At the age of fourteen, Pavel Haas began systematic musical studies in Brno where he worked his whole life and had a decisive influence on the town's cultural scene. The first two songs from the present three "Chinese Songs" Op. 4 - 'Grief ' and 'At the River Io-Yeh' - date back to his time of study at the Conservatoire of Brno. In the same year, 1919, he also composed the third song 'Spring Rain', when he attended the composition class of Leos Janácek, as is evident from slight interventions of the teacher in the manuscript of the song. Based on texts by Chinese 8th-century poets from the collection 'Aus der alten chinesischen Dichtung' ('Old Chinese Poetry') by Jaroslav Psenicka, Haas gave his songs a charming archaic tone which does not deny the influence of classical modernism.