SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

4: Xiyang Xiaogu / Flute and Drum at Sunset

Pipa with xiao, erhu, sheng, bangzi and pengzhong.

Arranged by Cheng Yu, Xiyang iaogu is a typical 'civil repertory' (wenqu) suite for the pipa. it first appeared in Ju Shilin's pipa score around 1800. It depicts an enchanting spring river scene in southern China, the changing colours of the setting sun accompanying the gradual disappearance of the boats of fishermen.

The sections of the suite are titled: 

  • Sound of Bells from the Riverside Tower
  • Moon Above the eastern Hills
  • Breeze on the Stream
  • Shadows of Flowers
  • Distant Clouds and Water Merge into One
  • Evening Song of Fishermen
  • Waves Lapping at the Shore
  • Homeward Bound

The suite ends with a short coda.