The main components of Cantonese opera are changqiang (singing) and paihe (instrumental accompaniment). The singing part of a performance can include different kinds of short tunes, such as xiaoqu. Sung mostly syllabically, with one note to one word, xiaoqu are melodically well defined and song-like. They are also often adapted to incorporate traditional instrumental melodies, folk songs, contemporary local and Western pop songs and even theme tunes from popular films and TV shows.

In this talk, Professor Yu Siu-wah explores the origins and development of xiaoqu as a genre and style of vocal delivery. He also investigates the unique function of the form in Cantonese opera and the relationship between lyrics and melody.  

3 January 2019 (Thursday)

7:30pm – 9:00pm

Seminar Hall, 2/F, Xiqu Centre

Prof Yu Siu-wah


Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Please register online in advance.

Ms Leung (852) 2200 0872,

Accessibility Services:
Cantonese audio description and Hong Kong sign language interpretation are available upon request with at least 14 days’ advance notice.

Adverse Weather Arrangements:
The talk will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force at/after 3:00pm on the day of the event.

About Speaker: 

Prof Yu Siu-wah

Prof Yu Siu-wah is the chief editor of the Hong Kong volumes of Chinese Opera Annals and Anthology of Chinese Opera Music, and adjunct professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University and of the music department at Chinese University of Hong Kong. In the early 1980s, Yu worked for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, RTHK, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in various capacities. In 1996 he received his PhD in musicology from Harvard University. Yu’s research interests include organology, instrumental music, Chinese music history, Chinese opera, music of the Manchus and Mongols in the Qing court, popular music, movie music and cultural politics in the music of Hong Kong. He has also received training in nanyin, a form of Cantonese narrative singing. 

See more

Other West Kowloon 101 events