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Fujian Nanqu


Nanguan of Fujian Province performed on the stage (Beijing, 1987).
cMusic Research Institute

It is a large folk music form of complex structure with vocal and instrumental music.

Reasons for selection

Its age-old feature.

Area where performed

Areas of the the Minnan dialect, Taiwan province and overseas Chinese communities in South East Asia.

Essential elements of the performing art


Detailed explanation

Nanqu, which is also called Nanyin, Nanguan, Guanxian, Nanyue, is a historic remains of singing and dancing music, ci and qu music, as well as local opera music of Song Dynasty and the Yuan Dynasty. It was handed down in the folk by qushe (music clubs, music societies) during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The performing art contains three big parts of zhi, qu and pu. Zhi is a cyclical vocal music form; qu is a style of reciting, speaking rather than singing; pu means instrumental music. There are instruments for accompaniment, mainly the dongxiao (a kind of vertical flute) pipa, erxian (a 2-string instrument), sanxian (a 3-string guitar played with a plectrum) and castanets, etc. The representative music pieces mainly are "Meihuacao"(Plum Blossom Performance), "Bajunma"(Eight Pretty Horses). "Sishijing" (Scenery of Four Seasons) and "Bainiaoguichao" (A Hundred Birds Return to the Nests), etc.

Publication and textual documentation

WANG Yaohua and LIU Chunshu
1989 Fujian Nanyin Chutan [Preliminary Study in Fujian Nanyin].
Fuzhou: Fujian People's Press.

Audio documentation

Traditions Populaires Instrumentales [Folk Instrument Traditions ]
CD, English text inside, produced in Switzerland.

Visual documentation

already available

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion


Data provider

Mr. Qiao Jianzhong
Music Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Arts
Address: Dong zhi men wai, Xin Yuan Li West Building No.1, Beijing 100027, China