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Zhejiang Folk Art in Ming and Qing Dynasty
     The Ming and Qing dynasties saw that with the thriving production and rich economy, people in Zhejiang Province lived in peace and contentment. In early Ming Dynasty, Zhejiang folk art was for a time dreary and dead due to certain destructions in economy and culture brought by successive wars. However, since Jiajing Period in Ming Dynasty, with the development of Zhejiang silk, cotton and paper making industry, many handicraft workshops, seen as the early form of capitalistic production, appeared in towns and cities. Zhejiang folk art re-boomed in prosperity and peace. The common singing and talking art of Ming and Qing dynasty, such as Tao Zhen, Tan Ci, Ping Hua, Ping Ci and Su Qu, served as a link between past and future.
     Tao Zhen was an art form that had a great impact on singing and talking around Zhejiang. The earliest record could be found in Old Man in the Bustling Streets of Hangzhou. According to it, while Ya Ci was the favorite of dandies, Tao Zhen mainly appealed to countrymen and common people because they found it affable and attractive in its close-to-life themes and natural lyrics. Lang Ying of Ming Dynasty wrote in his Qi Xiu Lei Gao that Tao Zhen had seven characters to a line of its lyrics and the performers would use Pi-pa to accompany their arias in order to add to their expressive force and inspiration.
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