Melodies of Lower Jiangnan
Jiangnan, literally "South of the (Yangzi) River", includes Zhejiang and Jiangxi as well as the southern regions of Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. Lower Jiangnan here refers only to the area south of the Yangzi within a 200 km radius of Shanghai. It thus includes such important cities as Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shaoxing.
I reconstructed all the qin melodies mentioned here from Ming dynasty qin handbooks. Many of the melodies can be accompanied by visual images.
In addition, a number of melodies in the earliest surviving collection of qin melodies, Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 CE), are associated with famous qin masters living in Hangzhou at the end of the Song dynasty (around the time Marco Polo wrote that he went there). A program on melodies of this region could use melodies connected to these masters.
- 秋江夜泊 Qiujiang Yebo (Autumn River Night Anchorage)
The sound of the bell near Suzhou's Hanshan Temple is said to have inspired
Yan Tianchi (from Changshu) to create this (adapting it from
Chun Jiang2 (Spring River)
Fan Li relaxes on the Five Lakes (Taihu)
- 洞庭秋思 Dongting Qiu Si (Autumn Reverie at Dongting)
This melody is today generally associated with Dongting lake in Hunan, but a close examination
suggests it may have originally been associated with Dongting island at the south end of Taihu lake.
- 醉漁唱晚 Zui Yu Chang Wan (A Drunken Fisherman Sings in the Evening)
This fisherman is associated with Taihu Lake and the Song river flowing from there to Shanghai
Yu Ge (Fisherman's Song)
Section titles mention the Songpu River, running from Taihu lake to Shanghai.
Compare this with the Chu region associations of the raised fifth string version of Yu Ge.
- 梅梢月 Meishao Yue (Moon Atop a Plum Tree)
Associated with Lin Bu, who lived on Gushan island in Hangzhou's West Lake
Liu Shang (Floating Wine-Cups)
This version of a melody also called Jiu Kuang is associated with the Lanting Pavilion by Shaoxing
- 修禊吟 Xiuxi Yin (Spring Purification Ceremony
This ceremony is most famously associated with Lanting Pavilion by Shaoxing
- 臨河修禊 Lin He Xiuxi (Riverside Purification Ceremony) narration or qin song)
A setting for qin of 王羲之 蘭亭序 Wang Xizhi's Lanting Preface (Shaoxing)
- 禹會塗山 Yu Hui Tushan (Emperor Yu's Gathering at Mount Tu)
Mount Tu is thought to be south of Shaoxing (which has a temple dedicated to Yu)
Extending the area another 50 km from Shanghai adds:
- 天台引 Tiantai Yin (Mount Tiantai Prelude)
Mount Tiantai is south of Shaoxing; compare this with the
Chu region associations of
(Spring Dawn at Peach Spring), which tells a similar story, but the setting is Hunan.
- 秋江晚釣 Qiujiang Wan Diao (Autumn River Night Fishing)
Concerns Yanzi Ling and his fishing terrace up the Fuchun River from Hangzhou
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a
I play several versions of related melodies with "Chun Jiang" in them. These are introduced at Chun Jiang Qu (Spring River Melody). These, including a somewhat related Autumn River melody, can all be associated with Jiangnan, in particular Taihu and upriver from Hangzhou.
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