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Yuwu Qinpu
Jade Tree Qin Handbook 1

by Zha Fuxi2
from Qinqu Jicheng, Vol. 6
Beijing, Zhonghua Shuju Chuban Faxing, 1987

In the collection of the Shanghai Library,3 in 3 folios, it is a traditional qin handbook collection compiled by the eunuch Zhang Jinchao,4 In front is are three prefaces, dated 1589, by Wang Honghai,5 Wang Zudi6 and Hu Zhili.7 In addition it has Zhang Jinchao's own comments entitled General Outlook on Qin Play (the first page is missing from this edition, but one can see the essay of the same title in Zangchunwu Qinpu).8 After this is are the Melody Table of Contents, Explanation of Terminology and Finger Techniques, and so forth. After this is the qin tablature. At the end is a personal introduction dated 1589, mid-autumn, a lucky day, by "Zining Palace (in Beijing) Palace Attendant, in the Directorate of Imperial Horses, Eunuch Guxiong (old warrior?) Jade-Tree Zhang Jinchao."9 Altogether there are 52 melodies. This book is also a sole surviving copy. (The original book is missing page 128, but you can use [the relevant page from] Zangchunwu Qinpu to examine and fix it.10)

From a careful analysis of the melodies of each piece in this handbook, one can see that although this collection of tablature was also compiled by a eunuch in the imperial palace, it is already quite different from Wugang Qinpu, by the eunuch Huang Xian 30 years earlier. This shows clearly that the qin school of the Ming dynasty palace was evolving.11 Zhang Jinchao studied the qin from Cui Xiaotong of Henan.12 Cui Xiaotong was also a qin player from among the people. The qin (music) in the palace all came from the people. In the Ming dynasty there were already these two clear examples.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. It has 52 melodies, four with lyrics. Six appear for the first time here, but four of these are modal preludes.

2. 查阜西 Zha Fuxi; edited by 吳鉊 Wu Zhao

3. 上海圖書館. Still there?

4. 張進朝 Zhang Jinchao

5. 王弘海 Wang Honghai

6. 王祖嫡 Wang Zudi

7. 胡執禮 Hu Zhili

8. Compare QQJC VI, p. 6 and pp. 289-90.

9. 萬歷十七年中秋吉日慈寍宮近侍御馬監太監古雄玉梧張進朝書
1589, mid-autumn, lucky day, Zining Palace (in Beijing) Palace Attendant, in the Directorate of Imperial Horses, Eunuch Guxiong (old warrior?) Jade-Tree Zhang Jinchao."

10. See QQJC VI, pp.69-70 and 413.

11. Note, however, than all but the last of the melodies here were copied again in Zangchunwu Qinpu.

12. 河南崔小桐 Cui Xiaotong of Henan.

Return to the Yuwu Qinpu intro, to the annotated handbook list or to the Guqin ToC.