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Whistling in China


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#1 whistlingresearcher

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 05:12 PM

I'm working on a book about the history of human whistling throughout the world.

China, from what I know so far, has a rich history of whistling, including, what seems to be the first documentation of whistling in the world (in a treaty from around 6th century BCE--though I can't confirm this).

I'm interested in anything anyone has on human whistling in China. (Please note that I'm looking for human whistling, not information about Mongolian whistling arrows or the history of the whistle object.)

Please share whatever you have on the topic.

Thanks!

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

I'm working on a book about the history of human whistling throughout the world.

China, from what I know so far, has a rich history of whistling, including, what seems to be the first documentation of whistling in the world (in a treaty from around 6th century BCE--though I can't confirm this).

I'm interested in anything anyone has on human whistling in China. (Please note that I'm looking for human whistling, not information about Mongolian whistling arrows or the history of the whistle object.)

Please share whatever you have on the topic.

Thanks!


The modern Chinese term for 'whistling' is known as "kou shao 口哨". But the ancient Chinese historical term for whistling is known as "xiao 啸". Whistling had a long history of development in ancient China dated from 1000 BC. It actually developed into a form of art in China known as "Xiao Yi 啸艺" (Art of Whistling), which was often combined with Chinese poetry (literature). Note that music and poetry were often combined together in Chinese literary art.

Pre-Qin period

Whistling first appeared in ancient China around 1,000 BC amongst the public. Whistling became a popular habitual practice by the females to express their melancholic and sad feelings.

The book of Odes (Shijing 《诗经》), China's earliest poetry anthology dated around 1,000 BC (early Western Zhou), had records of "whistling" (xiao 啸)

For instance,

《诗经小雅白华》:啸歌伤怀,念彼硕人。


Translation:

Book of Odes (Xiaoya, Baihua) : "Whistling songs are sad, brings memory of great people"

Whistling first started from the commoners and then became popular practice by the aristocrats. It then spreaded back from the aristocrats to the commoners.

Han and 3 kingdoms period

By Eastern Han period, whistling became to be related to Daoist religion and was adopted as a form of art by historical figures. Some famous Chinese historical figures such as Zhugeliang, Cao Zhi were able to perform the art of whistling.

Age of Fragmentation

By age of fragmentation, whistling became a high performance art and were used by Literati in combination with the common literary forms of the time. This culminated in the compilation of a famous Chinese whistling work known as "Xiao Fu 《啸赋》" (Whistling Rhapsody)

The famous performer of whistling during this time was a literati known as Ruan Ji 阮籍

Sui and Tang period

The development of 9-sections music and 10 sections music during Tang contained "leaves whistling". Tang musician Sun Guang 孙广 theorized and wrote the Chinese whistling treatise "Xiao Zhi 《啸旨》" (Fundamentals of Whistling)

5 Dynasties Period onwards

From 5 dynasties onward, there were records of 'finger whistling'. Ming dynasty regarded whistling as a subject to be studied for self-cultivation.

Source:
http://wenda.tianya....81cabc3ec1e0f05
http://www.guoxue.co...wrshyj/10-2.htm
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 DaiLuoBin

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 12:17 AM

1) Is the poetry whistled or is is it accompanied by whistling?

2) Is there correlation between linguistic tones and whistled tunes?

#4 General_Zhaoyun

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  • Languages spoken:Mandarin, Taiwanese (Hokkien), English, German, Singlish
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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:50 AM

1) Is the poetry whistled or is is it accompanied by whistling?

2) Is there correlation between linguistic tones and whistled tunes?


The poetry lyric was actually sung out and was accompanied by whistling tune. Essentially it became a performance art. The linguistics tones need to balance and correlate with the whistled tunes.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang




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