molihua (satb)


  • Catalog ID: S-394
  • First Line: hao yi duo meili di molihua
  • Composer: Reed Criddle
  • Voicing: satb
  • Accompaniment: piano
  • Language: Chinese
  • Country: China
  • Other: 2013
  • Score: View Score
  • Sound: Listen


Molihua is debatably the most ubiquitous, recognizable folksong in China. Originating during the later part of the Qing Dynasty (1644 CE – 1912 CE), this tune was introduced to the west by Giacomo Puccini when he quoted it in his opera Turandot (1926). While several versions of the melody and poetry exist, this arrangement weaves textual variations in a climactic moment of polyphonic imitation in mm. 42 – 45.  Two textual versions are folded together which state the jasmine flower is either “given to others” or “given to loved ones.”  Then with a brief divergence from the original poetry, the flower is given to a special “him” or “her.”  InChinese, the words for him and her are pronounced the same (ta).  Thus, with an added twist to the traditional text, the jasmine flower becomes a symbol of devotional love.

Reed Criddle