynasty rulers, militarily and politically, were all along rather weak. This was especially true during the Southern Song, facing the aggressive power of the northern Jin and Yuan regimes; time and again they lost armies and ceded territory. Towards these sorts of actions by the ruling class, losing the people's integrity and in humiliation suing for peace, the masses felt bitter hatred and extremely righteous indignation. This sort of depression, reflected in the literary domain, gave rise to such patriotic poets as Lu You 3 and Xin Qiji.4 Reflected in qin circles there were such patriotic qin masters as Guo Chuwang and Wang Yuanliang.5 They, in the process of creation and performance, expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the current situation.

The famous qin masters of the Song dynasty in general all had clear origins from teachers, traditions handed down from generation to generation, traceable to the same origins, and accumulating rather abundant performing experience. The Northern Song had a "Qin Monk System"; the Southern Song had a "Zhe-School System". Both were very influential qin schools of those times. Inspired by these famous qin masters, at the same time having the support of not a few literati and amateur devotees, and also adding the encouragement from the ruling class, these then caused the quantity of Song dynasty qin pieces to increase, and the quality also to have notable improvement. The qin compositions and essays of people in the Song dynasty had direct influence on [people of] the Ming and Qing.

(Continue with Qin Players: Qin monk teachers and disciples)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chapter 6 (QSCB, pp. 83 - 121) covers these dynasties (dates, capital city [modern name]):

Northern Song (960-1126; Dongjing [Kaifeng])
Liao (907-1125; Dading Fu [Daning?])
Southern Song (1127-1280; Linan Fu [Hangzhou])
Jin (1115-1260; Zhongdu [Beijing])
Yuan (1206-1280-1368; Dadu [Beijing])

2. No separate title for this introduction

3. 陸游 Lu You (1125 - 1210)
See further.

4. 辛棄疾 Xin Qiji (d.1198)
See further.

5. See Section 6.a.3.

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