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Zheyin  ToC / Tracing Chart / Short (as modern) version / Yangguan Qu / Central Asia From my CD listen to a recording 聽錄音 / 首頁
13. Thrice (Parting for) Yangguan
- Ruibin mode, raise 5th string one hui (position): 2 2 4 5 6 1 2 3
 
陽關三疊 1
Yangguan Sandie
The parting: see larger image 3        
This melody, expressing the sentiments of friends about to part, is an appropriate last piece both for this qin handbook and for the recording. Such poems of separating (as with poems of separation) are often found in classical poetry. Another example is the poem by Liu Yong (987 - 1053) called Autumn Departure, set to the ci tune Bells Ring in the Rain; the poem is included in a footnote in part because of an interesting illustration attached to it in a Ming dynasty edition.4

The Yangguan (Yang Gate) of the present poem was once a pass near the western end of the Great Wall, near Dunhuang. From the Han through the Tang dynasty there was apparently an oasis town at Yangguan, built around a lake.5 At the time, this area, as the crow flies about 60 km southwest of Dunhuang, was China's westernmost cultural and administrative center, often the last stop of an official before entering the "barbarian" lands of Central Asia. The 2000 km trip from the Tang capital Chang'an (now a southern suburb of Xi'an) to (or through) Yangguan would begin from Weicheng, on the Wei river just northwest of Chang'an. The departing friend apparently gets on a boat from the edge of a sandbank (shatou) on the Wei, which means he is heading upriver, entering the Wu Mountains after about 200 km. From near the source of the Wei river he could take several paths, but the final destination was Anxi (see the full title of the poem), probably the military region of that name hundreds of miles west of Yangguan/Dunhuang. These (except Dunhuang) and other place names are all mentioned in the present lyrics.6

The lyrics for the present version of Yangguan Sandie begin with the famous poem by Wang Wei, Weicheng Tune: Seeing Yuan Er off to Anxi.7

The morning rain at Weicheng dampens the light dust,
At the inn the lush green color of the willows is renewed.
This moves the gentlemen again to offer up a cup of wine.
Going west through Yangguan there will be no old acquaintances.

The lyrics here then considerably expand upon this theme, in doing so adding mention of the other geographic area described above as directly relevant to the trip westward, the Wu mountains (the refrain for all the verses of this song, beginning with verse two, is, "From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east"). The sources of these expanded lyrics are often earlier poems of departure, most notably ones by Li Bai, Zhang Kejiu and Zhou Deqing.8 This explains some of the places mentioned here that are not directly relevant to the trip westward, such as the city of Yangzhou and the famous Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan.9 It also includes some terms that could be place names but here do not seem to be,10 as well as some other terms that would have had special significance to people at that time.11

Versions of Yangguan make it one of the most famous Chinese melodies, often played on other instruments. Although neither Yang Guan nor Weicheng appears as a title in any of the early guqin melody lists, comments by Su Dongpo (1037 - 1101) show that a melody connected to these lyrics had long been popular in his time. On the other hand, a comparison of the settings of Wang Wei's poem in the three earliest surviving qin versions, here, 1511 and 1530, suggests that there must have been quite a bit of variety amongst the melodies used.12

Qin tablature for Yangguan melodies survives in at least 29 handbooks from the present one up to 1961 (see appendix 13). Early qin handbooks have two basic versions of this piece, a short one first found in Faming Qinpu (1530) and usually called Yangguan Sandie, and a longer one as here, usually (but not here) called Yangguan Qu or simply Yangguan.14

Both versions include the Wang Wei lyrics above, and both use variations on the same melody. The one commonly played today is a descendant of the short version, in three sections; it is played largely as printed in Qinxue Rumen15 (1864), but can be traced back to the version mentioned above as first published in 1530. The long one, which can be traced to this one dated ca. 1491, generally has eight or nine sections. It occurs in eight handbooks through 1623, then again crops up in two 19th century handbooks. Four handbooks have both versions.

The expression sandie, meaning "three repetitions", is also found in the phrase "qinxin sandie".16 There was once a book or essay called Qin Xin Sanpian, but there was no known melody called Qin Xin: it is a phrase that means something like "qin thinking", or, "expressing oneself through the qin". Sandie, when used together with qin xin, is connected to the idea that playing something on the qin three times can lead to becoming one with the instrument.

Modern versions all use ruibin (raised fifth string) tuning, but early tablature may use either ruibin or qiliang (raised second and fifth strings; see comment). Some, as here, say or imply they use qiliang, but actually use ruibin. It is easy to convert this melody from one tuning to the other, because the second string is not used much. Main cadences are on 6 (la), as is common in ruibin mode.

Because the end of the Zheyin manuscript is missing, the last two lines here have had to be reconstructed based on other versions.17

 
Zheyin Shizi Qinpu Preface18

The Beyond-Sounds Immortal says,

This melody originated with Wang Mojie (Wang Wei), but later people added to it. The Royal Ancestor's Handbook does not have this melody. It seems as though, in our lives, (friends) are rarely together, they are often separated. At the point of departure they hold a cup of wine and three times sing Yangguan, with words like "going to the west there will be no old friends" (and) "people of Wu and Chu (i.e., neighbors) share the same melancholy ". Is this not sad?

 
Music
8 Sections titled and with
lyrics (timings are from my recording)19

00.00   1. Rain at the edge of the sandbank
00.28   2. Releasing the magnolia boat
00.59   3. Leaving (as at) Yellow Crane Tower
01.37   4. Going on a distant road
02.37   5. Sorrow comes and goes like the tide
03.59   6. Wind blows in the willows
04.58   7. The moon shines on the sandbank
05.35   8. Repeatedly (asking the parting friend) to return
06.26       Original tablature ends; see comment
06.45       Closing harmonics
07.04       End

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Yang Guan melody references
42673.380 陽關三疊 says it is 陽關曲反覆歌之之謂,參見陽關曲條 the name of Yuanguan Qu with the lyrics repeated; the earliest quote in the lengthy entry is from Su Dongpo (蘇軾,和孔密州五絕,見邸家園留題詩). Su Dongpo once wrote Three Poems on Yangguan Lyrics.

42673.384 陽關曲 Yangguan Qu says it is 曲調名,渭城曲之別名 the name of a melody, another name for Melody of Weicheng, as well as 小秦王 Xiao Qinwang; it was a 清平調 qingping melody and originally a poem by Wang Wei (which it quotes), then it entered 樂府 the Music Bureau. Yuefu Shiji includes Wang Wei's poem in Folio 80, amongst its Songs of recent times (近代曲辭 Jindai qu ci).

Stuart Sargent has comment on Su Dongpo's treatment of Yang Guan. And "Dapu, Bringing Old Music to Life" has some analysis of the rhythms of the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu version of Yangguan Sandie.
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2. Ruibin and other tunings and modes for Yangguan Sandie)
Here Yangguan Sandie is grouped with qiliang mode pieces, which raise the 2nd and 5th strings, but in fact it uses ruibin tuning, which raises only the fifth string. Compare the short version, which today uses ruibin but which in the earliest surviving version (1530) uses qiliang (see also below). If not otherwise indicated, which tuning is being used can be determined by seeing whether the second string is stopped in the 10th position, as in ruibin tuning, or in the 11th position (today 10.8), as in qiliang tuning. In Zheyin Shizi Qinpu it is stopped at the 11th position.

Which tuning is used here does not seem to affect the modal characteristics, which concern primary and secondary tonal centers (see Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature). Here the primary tonal center seems to be re with the secondary center la (most sections end on la, but the whole piece ends on re). (See comment by Xu Jian in QSCB, p.74. In the longer version mi seems to have more prominence; la mi is a characteristic of the standard tuning yu mode. No standard tuning modes melodies seem to be re la.
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3. Image
Painting by Sun Chengmin.
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4. Liu Yong: Autumn Departure, to the tune Bells Ring in the Rain (柳永:秋別,雨霖鈴) Detail of a Ming illustration (source; see full version)    
Liu Yong (987 - 1053), from Chong'an (崇安) in Fujian, according to Stephen Owen in his Anthology, p. 574,

(N)ot only composed lyrics for the "long song" melodies, he also made extensive use of the vernacular and a range of romantic situations far greater than those found in "short songs." As a result, he was the most truly "popular" lyricist of his day, the darling of the demimonde, while despised by many of the more old-fashioned lyricists. It was Liu Yong who began the fashion of writing songs about male longing....

The detail at right shows that, as the man is departing by boat, a servant carrying on a pole a qin and perhaps books is about to load them on the boat; to the right there seem to be some boxes, perhaps with food, presumably also about to be taken. The wheel is perhaps part of a wheelbarrow. The writing on the full picture says that a wife is saying goodbye to her husband as he leaves to take the official exams. There is further comment on "qin and books" together with another image. The full version of the image at right pairs it with Liu Yong's ci poem Autumn Departure, as follows:

寒蟬淒切,對長亭晚,驟雨初歇。
都門帳飲無緒,留戀處,蘭舟催發。
執手相看淚眼,竟無語凝噎。
念去去、千里煙波,暮靄沈沈楚天闊。

多情自古傷離別,更那堪、冷落清秋節。
今宵酒醒何處?楊柳岸、曉風殘月。
此去經年,應是良辰好景虛設。
便縱有、千種風情,更與何人說?

Cicadas shrill, drearily shrill. We stand face to face at an evening hour before the pavilion, after a sudden shower.
Can we care for drinking before we part? At the city gate We are lingering late, But the boat is waiting for you to depart.
Hand in hand, we gaze at each other's tearful eyes, And burst into sobs with words congealed on our lips.
You'll go your way, Far, far away. On miles and miles of misty waves where sail the ships and evening clouds hang low in boundless southern skies.

Lovers would grieve at parting as of old. How could you stand this clear autumn day so cold!
Where will you be found at daybreak, From wine awake? Moored by a riverbak planted with willow trees, Beneath the waning moon and in the morning breeze.
You'll be gone for a year. What could I do with all bright days and fine scenes here!
Howe'er coquettish I am on my part, To whom can I lay bare my heart?

Translation from Xu Yuanzhong, p.176; the extra capital letters reflect the way the poem was arranged in that book on more lines.
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5. Yangguan today
John Man, The Great Wall (Bantam Books, 2008, p.116), describes the present Yangguan as follows:

(The) whole place has had a makeover, turning a shell of dusty walls into a museum and film studio. (We went) past a mock-up siege engine and Mongol campsite, out to a beacon-tower. The moon was up, lighting a view that explained much that had puzzled me. In Han times, the softly lit plain before me had been a lake, fed by four springs. That was why Yangguan was here, why it had been famous for its wild swans and fish: fresh water. For centuries 10,000 people had lived around its shores, protected by the fort and its garrison.... Then the springs had faltered, the lake had shrunk back, people had left. By about AD 900 the fortress had fallen into ruin....A few years ago, people came here, and saw only a ruin. It was sad. So a local businessman...decided to raise money, renovate it, build a museum to remind people of its history, and recoup some of his expenses from film companies and visitors....

As described by Man, the wall here was originally a series of whitewashed watch-towers connected by earthen ramparts. For our purposes it would be interesting to know what image Wang Wei might have had of Yangguan itself. Unfortunately, Man does not say anything about the source of his information that Yangguan was once famous for wild swans and fish. As for the exact location of the old lake and town, in June 2009 I found the nearby Yangguan Museum through a Google map search for "陽關博物館" (Yangguan Bowuguan). There is also some further information available online, but from the online images (see, e.g., China Fact Tours and Cultural China) it is difficult to know what connection the exterior architecture there today has with anything that might have been there during the Tang dynasty. The Google map satellite view seems to suggest there are dams bringing a green swath to this area, but this is not evident from online photos.
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6. Places from Chang'an to Yangguan mentioned in the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu lyrics
Places specifically named include:

  1. 長安 Chang'an (Wiki)
    The walls surrounding the center of the modern city of 西安 Xi'an (Wiki) were built on the walls of Tang dynasty Chang'an, but today Chang'an is the name of a southern district of the modern city.
  2. 渭城 Weicheng (Wiki; in 陝西 Shaanxi province)
    Weicheng was once a river port for Chang'an, on the 渭河 Wei River about 25 km west northwest of the old walled city. Today a virtual suburb of Xi'an, it is administratively a district in southeast 咸陽 Xianyang county (Wiki), around the Xianyang Musuem.
  3. 吳山 Wushan (Wu Mountains; no connection to 吳 Wu district around Suzhou)
    From available maps it is difficult to say what the extent is of the mountain range in Shaanxi called "Wushan", but in historical times perhaps this referred to the mountains on the Wei River as it came out of the gorge about 200 km upstream from Xi'an, just west of Baoji (
    Wiki). Today there is a 吳山森林公園 Wushan Forest Park about 50 km northwest of Baoji, but it is not on the river. Travelers then followed the Wei River another 100 km or so to 天水 Tianshui (Wiki) in Gansu, then perhaps past 武山 Wushan and 渭源 Weiyuan ("Source of the Wei") on the way to Shatou.
  4. 梁州 Liangzhou (not 涼州 Liangzhou)
    15135.66 first says it was one of the 九州 nine provinces into which
    Yu the Great divided China; this Liangzhou is generally thought to have been in Henan (Wiki). The entry then describes a Liangzhou district that has included areas of southwest Shaanxi as well as northern Sichuan. The Tang map in my Historical Atlas places it upriver from Xi'an, towards or in the Wu mountains (see previous). Poetic references often seem to be to such a western Liangzhou, suggesting it was indeed in a western or northwestern border region. The following, usually included among the famous 300 Poems of the Tang Dynasty, is one example:

    張喬 Zhang Qiao, 書邊事 Writing about Border Affairs

    調角斷清秋, 征人倚戍樓。
    春風對青塚, 白日落梁州。
    大漠無兵阻, 窮邊有客遊。
    蕃情似此水, 長願向南流。

    Bugle sounds pierce the clear autumn air; Soldiers relax in a garrison tower.
    Spring winds confront green graves; A pale sun sets over Liangzhou.
    On the vast desert there are no opposing troops; So in the exhausted borderlands there are again travelers.
    (But northern) foreigners have inclinations like those of water, Always wishing to flow southwards.

    The "Liangzhou" in the present lyrics is thus most likely another reference to the western hinterlands into which the friend is traveling.
  5. 安西 Anxi (a military region west of Yangguan [Wiki])
    7221.83 安西 gives four entries, the final one saying to see .84, the 安西都護府 Anxi Protectorate, "唐代六都護府之一 one of the six such protectorates during the Tang dynasty". This Anxi Protectorate, in what is today the Xinjiang SAR, was further subdivided into four garrisons (安西四鎮), at Kucha, Khotan, Kashgar and Karashahr. Hundreds of miles west of Yangguan (presumably the destination could have been anywhere within the protectorate), these protectorates were established by Tang emperors in the mid 7th century.
    (There is also a town named Anxi in 酒泉 Jiuquan prefecture [Wiki], Gansu province. Modern maps locate this near 瓜州城 Guazhou city, about 120 km northeast of 敦煌 Dunhuang. "Going west through Yangguan" thus suggests that the military district was the more likely destination.)
  6. 陽關 Yangguan
    Yangguan was a pass in the Great Wall west of Dunhuang. One can find a Yangguan Museum on Google maps about 50 km southwest of Dunhuang.

Other places mentioned are listed in another footnote below.
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7. Original Wang Wei lyrics for Weicheng Tune, Seeing Yuan Er off to Anxi
The original lyrics of the poem 渭城曲,送元二出便安西 are,

渭城朝雨浥輕塵。
客舍青青柳色新。
勸君更盡一杯酒。
西出陽關無故人。

These lyrics were included in Yuefu Shiji, Folio 80. And Su Dongpo (see above) once wrote 陽關詞 三首 Three Poems on Yangguan Lyrics following this form.
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8. Other poems quoted in the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu lyrics
These poems include:

  1. Li Bai, 黃鶴樓送孟浩然之廣陵, "At Yellow Crane Tower seeing Meng Haoran off to Guangling"
    In addition to the Yellow Crane Tower, Verse 3 of the Zheyin lyrics also mentions the "animation of spring" and "going down to Yangzhou".

    故人西辭黃鶴樓, An old friend here in the west says farewell at Yellow Crane Tower,
    煙花三月下揚州。 For the animation of spring in the third month he is going down to Yangzhou.
    孤帆遠影碧空盡, A lonely sail is a far off shadow in the far blue emptiness,
    唯見長江天際流。 All one can see is the Yangzi River flowing to the edge of the world.

  2. Zhang Kejiu: [Zhegui Ling] Farewell at Xiling (張可久:[拆掛令]西陵送別)
    Zhang Kejiu (1270-1348) was known for his Yuan dynasty sanqu. The Zheyin lyrics also mention "cannot begin to record parting miseries", Xiling and Dongzhou (
    Verse 2), plus "controlling farewells...like waving willows as they waft" (Verse 3) and "tides come" (Verse 5). Zhang's full poem (thanks to Stephanie Chin [錢屬賢 Qian Shuxian] for her translation help) is as follows:

      畫船兒載不起離愁。
    人到西陵,恨滿東州,
    懶上歸鞍,慵開淚眼,怕倚層樓。
    春去春來,管送別依依岸柳。
    潮生潮落,會忘機泛泛沙鷗。
    煙水悠悠,有句相酬,無計相留。
    A small decorated boat cannot carry such heavy parting miseries.
    People going to Xiling fill Dongzhou with sorrow,
    Loath to saddle up to return, lethargically opening teary eyes, averse to leaning on the railing of a tall tower.
    Springs come and go; controlling farewells would be like waving willows as they waft down to the shore.
    Tides come and go, meeting naively drifting seagulls.
    The hazy waters are boundless, but words bound our mutual toasts, and I don't know how to ask you to stay.

  3. Zhou Deqing: [Yue Diao, Liuying Qu] Parting from a Friend (周德清:[越調·柳營曲]別友) 
    Zhou Deqing (1277? - 1365?) is perhaps best known for his 中原音韻 Central Plains Songs and Rhymes (
    Wiki). This poem seems to concern a friend going to take the civil service exams after the Yuan finally reinstated them in 1315. As for relevant references, Section 8 of the Zheyin lyrics mentions 東君 dongjun, 一葉身 yi ye shen, 桃李侯門 taoli houmen and 挑雲 tiaoyun. Zhou's poem (not yet translated) is as follows:

      一葉身,二毛人,功名壯懷猶未伸。
    夜雨論文,明月傷神,秋色淡離樽。
    離東君桃李侯門,過西風楊柳漁村。
    酒船同棹月,詩擔自挑雲。
    君,孤雁不堪聽!
    An insignificant person, hair half white: honor and rank could evoke strong feelings not yet expressed.
    Night rain essays....


Quite likely there are other farewell poems that are of significance here.
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9. Other places mentioned in the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu lyrics
Most of these places can still be found on modern maps. Some may be intended as generally descriptive terms rather than specific place names. Their connection to the Wang Wei poem seems to lie in their being mentioned in other farewell poems.

  1. 黃鶴樓 Yellow Crane Tower (Huang He Lou (Wiki; see also the Li Bai poem)
    48904.1341; the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuchang, now part of modern Wuhan city, was originally built in the 3rd century, but had to be re-built many times, most recently in 1986 (in Qing dynasty style).
  2. 揚州 Yangzhou (Wiki)
    In Jiangsu; noted for its beautiful flowers in spring; see Li Bai poem in previous footnote.
  3. 楚水 Chu River
    15473.14 rivers in Chu; a river in 陝西 Shaanxi
  4. 金陵 Jinling
    An old name for Nanjing (
    Wiki)
  5. 彭城 Pengcheng
    10231.87 towns and areas in 江蘇 Jiangsu, 湖南 Hunan and 河南 Henan. Best known, and probably intended here, is the one in Jiangsu, aka 徐州 Xuzhou. This was the home of
    Su Shi, who wrote a number of farewell poems that mention Pengcheng (as well as 彭祖 Pengzu, after whom the city was named).
The following footnote includes some expressions that could refer to specific places but do not seem to do so here.
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10. Terms mentioned here that could be place names but here do not seem to be
These include:

  1. 沙頭 Shatou (but here "sandbank")
    5/960 沙頭 says 沙灘邊;沙洲邊 shatou means "edge of a sandy beach" or "edge of a sandbank", and its use as the title for Section 1 as well as lyrics in Section 4 both suggest that shatou is referring to the place on the Wei River where the departing friend is boarding his boat. However, it could also be the name of a town on the route west. 17570.212/2-3 沙頭 says that in the Han dynasty Shatou was a district in 酒泉郡 Jiuquan Commandery, which included
    Anxi (the town, not the military district). It might thus be the same as 17570.38 沙州 Shazhou, also described as a district near Dunhuang. If so it is about 100 km east of Anxi town. However, although this seems to be the most likely place, 17570.221 沙縣 Shaxian (Sha County) is perhaps another possibility in Gansu; the modern name is 洮沙 Taosha and it is on the 洮河 Taohe River. If one were to follow the Wei River to near Weiyuan, one could then go overland to the nearby Taohe River near Taosha and follow it north to where it joins the Yellow River, by the modern 劉家峽大壩 Liujiaxia Dam (Wiki). From here one could then follow the Great Wall westerward through Dunhuang and Yangguan, then continue west to the Anxi military district. This generally seems to have been a common route used in those days. (There are other 沙頭 Shatou, e.g., in Hubei and Guangdong, but these do not seem relevant.
  2. 西陵 Xiling (but here "western hills"?)
    35587.473 ancestral home of Yellow Emperor's wife, perhaps in Henan; grave in Henan of 魏武帝 Wei emperor Wu (陵 ling means "mound" or "tomb"); region in Hubei. In the lyrics
    here it could logically be contrasting a western area to which the writer is going with the eastern region (see next), where his heart lies. However, it again refers to earlier poetry, in particular a poem by Zhang Kejiu.
  3. 東州 Dongzhou (but here "eastern regions"?)
    14827.111 another name for 朿州 Cizhou, near 瀛洲 Yingzhou (Beijing area). As with Xiling it may not be used here as a place name, instead meaning simply "eastern regions", as in 4/829 東州兵 and 東州逸黨.

Note that the translations here of these is still tentative; the latter two in particular could still suggest place names.
(
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11. Some other expressions used in the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu lyrics
These are listed here in order of their first mention.

  1. magnolia boat (木蘭舟 mulan zhou); 14750.390 木蘭舟 gives as its earliest reference a story from 述異記 Shuyi Ji about 魯班 Lu Ban (legendary master carpenter of the Spring and Autumn period) making one; because of this a beautifully made boat would be called a "magnolia boat". Such a boat is also mentioned in 雨霖鈴 Yulin Ling, the farewell poem by 柳永 Liu Yong (987 - 1053) included above, also called Parting at the Station Post (長亭送別 Changting Songbie).
  2. animation of spring (煙花三月 yanhua sanyue); "yanhua" can also refer to courtesans.
  3. station post (長亭 changting); see 42022.292 長亭 as well as the previous entry and the Liu Yong poem above; perhaps the first one was at Weicheng.
  4. turquoise feather garment; 鷫鸘裘 (鸘 = 鷞). 48302.3 鷫鷞裘 (sushuang qiu) says it was a garment made from feathers of a turquoise kingfisher; it then quotes 西京雜記 Xiling Zaji saying that when Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun first came to Chengdu they lived in such poverty that Wenjun traded her turquoise feather garment for some wine; after this they opened a wine shop.
  5. beautiful tower (畫樓 (hualou); 7/1379 畫樓 says it is a 雕飾華麗的樓房 tower with beautiful carvings on it (compare 畫船 a gaily decorated boat).
  6. short distance post; 24524.55 短亭 (duanting), a rest pavilion 5 miles out of town.
  7. post road (驛路 yilu); see 46012.48 驛路 .
  8. sand bank (汀洲 tingzhou); 17488.8 汀洲 is a sandbank or island; 17488.2 汀州 is a place in Fujian.
  9. at dawn (漏曉 louxiao); 18508.xxx, but 18508.21 漏夜 (louye) is "deep at night".
  10. the master (東君 dongjun); 14827.149 東君 gives several options: "master" plus some immortals.
  11. disciples at a grand gateway (桃李侯門 tao li houmen); this phrase literally means "peach plum noble's gate", sounding perhaps as though it could be a proper name, but 15099.29 桃李 (taoli) "peaches and plums" actually refers to one's students (as well as to female beauty); 667.57 侯門 (houmen; not 候門 back gate) refers to homes of the nobility. (See also earlier.)
  12. an insignificant person (一葉身 yi ye shen); 1.2812ff have various expressions with 一葉 (one leaf; a small boat, etc.), but no 一葉身 yi ye shen; likewise with 1/82. However, 9/455-8 says 葉 is a 量詞 classifier for 輕博物體 insignificant objects. (See also earlier.)
  13. sanjing: hermit's abode, lit. "three paths" (三徑 sanjing); 10.1299 (see also 1/223 三徑 san jing [also 三逕]) says "本指松菊三小徑,以喩隱士所居 originally refers to three small paths through the pines and chrysanthemums, then used to signify the abode of a recluse". It gives as its earliest reference 三輔決錄 Sanfu Juelu by 晉 趙岐 Zhao Qi of Jin (108-201; CK), where the three paths are in a bamboo grove. However, the popularity of "three paths" meaning "abode of a recluse" probably comes from the second reference, its mention in Tao Yuanming's Gui Qu Lai Ci, where the the path is through pines and chrysanthemums.

See also the previous footnote.
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12. Antiquity of the Yangguan melodies
On several occasions I have played these early versions (<1491 and 1530; occasionally 1511) for people and asked whether they considered them related. Generally people without any knowledge of the melodies have emphasized the similarity; those familiar with the modern version (similar to the 1530 version and very popular, whereas very few people have listened to the other versionsya) have emphasized the differences.
(Return)

13. Tracing qin versions of Yang Guan
See the appendix below.
(Return)

14. Various titles for melodies connected to the Wang Wei lyrics
All of these do not have lyrics, but the melodies are more or less related and could be paired to the lyrics. They include:

  1. 陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
  2. 陽關操 Yangguan Cao
  3. 大陽關 Da Yangguan
  4. 秋江送別 Qiujiang Songbie (Autumn River Parting)
  5. 春江送別 Chunjiang Songbie (Spring River Parting)

These are all mentioned in the appendix below.
(Return)

15. 琴學入門 Qinxue Rumen version
There are several recordings based on this version. It is quite rare for the lyrics to be sung. See further comments on this under the short version.
(Return)

16. 琴心三疊 Qin Xin Sandie
See QSDQ, Chapter 17 and a Li Bai poem. For qin xin see under Sima Xiangru.
(Return)

17. Reconstructing the missing ending of Yang Guan San Die
Although the last page of Zheyin Shizi Qinpu is missing, the ending of this melody can be reconstructed with some confidence that it is faithful to the original. Thus, the lyrics of the version in 樂仙琴譜 Lexian Qinpu (1623) are almost identical to those here, so they are here used here for the missing section. In addition, the music for the first 4/6ths of Section 8 is almost the same as that of the first 4/6ths of Section 5 after the harmonic opening, so the last 2/6ths of Section 5 are used for the missing part of Section 8; the 1623 lyrics match this perfectly. For the postlude the music is taken from the postlude to Yangguan Cao in 真傳正宗琴譜 Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (1589). It could also be taken from the 1623 coda, which differs only in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th notes.
(Return)

18. Original Preface
The original Chinese preface can be seen under 陽關三疊.
(Return)

19. Yangguan Sandie section titles and lyrics (original Chinese and my tentative translation)
Sections 2 through 8 have new lyrics, all ending with the same refrain ("From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights...."). Section 1 has the original Wang Wei lyrics; note, however, the insertion in the fourth line of the meaningless words "的那 of those/that". In Zheyin Shizi Qinpu, as in most Ming dynasty handbooks with lyrics, the pairing of music and lyrics is mostly syllabic, with one character for each right hand stroke; however, it was common to insert phrases such as "的那 of those/that" or the equally meaningless "你那 your that" as pairs for the left hand stroke technique 對起 duiqi. Also, where a finger pattern is repeated (再作 "do again"), there is no indication of whether the paired phrase should also be sung again. Such passages are indicated below by empty phrases (i.e.: ",," or ",。"). This, plus the very literary but somewhat casual nature of the original lyrics, makes smooth translation problematic.

(Timings below are from my recording)
00.00 1. 沙頭過雨   Rain at the edge of the sandbank

渭城朝雨浥輕塵。
Wei Cheng zhao yu yi qing chen.
The morning rain at Weicheng dampens the light dust.

客舍青青柳色新。
Ke she qing qing liu se xin.
At the inn the lush green color of the willows is renewed.

勸君更盡一杯酒。
Quan jun geng jin yi bei jiu.
This moves the gentlemen again to offer up a cup of wine.

西出陽關(的那)無故人。。
Xi chu Yang Guan (de na) wu gu ren.   .
Going west through Yangguan there will be no (of those) old acquaintances.   .
 

00.28 2. 木蘭舟   Releasing the magnolia boat

木蘭舟,,載不起許多(的)離愁。
Mu lan zhou, , zai bu qi xu duo (de) li chou.
Magnolia boat, , one cannot begin to record so many (of) parting miseries.

人在(你那)西陵,心在東州,心在東州。
Ren zai (ni na) xi ling, xin zai dong zhou, xin zai dong zhou.
People may be in the (your that) western hills, (but their) hearts are in the eastern regions, eastern regions.

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

00.59 3. 黃鶴樓   Saying farewell (as at) Yellow Crane Tower

黃鶴樓,,煙花三月(的那)下揚州
Huang He Lou, , yan hua san yue (de na) xia Yang Zhou.
Yellow Crane Tower, , the animation of spring in the third month so (of that) going down to Yangzhou.

木蘭舟,,載不起許多(的)離愁。
Mu lan zhou, , zai bu qi xu duo (de) li chou.
Magnolia boat, , one cannot begin to record so many (of) parting miseries.

管送別(那)長亭,依依柳。
Guan song bie (na) chang ting, yi yi liu.
Controlling farewells at that station post: it would be like waving willows as they waft down.

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

01.37 4. 迢遙去路   Going on a distant road

路迢迢,,尊酒(的那)盡沙頭
Lu tiao tiao, , zun jiu (de na) jin sha tou.
The road is distant, , these goblets of wine (of those) must be finished here on the sandbank.

(泛起 Harmonics begin)
傷懷抱,江聲日夜擾暮濤。
Shang huai bao, jiang sheng ri ye rao mu tao.
Distressing emotional embraces, river sounds day and night stir up evening waves.
(泛止 Harmonics end)

鷫鷞裘,,到處(的那)重遨遊。
Su shuang qiu, , dao chu (de na) chong ao you.
In a turquoise feather garment, everywhere (of that) repeatedly roaming.

浪花浮,,大江瀉不盡(那)離愁。
Liang hua fu, , da jiang xie bu jin (na) li chou.
Foam waters floating, , the great river purges (those) parting miseries.

輕煙罨(那)畫樓
Qing yan yan (na) hua lou.
Light haze covers (that) beautiful tower.

楊柳溪橋,夜雨扁舟,明月梁州,梁州。
Yang liu xi qiao, yi ye bian zhou, ming yue Liang Zhou, Liang Zhou.
Poplars and willows by the stream's bridge, evening rain on a boat, (but) a clear moon over Liangzhou, Liangzhou.

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

02.37 5. 恨逐來潮   Sorrow comes and goes like the tide

(泛起 Harmonics begin)
月下潮生紅蓼汀,
Yue xia chao sheng hong lao ting,
Under the moon the tide reveals red smartweed on the sandbank,

      柳稍風急墮流螢。
      Liu shao feng ji duo liu ying.
      willows in a light breeze anxiously settle over drifting fireflies.

長亭短亭,惜別丁寧
Chang ting duan ting, xi bie ding ning,
At long and short distance station posts, regrets at parting come repeatedly,

  梧桐夜雨,恨不同聽。
      wu tong ye yu, hen bu tong ting.
      wutong trees in the night rain: hatred at not hearing this together.
(泛止 Harmonics end)

為功名,,郵亭驛路飄零,
Wei gong ming, , you ting yi lu piao ling,
For honor, , but courier lodges on the the post road have fallen into ruin,

      慢敲金鐙愴離情,
      man qiao jin deng chuang li qing.
      slowly hit the golden stirrups (having) sad departure emotions.

聽唱「陽關」(那)曲四聲,別離輕,。
Ting chang "Yang Guan" (na) qu si sheng, bie li qing, .
Hearing singing of Yang Guan (that) song's sounds, makes departure seem lighter, .

吳山楚水,蹤跡浮萍。
Wu Shan, Chu Shui, zong ji fu ping.
Wu Mountain, Chu River, footsteps are drifting.

長安回首人孤零,孤零,孤零,。
Chang An hui shou ren gu ling, gu ling, .
To Chang'an turning my head, I feel lonely, lonely, .

雲山圍四漠,別路轉孤城。
Yun shan wei si mo, bie lu zhuan gu cheng.
Clouded mountains surrounded by desert on four sides, the departure road turns into a lonely city.

朝雨過,挹輕塵,唱渭城柳色青。
Zhao ye guo, yi qing chen, chang Wei Cheng liu se qing.
The morning rain has gone, dampening the light dust; sing of Weicheng willow colors green.

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

03.59 6. 風吹楊柳   Wind blows in the poplars and willows

(泛起 Harmonics begin)
芳草渡頭初雨過,綠楊枝上好風清。
Fang cao du tou chu yu guo, lu yang zhi shang hao feng qing.
Fragrant grasses by the boat launch as the first rains pass, green poplar branches enjoy clear breezes.

綠楊芳草牽挽離情。。
Lu yang fang cao, qian wan li qing.   .
Green poplars and fragrant grasses pull out the departing's sadness.   .
(泛止 Harmonics end)

長短亭,,載酒(的那)送君行。
Chang duan ting, , zai jiu (de na) song jun xing.
Long and short distance station posts, , recording wine (of that) for seeing off the gentleman traveling.

景晴明,,和風麗日,鬧(那)燕鶯。
Jing qing ming, , he feng li ri, nao (na) yan ying.
Landscape clear and bright, , peaceful breezes on a beautiful day, noise of (those) swallows and orioles.

雲山(那)萬里,何日歸程?何日歸程?
Yun shan (na) wan li, he ri gui cheng? He ri gui cheng?
Clouded mountains for (those) 10,000 li, on what day a return jouney? On what day a return jouney?

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

04.58 7. 月照汀洲   The moon shines on the sandbank

月明明,,漏曉(的那)立沙汀。
Yue ming ming, , lou xiao (de na) li sha ting.
The moon is very bright, , at dawn (of that) on an emerging sandbank.

送君別,,無限離情,握手都門。
Song jun bie, , wu xian li qing, wo shou du men.
Seeing off the gentleman departing, , limitless departing feelings, grasping hands at the capital gate.

回首(你那)金陵,(那)金陵。
Hui shou (ni na) Jin Ling, (na) Jin Ling.
Turning head to (your that) Jinling (Nanjing!), (that) Jinling.

吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dongliu, fu dong liu.
From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

05.35 8. 叮嚀會合   Repeatedly urging (the parting friend) to return

再叮嚀,故人情,丱角論交松柏,
Zai ding ning, gu ren qing, guan jiao lun jiao song bai,
Again repeatedly urging, because of human emotions, youth making friends with their seniors,

      誓盟,誓盟,離東君
      shi meng, shi meng, li dong jun.
      promises, promises, parting from the master.

桃李侯門,楊柳彭城一葉身,。
Tao li hou men, yang liu Peng Cheng, yi ye shen, .
Disciples at a grand gateway; poplars and willows at Pengcheng; an insignificant person, .

酒舡掉月,詩擔挑雲
Jiu chuan diao yue, shi dan tiao yun,
A wine boat rowed in the moon, poetry shouldered while leaping the clouds,

      冷冷清清,(那)冷清,,。
      ling ling qing qing, (na) ling qing, , .
      Cold and clear (i.e., quiet and still), (that) cold clear, , .

西山列畫屏,鞍馬秋風冷。
Xi shan lie hua ping, an ma qiu feng leng.
Western mountains arrayed as a painted screen, a saddled horse in a cold autumn wind.

(Missing from here): 06.26

      (功名事苦飄零,何日兮,歸三徑
      (Gong ming shi ku piao ling, he ri xi gui san jing?
      (Affairs of honor bitterly fallen to ruin; when, ah, will I return to my hermit's abode?

      吳山高聳水東流;東流,東流,復東流。
      Wu Shan gao song shui dong liu; dong liu, dong liu, fu dong liu.
      From the Wu Mountains' lofty heights waters flow east; flow east, flow east, again flow east.
 

06.45   尾聲 泛音 Coda: Harmonics
      他鄉故國,看明月。
      Ta xiang gu guo, kan ming yue.
      In another countryside old country, see the bright moon.

      淒淒切切,會少離多。花殘月缺。)
      Qi qi qie qie, hui shao li duo. Hua can yue que.
      In great pain and urgency, together seldom, apart often. Flowers are spoiled, moon waned.
 

07.04   曲終 Piece ends

N.B.: The last page of Zheyin Shizi Qinpu is missing, so the last two lines of Section 8 and the lyrics of the Coda have been completed by comparing the version published in 1623. See comment above.
(Return)

Return to the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu index or to the Guqin ToC.

 
Appendix: Chart Tracing 陽關三疊 Yang Guan Sandie
  Based mainly on Zha Fuxi's
Guide, 12/124/222 Yangguan Sandie and 14/149/258 陽關曲 Yangguan Qu,
  but also see 31/241/457 Chunjiang Songbie and 26/217/416 秋江送別 Qiujiang Songbie.

  琴譜
  (year; QQJC Vol/page)
# of
Sections
調
Tuning
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
  1. 浙音釋字琴譜
      (<1491; I/251)
 8+1
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yang Guan Sandie; grouped under QL (淒涼 qiliang)
    but tuning is RB (蕤賓 ruibin); see lyrics and compare 1530 below
  2. 謝琳太古遺音
      (1511; I/293)
 1
 
RB
 
陽關曲 Yangguan Qu; lyrics are Wang Wei's poem repeated 13 times.
  tuning not indicated, but must be ruibin
  3. 發明琴譜
      (1530; I/357)
 8
 
RB !
 
陽關 Yang Guan; tuning is called "qiliang...raise the 2nd and 5th strings",
  but the 2nd string is stopped at 10th hui, not 11th. Lyrics like <1491 except refrain.
   -. 發明琴譜
      (1530; I/369)
 3
 
QL !
 
陽關三疊 Yang Guan Sandie; like modern version, except the tuning: raise 2nd and 5th string;
  after the 1st note, stop 2nd string at 11th hui (shorter lyrics)
  4. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/326)
 9
 
RB
 
陽關 Yang Guan; quite different from earlier long versions
 
  5. 龍湖琴譜
      (1571; 琴府/275)
 9
 
RB
 
 陽關 Yang Guan; lyrics like 1585 except coda
 
  6. 新刊正文對音捷要
      (1573; ??)
 9
 
RB
 
春江送別 Chunjiang Songbie
 compare 1585 Qiujiang Songbie
   -. 新刊正文對音捷要
      (1573; ??)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 identical to 1585?
  7. 五音琴譜
      (1579; IV/246)
 8
 
RB
 
陽關 Yang Guan; no lyrics!
 ToC: "大陽關 Da Yangguan"
  8. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/496)
 9
 
RB
 
秋江送別 Qiujiang Songbie
 compare 1573 Chunjiang Songbie! Grouped under QL
   -. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/499)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 compare 1573; grouped under QL
  9. 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589/1609; VII/141)
 9+1
 
QL
 
陽關操 Yangguan Cao
 lyrics like #1, but another different refrain
   -. 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589/1609; VII/144)
 3+1
 
QL
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
10. 文會堂琴譜
      (1596; VI/257)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關 Yang Guan
 
11. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/459)
 3+1
 
QL
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 lyrics like 1589
12. 理性元雅
      (1618; VIII/288)
 3
 
QL
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
  -. 理性元雅
      (1618; VIII/289)
 9
 
QL
 
春江送別 Chunjiang Songbie
 lyrics like 1585
14. 樂仙琴譜
      (1623; VIII/376)
 8
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 lyrics like <1491
13. 太音希聲
      (1625; IX/237)
 10
 
RB
 
春江送別 Chunjiang Songbie
 tablature says tuning is QL; lyrics like 1585
15. 古音正宗
      (1634; IX/311)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
16. 和文注音琴譜
      (<1676; XII/252)
 1
 
QL?
 
陽關曲 Yangguan Qu
 very short: Wang Wei poem just once
17. 立雪齋琴譜
      (1730; XV?)
 13+1
 
QL
 
陽關 Yang Guan
 lyrics like <1491 for first 8 sections, then 1, 2 and 3 die
18. 琴書千古
      (1738; ?)
 3+1
 
?
 
 陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
   -. 琴書千古
      (1738; ?)
 5
 
?
 
春江送別 Chunjiang Songbie
 
19. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; ?)
 3
 
QL
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
20. 琴學軔端
      (1828; ?)
 10+1
 
?
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 lyrics like <1491 but breaks up sections
21. 張鞠田琴譜
      (1844; ?)
 5
 
宮調
gong
陽關 Yang Guan
 melody from 昆曲 Kunqu? has 工尺譜 gongche notation
22. 琴學入門
      (1864; 琴府/615)
 3
 
RB
("商音")
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie; "無射均商音 Wuyi Jun Shang Yin" (see comments)
 The common version today, though usually without its lyrics, which were placed at the end
("清和節當春,渭城朝雨....噫,從今一別,兩地相思入夢頻,聞鴈來賓" [see complete])
23. 希韶閣琴譜
      (1878; ?)
 7
 
角 (?)
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 lyrics like <1491 but skips sections 6 & 7
24. 雙琴書屋琴譜集成
      (1884; ?)
 3+1
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 "also called Chunjiang Songbie; "lyrics like 1589"
25. 綠綺清韻
      (1884; ?)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
26. 希韶閣琴瑟合譜
      (1890; ?)
 3+1
 
?
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 begins with Wang Wei lyrics, then quite different
27. 琴學初津
      (1894; ?)
 4
 
 RB
"商"
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
28. 琴學叢書
      (1910; 琴府/1021)
 3
 
RB
"商"
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 "from 1864", with rhythmic indication
29. 山西育才館雅樂講義
      (1922; ?)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 "like 1864"
30. 夏一峰傳譜
      (1957/p.93)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
31. 研易習琴齋琴譜
      (1961/I-2)
 3+1
 
standard
!
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie; tuning is called 中呂均商音 zhonglü yun shang yin
 very different from the common melody; source is not given
   - 研易習琴齋琴譜
      (1961/II-2)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 tuning is called 無射均商音 Wuyi Jun Shang Yin, "tighten 5th string"
32. 愔愔室琴譜
      (2000/99)
 3+1
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 
33. 虞山吳氏琴譜
      (2001/188)
 3
 
RB
 
陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie
 

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