Tianyun Society’s Kunqu Opera Opern
Tianyun Society is a Kunqu Opera singing organization (without makeup and acting) boasting a long history. The society was originally founded in Wuxi during Tianqi and Chongzhen Period of Ming Dynasty (1621—1644) by the name “Wuxi Kunqu Club”. In 1920, the organization determined its name as “Tianyun Society”. The conventional activities of the society were once interrupted due to the Counter Japanese War (1937—1945) and revived after the victory. However the irresistible aging and successive passing away of the members made the society gradually lost its activity. The 1950s finally witnessed the dissolution of Tianyun Society.
<Tianyun Society’s Kunqu Opera Opern> is a set of materials specially compiled for the society’s practical use. Revised and transcribed by Wu Wanqing(1847—1927), a chief of the society, The first edition of the opern was printed and published in 1921 by the national musician Yang Yinliu(1899—1984). The opern provides a large amount of both popular and rare opera highlights in humble handwriting. With the distinguishing features of some time-honoured Kunqu Opera notations well conserved and recorded, the opern was recognized as a valuable piece of reference for Kunqu Opera studies. The book begins with Wu Wanqing’s essay <Instructions on Opern Reading>, which brings forward eight notations to identify the methodologies of pronunciation and phonological process: U、从、巳、吳、△、戈、□、閉. These notations are recognized as the prime standard and theoretical basis of Tianyun Society’s Kunqu Opera singing practice. To emphasize that, the cover pattern of this new edition are created based on Wu Wanqing’s handwriting of these notations.
Editor: Rongli Lv
Editorial Design: Jiayan He
Publish: Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House