SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

“Lost Songs” of Kang Hai (1475-1541)

This project aims to study a newly discovered sixteenth-century song collection Pandong yuefu houlu 沜東樂府後錄 (Addendum to Songs from the East of the Bank) written by Kang Hai 康海 (1475-1541), one of the most influential songwriters in late imperial China.

Pandong yuefu houlu is the sequel to Kang’s song collection Pandong yuefu. It was widely believed to have been lost, and therefore was not discussed in previous studies of Kang Hai and not included in all modern editions of his songs. The discovery of this song collection is significant. It includes a total of 185 xiaoling songs and 82 song suites. These “lost songs” in Pandong yuefu houlu double the number of Kang Hai’s sanqu songs hitherto known in current scholarship and also add significantly to the sources for the study of Ming sanqu songs.

This project has produced a collation and annotation of the full text of Pandong yuefu houlu, both in printed and digital forms, with the aim of enhancing wider circulation of the source and further development in the study of Kang Hai. The project was supported by a grant from the British Academy and the Sino-British Fellowship Trust.


Tian Yuan Tan 陳靝沅 (email: