SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

The Guqin Art and its Revival in the 21st Century Conference

IMG - guqin festival black

Date: 25 August 2018Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 26 August 2018Time: 2:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

Type of Event: Conference


Registration is required of all participants.  ONLINE REGISTRATION

Conference fee:  £60 (£50 LYQS members and non-SOAS students, £30 SOAS students)

* Students must show a valid student ID card on the day.

Please note that the online registration closes at noon, 24 August 2018.

Cancellation and refund policy
Cancellations must be reported in writing to the Conference Manager.  Cancellations must be received by 24 August 2018 in which case registration fees will be refunded, less a £10 processing fee.  No refund will be given to cancellations received after 24 August 2018.


This conference is part of the The First London International Guqin Festival 2018.

The 2-day conference will comprise a roundtable discussion, academic presentations on the guqin and its music and a concert.

Conference Theme:  “The Guqin art and its Revival in the 21st Century”.

Conference papers

Since UNESCO declared the guqin a part of the “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2003, and a guqin piece was performed during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the art of the guqin has enjoyed a surge of interest in China and around the world. It is probably better known and more popular now than it has ever been. For centuries it was the exclusive preserve of the literati class, and during the mid-20th century it almost disappeared. By the latter part of that century there were only a handful of players in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Nowadays in China many people, even children, learn to play it. The Internet has of course helped to spread it across the globe, and guqin societies have even begun to appear in countries outside the Chinese-speaking world, including Japan, the USA, and the UK.

SESSION 1: Organology, Social and Cross-cultural Meaning 
  1. A Silk-Stringed Qin and Its Three Western Sinologists: Robert Van Gulik 高羅佩, Laurence Picken 毕铿 and Stephen Jones 忠思弟 – Cheng Yu (SOAS, University of London)
  2. Yangzhou as a Thriving Centre Of Guqin Societies And Manufacturing – Jiang He (Masters student, Sichuan Conservatory of Music)
  3. The Qianlong 乾隆 Emperor’s Guqin: Craftsmanship, Nostalgia and Virtue – Edward Luper (Chinese art specialist at Bonhams auction house)
  4. Robert van Gulik and the Qin Today – Marie-Anne Souloumiac (creative entrepreneur and founder of DEE Projects 狄公)
SESSION 2: Aesthetics and Iconography
  1. Preliminary Remarks on Qin Iconography from Chen Yang’s 陳暘 Treatise on Music Iconography (Yuetulun 樂圖論) – Luca Pisano (Associate Professor of Chinese language and literature, Kore University of Enna, Italy)
  2. A Philosopher’s Qin Sound – Peiyou Chang (New York Qin Society)
  3. The “View of Nature” in the Musical Aesthetics of the Guqin in Terms of Comparing the 24 Epithets of Guqin Music (二十四琴況,《谿山琴況》) and 24 Epithets of Poems (《二十四詩品》) – Mei-Yen Lee (Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, National Pingtung University, Taiwan)
  4. Living Off the Landscape – the Spatial Aesthetics of the Guqin in Literature – Yuhan Wang (Masters student, National Taiwan University)
  5. Representations of the Guqin in China Today: From Recurrent Nostalgia, Cultural Etiquette to Revival Movements – Omid Christoph Bürgin (Lecturer and Researcher at the UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Music Studies, Department of Musicology, University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar & Friedrich Schiller University, Jena)
SESSION 3: Notation and Education
  1. Some Remarks about the Past, Present and Future of a Special Notation System for the Guqin – Dorothee Schaab-Hanke (Department of History, University of Bamberg)
  2. Developing Standards of the Guqin: Towards a Critical Approach Pedagogy of the Guqin, Musicology, and its Culture – Juni Yeung (Toronto Guqin Society)
  3. Qin Rhythms – Marnix Wells (Independent Researcher)
  4. From Habitual Imitation to Systematic Training – An Idea for the Construction of a Guqin Teaching System – Zeng He (Lecturer in Chinese music and guqin performance Sichuan Conservatory of Music)

Round table discussion

Deadline for submissions

The call for papers is now closed.

Organiser: The London Youlan Qin Society and SOAS China Institute

Contact email: