Chanting with Feeling
This term refers to the proper way of appreciating classic Chinese poetry in ancient times. Specifically, when reading a poem aloud, it was supposed to intone a poem with cadence; namely, by following a pattern of rising and falling tones with pauses in between. Through repeated chanting and recitals, they captured the rhythm, rhyme, hidden meaning and sentiment of the poem and finally understood the core message conveyed by the author. On that basis, they might even be able to form an interpretation of their own. Chanting played a vital role in poetic appreciation largely due to the musicality of classic Chinese poetry. Readers not only read cadence but sang melodiously as well.
First of all, one should make it a basic practice to learn the Odes of Chu by chanting and singing the odes every morning… and place the collected poems of Li Bai and Du Fu beside one’s pillow for the convenience of reading at any time, just as scholars of today study non-poetic classics. After that, he should widely read renowned works of the flourishing period of the Tang Dynasty. When he has ruminates on those poems, he will naturally become enlightened. (Yan Yu: Canglang’s Criticism on Poetry)
The “Ballads from the States,” “Major Court Hymns,” “Minor Court Hymns” and “Hymns of Extolment” from The Book of Songs, the four are collectively known as “the Four Poems.” They are meant to be chanted and sung frequently. (Three-character Classic)