T of C 
Home
My
Work
Hand-
books
Qin as
Object
Qin in
Art
Poetry
/ Song
Hear
Qin
Play
Qin
Analysis History Ideo-
logy
Miscel-
lanea
More
Info
Personal email me search me
TGYY  ToC  /   1425 version   /   Trace all   /   Another plum blossom song 首頁
26. Plum Blossom Tune
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6
 
梅花曲 1
Meihua Qu
 
The melody of this Meihua Qu is clearly related to that of Three Repetitions of Plum Blossom (
Meihua Sannong) in Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425), and both of these versions are recognizable as versions of the Meihua Sannong which is still one of the most popular melodies in the modern repertoire. However, Meihua Qu in particular has many differences, presumably due to lyrics having been added.4

Perhaps the oddest aspect of this version is the way it treats the famous Meihua theme ("do so so so, do so so so....", always played in harmonics) that characterizes almost all other versions and is almost always played in three places, hence the "Three Repetitions" in the title.

The version published in 1585 begins each of the three plum blossom theme passages with the same lyrics, "Meihua lin shui" (Plum blossoms by the water). In contrast, here is how the theme is treated in Meihua Qu (see lyrics):5

  1. Its first appearance is just as expected, with the repeated "do so so so" paired to appropriate lyrics (also "Meihua lin shui").
  2. In its second appearance this opening motif is completely missing, the melody jumping to the following phrase. This suggests a copy error (someone wrote in "Play as before" but this was lost?) If so, then perhaps one should insert it together with the lyrics "Meihua lin shui". However, the treatment of the third appearance may argue against this.
  3. The third appearance seems to begin: do so so so, la so so so...., with new lyrics for both phrases; at first this seems to suggest that the three appearances are intended to be different. On the other hand, if in this third occurrence the first do so so so were to be repeated, and the following la so so so played in connection with the phrase after it, then all three harmonic passages would have the same form. In this case perhaps the first phrase of the third appearance should be sung with "Meihua lin shui" on the first playing, then the existing lyrics, Bai yi cang gou (White raiment turning into old dogs [alluding to how quickly things pass]), on the second.

The lyrics for this melody are not in Yuefu Shiji, and I have not been able yet to trace their origin.6 The poetry meter is irregular. In several parts of the melody they don't seem to align very well with the music, so adjustments have had to be made for my transcription. These are usually in places where the right hand does a glissando, or where there is a repeat indicated in the fingering.

On the other hand, the melody here seems very much in instrumental style, and perhaps one should consider the possibility that it came first and someone who did not understand it well tried to pair it for philosophical or pedagogical reasons.

 
Preface 7

Translation incomplete.

 
Music8
Ten titled section (originally unnumbered), with lyrics throughout
- The setting follows the irregular syllabic structure of the lyrics

1. (Untitled)
Mount Xi is green, the moon bright over the clear waters (canglang);
the dew is damp, with plum branches and a fine mist.
The Daoist awakes and gets up ("qilai, qilai"),
combing, relaxing, washing, rinsing mouth
....(translation incomplete)

2. Sound of the jade flute

3. The moon revolves above the west tower

4. Light cloudes and belt pendants

5. Reading the Yi Jing by a plum tree

6. Sound of the jade flute

7. Wind shakes the willow flowers

8. Falling plums

9. Wanting to stop, but unable

10. Coda (harmonics)

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Mei Hua Qu 梅花曲
See Meihua Sannong and Zha Guide 4/37/50
(Return)

2. Tuning and mode
Taigu Yiyin does not group pieces by mode.
(Return)

4. Addition of the lyrics
It is possible that the lyrics were originally attached to a different version of this melody; there is probably no way to verify this.
(Return)

5. Meihua theme
The use of "plum blossoms by the river edge" (梅花臨水 meihua lin shui) is repeated in all three refrains in 1629 as well as 1585. Other versions do not seem to use this phrase at all. (15223.77ff does not have 梅花臨水 as a set expression but it can be found in some other poems/songs.)
(Return)

6. Source of the lyrics
Could not find them through an internet search or otherwise.
(Return)

7. Original preface
Original Chinese not yet online. It begins:

按琴傳,桓伊善琴....

The whole preface can be seen at the beginning of this .pdf file (copied from Zha Guide [281] 37]).
(Return)

8. Original lyrics
The complete lyrics from 1511 are as follows. Lyrics for the "Meihua theme" (comment) are the four indented lines in each of the first three sections.

  1. (untitled)
溪山青了,滄浪月曉,露濕梅梢煙縹緲。
道人睡覺起來、起來。
櫛縱盥漱,神清氣爽。
端整端肅威儀悄。童子熱爐香,淨几席而轉瑤珍。
調梅花作三弄逍遙。
 (泛音起)梅花臨水,_ _ _ _,
    暗香𦸒泥,綠綺朱絃三弄指。
    儼然對子期,此曲伯牙師,近高山流水清溪。
    梅花雪月底,多少多少清奇(泛音止)趣。
綠綺朱絃三弄指,
十二十三會,雙鸞對舞鳳溪飛。
絃歌三百詩聲揚耳。

  2. 碧簫聲 Sound of the Jade Flute
(Meihua motif second introduction should begin here, but its first phrase, repeated, is missing:
logic suggests that it should be restored [4+4, with same lyrics as in first introduction
])
 (泛音起)(_ _ _ _,_ _ _ _。[?])
    聽彼鳴轉為嫋,仰高山出九重霄。
    飛上烟霞表,風弄浪汗蓧,鳳凰叫龍吟虎嘯。
    一聲聲大小,堂上樂聲容(泛音止)窅。
金聲玉振,和韶舞也在虞庭,
如黻冕,儼王臣,峨冠博帶。
道人儀形,齊莊中正,靈聰明。
金徽玉軫瑤琴。聲音小鳥,谷應聽可人。

  3. 月轉西樓 The moon revolves above the west tower
灩紫霞兮酌磁罌,長生,
哉酌紫霞瀲灩兮泛磁罌,長生!
三酌紫霞釀兮滿磁罌,長生!
離儀肅敬,賓主百拜,雍容樂兮泛壽酒,長生!
瑤琴聲飄渺。(泛音起)西樓樂雪霜(泛音止)曉。
 (泛音起)(_ _ _ _,[?])白衣蒼狗,
    舟霞紫霧,世人那得知其故。
    天旱作霖,天晴作甘露,無心出岫知何務,
    龍門絲桐聲,如雲外(泛音止)鼓。

  4. 清霄雜佩 Light clouds and belt pendants
清霄雜佩,琚瑀珩璜衝撞。
進退趣,珩剛琅璫。
飛在雲霄上,列玉筍行。
美人美人,天漢曠,我欲從之道路長。
(心也?)徬徨。
黃金門白玉堂兮,樓殿玲瓏,可仰而望。
琳琅振響,黼黻衣裳相玄黃,羅幡幢廻暘。
淸霄雜佩,璆(王將)琳琅叮噹。
出卿雲上,被日月光。
美人美人天蕩蕩,我欲我欲從之道路長。心也內傷。
思量千金賦兮,言語誰復端詳。私自可愴。
王會圖容儀巉巖而作寫像,咎夔兮偉望輝煌。
彼巢由兮塵俗壯,思想增惆悵。
梅花雪月宮琅琅,冷淸淸思想。
白駒隙時光,絲桐聲悠揚,恍人間天上響。

  5. 梅邊讀易
聖人讀易,韋編三絕。義盡文王周公扐卦,拐孔子繫辭。
說夫易者,本卜噬龜。聖人神天下人之耳目,因作易見乎蓍龜。
觀天地,通陰陽,考鬼神。動乎四體,則明乎吉㐫消長之理,進退存亡之機。
大行之數,太極四象。
易中理浩渺,梅邊讀,雪霜曉。

  6. 玉笛聲
五音系竹,律呂和同。聲音南方北方動,國風曁聲敎,禮樂維中。
排商列羽徵,以宮以角,爲民趨事即復赴功。
手指絃漆梓桐,而翕純繳繹也成。也雍容,鴻蒙蓬萊宮。
纖洪。揮鐵如意,擊碎珊瑚水晶宮,跌破氷一片。
於戲,秋郊鬼母,啾啾鬼哭。鐵馬馳驟揚鸞輅。
鸞鈴輅,大行轔轔咫尺。是聲也,而絲桐,皷桐梓,變凄楚也。
當風雪一身,萬里紀國逾哽咽。
一色無涯,而望關山難越。而斷絕,慨號呼而骨驚心折愁結。
思賢哲,相如寓,子雲亭,弄笛聲。
于以閱金經,于以調素琴。用暢緒幽情,禁淫去邪凝神。

  7. 風蕩楊花
自風蕩楊花,悠悠颺颺,正正斜斜。
漫天作雪三弄罷,靜也無譁。可嘉堪誇,興無涯。

  8. 落梅
落梅也,正雪霜月夜。梅花正開,梅花又謝。
直落得意休休,抱琴閑瀟洒。囊琴罷,金盤玉斚。

  9. 欲罷不能
作梅花調,對梅花風。雌雄振動虛空,西復東。
瀚瀚漫漫中也,再理瑤琴三弄。
列梅花,點七絃,十三徽手指,諷詠歌吟風雅頌。

10. 尾聲
梅兄金鼎調羹去,將我絲桐付與。作韶舞,行天宇。

These lyrics can also be found after the preface in this .pdf file (compare Zha Guide [574] 50]).
(Return)

Return to top