TQS/TCO Joint Performance @ Evergreen Farmer’s Market, January 21, 2012

What are we up to?

 In celebration of the 2012/4710 Chinese New Year of the Water Dragon, the Toronto Guqin Society (TQS) has partnered up with the Toronto Chinese Orchestra (TCO) and Mr. William Ho of The ONE Gallery in Unionville, to bring you authentic traditional ritual music used in the Guanli coming-of-age ceremony. Recorded in High-Definition, this is the first time since TQS performed the piece in partnership with the Chinese Students and Scholars Associations of Ontario Universities (CSSAOU) in the 60th anniversary of the PRC in 2009.

The three stages of the coming-of-age ceremony are reflected by the three pieces of music used – consecutive pieces “Lu Ming”, “Si Mu” and “Huanghuang Zhe Hua” from the “Small Elegant Airs” section of the Book of Poetry. The score used is the Imperial Commissioned Score of the Book of Poetry, titled by Qianlong of the Qing period (in the 18th century). The score was part of a larger cultural reform at the time, and the republication of the work in the Republican era (early 20th century) did not make any amendments. Juni Yeung from TQS has spent two years in studying the system, in attempt to revert the changes from the 14-pitch scale back to the 12-pitch one, and strike a balance with contemporary instrumental and performance contexts.

 TQS and TCO will be publically performing these pieces on Saturday, January 21, 2012, from 10AM to 11:30am, at Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., Toronto, ON, M4W 3X8. Music lovers, families, and curious minds are encouraged to attend and experience this rare opportunity in celebration of the year of the dragon! This celebration will take place during the weekly Farmers’ Market. For more information, see:

Toronto Guqin Society: https://torguqin.wordpress.com
Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market: http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/farmers-market#jan21


為迎接公元2012年﹑黃帝4710壬辰龍年之際﹐多倫多古琴社以高清高質視聽錄像模式﹐與多倫多中樂團在和萬錦於人村歷史Main街區『壹藝軒』何靖恆老師再度合作 , 為全球華人送上傳統成人冠笄禮的禮樂。這是繼2009年多倫多古琴社與安省高校中國學生學者聯誼會(CSSAOU) 協辦『中國風﹐海外情』國慶60周年暨中秋晚會中『成人禮』(冠禮笈禮)表演之后﹐再度隆重推出傳統雅樂演奏節目.

冠禮笈禮三加所用之音樂為《詩經﹕小雅》的連續三首《鹿鳴》﹑《四牡》﹑《皇皇者華》。使用的樂譜為清代《乾隆欽定詩經樂譜》﹐為當時禮樂制度改革的一部份。民國年間這本《詩經樂譜》公開出版, 並無對清代版本作任何改動。多倫多古琴社社長楊雪亭耗時兩年對古代樂制潜心研究﹐並且嘗試把十四律制音樂轉換回現代十二律制﹑並且找尋現代民族樂器律制之間的平衡。

 多倫多古琴社將於2012年1月21日(周六)上午10:00時至11時30分﹐在Evergreen Brick Works國家常青自然文化社區中心(550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8 Canada)向公眾推出中國傳統雅樂和古琴音樂演奏活動﹐歡迎愛好音樂的家庭来參與﹐齊接喜慶水龍年﹗屆時本節目將與當地每週農夫市場(Farmers’ Market)同時進行。

詳情請瀏覽以下網站﹕多倫多古琴社https://torguqin.wordpress.com, 常青會農夫市場http://ebw.evergreen.ca/whats-on/farmers-market#jan21

Below is a sneak preview of what’s to come: More

Meetings, music, and more meetings!

What are we up to?

For those wondering what TQS has been up to these days, the picture on the right gives a little hint for what is about to come — and here’s a hint, it’ll be online, and you’ll see it soon.

A big kudos to the great human beings in this picture (from left):
Front row: Yanyan Zhu, (Helen Wu), Esther Zhang, Rainbow Xu, Thomas Yun
Back row: Mr. Xu, Frederick Yiu, William Ho, Juni Yeung, Jason Ye
In other news, here are two dates to mark down for upcoming events and gatherings:
– Thursday, December 22, 2011 (Dongzhi, Winter Solstice)
We will be holding a (smaller) gathering, honouring our tradition of holding a meeting on that day, sharing great music and a great (vegan-friendly) hot pot dinner! Update: http://www.facebook.com/events/340699389290536/
Address: Esther Zhang’s Place, 75 Iangrove Terrace, Toronto, ON
– Saturday, January 21, 2012 (Just before 4710 Chinese New Year)
We are organizing yet another major public event, in collaboration with the Toronto Chinese Orchestra and Evergreen Brick Works! Again, stay tuned for more details.
Remember, always stay tuned to TorGuqin events by subscribing to this blog (see upper right hand corner)!

Notice of event detail & time change for Sept.24 Ceremony


To all who those who are interested on the September 24th Coming-of-Age Ceremony;


Thank you for your continued attention on this event.
We regretfully inform that due to financial and venue difficulties, the original intended plan for a full Guan-Li (Chinese coming-of-age ceremony), followed by a She-li (Archery ceremony) on the 24th of September at 2 to 4 PM is rescheduled.

The new time and location is now integrated with CSSAUO’s evening variety event on the same day (Sept.24, 2009) at 7PM, in Ryerson Theatre. Tickets to this event are priced at $10, purchasable from http://1ticket.ca/html/onshow/2009/0831/31.html.

To this end, we also regret to inform that due to timing constraints, we are only able to retain one Jia (adding headpieces, changing clothes) sequence from the originally intended three Jia. The Archery Ceremony is also forced to cancel due to the new venue’s technical restriction. However, this does not detract the upcoming ritual from its sacred properties, and is just as legitimate and authentic. Our participants are just as committed as before.

Our hope in this cooperation is to bring to the Toronto community-at-large the authentic spirit and face of traditional Chinese ritual, music and culture. This setback is by no means dented our determination to strive for this end. It is our intention that in the foreseeable future, we will again organize a similar event. If any individuals or organizations are interested in learning or interviewing about or actualizing traditional Chinese ritual and arts, please do not hesitate to contact the Toronto Guqin Society (TorGuqin) for consultation or partnership.


With a deep bow in sincere apologies,

Joshua Yushuai Cai, CUAUT (www.cuaut.org)
Juni Lefeuille Yeung, TorGuqin (https://torguqin.wordpress.com)




很遺憾地﹐我們因財政及場地等種種困難﹐原定在二零零九年九月二十四日下午二時到四時的三加冠笄禮(傳統華夏成人禮) 及射禮(傳統射箭項目) 將會受到時間變動。

新的時間安排是同一天的晚上﹐於安省中國學生學者聯誼會聯盟(CSSAUO) 的『中國風﹐海外情』晚會﹐即二零零九年九月二十四日晚上七時﹐於懷雅遜大學劇院(Ryerson Theatre) 中舉行。該晚會門票可在網上購得﹐地址為﹕http://1ticket.ca/html/onshow/2009/0831/31.html﹐價錢為十元。

於此﹐我們亦因為此更動後附上的時間限制﹐原定的三加(即換戴三套衣服及頭飾) 簡短為一加﹐射禮亦室內場地技術困難而被迫取消。但是﹐這並不代表儀式的神聖及莊重性質有任何的減省。我們的參禮者一直保持著對该节目的重視及熱誠。




蔡寓帥Joshua Cai,  多倫多大學中國大學生聯合會 (www.cuaut.org)
楊儁立Juni Yeung , 多倫多古琴社 (https://torguqin.wordpress.com)

Chinese Coming-of-Age Ceremony and Archery Ceremony, Sept. 24, 2009

2006112522421411904The Toronto Guqin Society (TQS) and University of Toronto Chinese Undergraduate Association(CUAUT) will be performing a traditional Chinese coming-of-age ceremony, followed by a Chinese Archery ceremony. This is a part of a larger series of cultural events organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Ontario United(CSSAUO), in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The ceremonies will take place on September 24, 2009, from 2-4PM, in the Quadrangle (open grass area) of Ryerson University (41 Gerrard St. E.).  General admittance to the traditional ceremonies in the afternoon is free of charge. Tickets to the evening venue are priced at $10, and are purchasable from www.1ticket.ca

TQS has painstakingly researched the details of the ritual and has successfully recovered and restored the previously thought lost music score from the Book of Odes, and will be integrating four sections with the ceremony, performed by members of TQS and the Toronto Chinese Symphony. Be sure to come witness this rare glimpse of traditional Chinese ritual and court music!

                Traditionally, males at age 20 and females at age 15 undergo the coming-of-age, and the rituals are called Guan-li冠禮 and Ji-li笄禮respectively. Participants undergo three changes of traditional clothing and headwear to represent the process of maturity, legal empowerment, and burdening of social responsibility. Finally, the mentor figure gives every participant a unique zi 字, or courtesy name, to be used by others referring to the new adults as an honorific.

                The She-li射禮, or Archery ritual, was used in pre-Confucian China as a method of leader selection. Confucian revisionism gave this ritual additional meaning of demonstrating proper ritual, manners, music, social order, and using a weapon for peace and education.

                These rituals were lost in practice due to Manchurian imposing bans and censors on Han Chinese clothing and traditional culture during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), as well as Imperialism and Westernization since the 1850’s. Since 2003, an Internet movement beginning in China called on everyone to rediscover the lost Han Chinese culture and promote its value to global multiculturalism, debunking past stereotypes and taking pride in the Chinese heritage.

                 This event is officially supported by CSSAUO, TQS, and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto. The evening show is officially sponsored by CIBC, China Unionpay, and Scotiabank.

Related Downloads:

An introduction to Traditional Han Chinese Clothing 
Ritual Itinerary
A detailed account of the Guan-li (Coming-of-age ceremony)
A detailed account of the She-li (Archery ceremony)

The Shijing CAN be sung! Playing and Singing pieces from the Book of Odes

A page from the Shijing Yuepu

A page from the Shijing Yuepu

*EDIT: Please see newer post*

One google search will usually tell you that the Book of Songs/Book of Odes/Classic of Poetry/Shijing/《詩經》 is one of the oldest classics of Chinese literature, with its 300+ songs in Classical Chinese (not to be confused with Wenyan 文言 or “literary speech” written form), and was traditionally sung but its music was lost throughout the ages, therefore people today just recite it. 

What bull.

Just look at this document, the Qinding Shijing Yuepu 《欽定詩經樂譜》, commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor and reprinted by Wang Yunwu in the Republican period.The music is lost? What lies. 

Due to the recent preparation of a Guanli in Toronto, I have become increasingly busy to the point where I haven’t even touched this blog in weeks (when I should be giving an outline of my England travels – looks like that’ll have to wait). However, this is too important to just slip by, and this book represents the very purpose of this site. This post includes translated sections of the music score for use in Guanli and Sheli.

Please click in. More


June 2023