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HomeTraditonalLuteChinese Traditional Song:The Butterfly Lovers

Chinese Traditional Song:The Butterfly Lovers

Chinese traditional song has introduced some great song for you.Maybe you do not know one of them.That’s our goal to introduce more and more famous Chinese song for people in the world.In fact, China has the long history and abundant culture.You can get more interesting thing about China.Here we go!

Today we will go to get the Chinese Romeo and Juliet.Yes, if you know something about China, you will know the song:The Butterfly Lovers.About the song,we would not like the previous articles style.We will just make a brief background introduction for you.And then we would want to tell a household love story in China for more than 1000 years.It’s a huge story like the Romeo and Juliet as we mention firstly.

The Butterfly Lovers

The writer about the song

The song was developed by Zhanhao He and Gang Chen on May 27, 1959.It was a violin concerto and was played in Shanghai Lyceum Theater.In fact,The Chinese love song is the most famous violin concerto in Chinese history.The music’s content was found in the famous love story as follows.This story is talking about the lovers: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai.

Story about the music

The legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai was set in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (265-420 CE).Zhu Yingtai was the ninth child and only daughter of the rich Zhu family of Shangyu, Zhejiang. Although women were traditionally discouraged from taking up scholarly pursuits, Zhu managed to convince her father to allow her to go to classes in disguise as a man. During her trip to Hangzhou, she met Liang Shanbo, a scholar from Kuaiji (present-day Shaoxing).

They chatted and felt an intense attraction for each other at their first meeting. Hence, they gathered some soil as incense and took an oath of fraternity in the pavilion of a thatched bridge.They studied together for the next three years in school and Zhu gradually fell in love with Liang. Though Liang equals Zhu in their studies, he was still a bookworm and was unable to notice the feminine characteristics exhibited by his classmate.

One day, Zhu got a letter from her father, wondering her to come back home as soon as possible. Zhu had no choice but to pack her belongings immediately and bidden Liang farewell. However, in her heart, she had already admitted her love for Liang and was found to be with him for all eternity. Before her leaving, she showed her true identity to the headmaster's wife and told her to pass a jade pendant to Liang as a betrothal gift.

Liang accompanied his "sworn brother" for 18 miles to meet her off. During the trip, Zhu hinted to Liang that she was really a woman. For example, she compared them to a pair of mandarin ducks (a sign of lovers in Chinese culture), but Liang didn’t catch her hints and didn’t even have the slightest suspicion that his companion was a woman in disguise. Zhu finally come up with an idea and told Liang that she would act as a matchmaker for him and his "sister". Before they part, Zhu reminded Liang to visit her residence later so he could propose marrying her "sister." Liang and Zhu unwillingly part ways at the Changting pavilion.

Months later, when Liang visited Zhu, he found out that she is indeed a woman. They were dedicated to and passionate about each other and they made a promise to the effect of "till death give us part". The joy of their reunion was short-lived as Zhu's parents had already arranged for her to get married to Ma Wencai, a man from a wealthy family. Liang was heartbroken when he hears the news and his health gradually deteriorates until he becomes critically ill. He died in office later as a county magistrate.

On the day of Ma and Zhu's marriage, strong winds prevented the wedding procession from escorting the bride beyond Liang's grave, which lay along the journey. Zhu left the procession to pay her respects at Liang's grave. She descended in bitter despair and begged for the grave to initiate. Suddenly, the grave opened with a clap of thunder. Without further hesitation, Zhu jumped into the grave to join Liang. Their spirits turned into a pair of butterflies, emerged from the grave, fled away together and were never to be separated again.

The End

You will find there is infatuation with lingering, persistent and firm in the song.In fact, the song video is not the violin but is played by the lute(pipa) and the piano.
Hope you love the wonderful Chinese music story!

Jack Smith
Jack Smith
I am a Chinese music lover, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my passion for Chinese music with you. Through my love for Chinese music, I hope to connect with fellow enthusiasts and explore the beauty and depth of this incredible art form.


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