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Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu
Authentically Transmitted Orthodox Qin Handbook 1
Combines Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin and Boya Xinfa
1589 and 1609
|Yang Lun,2 with Zhong Ziqi cut from the pavilion 3|
Qinqu Jicheng includes two editions of Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu: one published in 1589, apparently the earliest; and the "commonly seen edition" generally said to have been published in 1609.5 Their original publication in Nanjing suggests that they be considered representative of the late Ming Jiang School of qin play. The handbook consists of two parts: Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin, named after its compiler, Yang Lun of Nanjing; and Boya Xinfa, meaning "Shared Teachings of Boya". This latter title, as well as the illustration at right, which originally depicted Yang Lun visiting Boya's friend Zhong Ziqi, was an obvious attempt to equate Yang Lun with Boya, the most famous qin player of antiquity, something for which Yang Lun was roundly criticized.
The inclusion in Qinqu Jicheng of both the 1589 and 1609 Yanglun Taigu Yiyin and Boya Xinfa forms four entries in all (more detail in the outline below), in the following order:
|Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin6 (1589)||31 of 34 pieces (missing three diaoyi kao), all with lyrics|
|Boya Xinfa7 (1589)||7 pieces; none with lyrics|
|Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin (1609)||1 (of the original 34) pieces (2 are missing?)|
|Boya Xinfa (1609)||22 of 29 pieces; 7 have lyrics|
Qinqu Jicheng thus omitted from its reprinting of the 1609 edition those melodies already included in 1589. All this suggests that the complete 1609 edition was a re-issue of the 1589 edition, with the same content for Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin, but adding 22 melodies to Boya Xinfa. (The three missing melodies from the 1589 Taigu Yiyin were likely in the original, but apparently the 1609 edition in Qinqu Jicheng had only one of these.)
In the 1950s several editions of this handbook were apparently still available in bookstores, and at least one other surviving edition has been reprinted, called Qinpu Hebi.8 Qinpu Hebi may have been published around the same time as the 1609 Qinpu Zhenchuan: as can be seen from its complete Table of Contents, it has the same melody content but adds some further commentary and illustrations. Apparently the whole book is also sometimes given the general name Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin. For example, Van Gulik states that Boya Xinfa is an appendix to Taigu Yiyin.9
Although Zha Fuxi's introduction to the editions in Qinqu Jicheng, Vol. VII,10 says that the two parts of this handbook originally had the name Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu, Zha does not discuss the origin of this title, and makes no mention of the title Qinpu Hebi. QQJC seems to suggest that the 1589 edition it reprints first (QQJC VII/pp.49-168) was called Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu,11 but it also seems possible that this name was added later. Likewise this overall title does not seem to appear in its reprint of the later "commonly seen edition", dated 1609,12 which has those parts of that were not in the 1589 Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu.
Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu begins (QQJC VII/49) with a preface by Li Wenfang, dated 1589.13 The title Taigu Yiyin is mentioned only in the margin that has the page numbers. After that is an image of Yang Lun (top right), framed in the original by a couplet written by Li Zhushi of Nanyang.14 There are then a number of essays, followed by 31 melodies, all with lyrics; at the end of Taigu Yiyin (VII/152) is an afterword by Lü Lan'gu.15 This is then followed by Boya Xinfa (VII/152-168; again the title is only in the margins); its 7 melodies each has a preface, but none has lyrics and there are no separate essays. For both sections, pagination is separate for each melody.
The 1609 edition in QQJC (VII/169-219), as mentioned above, includes only essays and melodies that were not already printed in the 1589 edition. Taigu Yiyin (VII/169-170) has some essays plus a different image (top right) of Yang Lun.16 The reader, looking at this together with this 1609 image can speculate as to whether they depict Yang Lun at different ages.17 Boya Xinfa (VII/171-219) begins with a new preface, dated 1609, by Yu Yan,18 of Maoshan.19
In his Guide, Section 3, Zha Fuxi has a short general introduction plus a table of contents (melodies only) for the 1609 edition.20 At that time Zha apparently had seen only this later edition. In addition to the preface by Yu Yan he mentions the preface by Li Wenfang (which he says is undated) and an afterword by Lü Lan'gu. Its table of contents includes 63 melodies: 34 for Taigu Yiyin and 29 for Boya Xinfa.21 The pagination for each section of the 1609 edition is continuous.22
A comparison of the contents of the 1589 Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu with those of the 1609 edition (whether called Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu or Qinpu Hebi) shows the following:
There are also a few other differences.25
The fact that in the 1589 edition of Taigu Yiyin the pagination is not continuous, but instead separate for each melody, perhaps explains why the melodies are in a somewhat different order from what they are in the book as printed in QQJC.26 However, it also leaves open the possibility that that the surviving 1589 edition is incomplete, and that it originally included more than seven melodies. The fact that Zha Fuxi makes no comment on this perhaps suggests that this was not the case. In that case the added melodies were presumably created or re-created by Yang Lun later in his career, or at least written down later.
An examination of all the versions of Yang Lun's Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu/Qinpu Hebi shows that they introduced seven new melodies with new titles27 plus at least six new melodies for older titles.28 The following outline mentions these plus several other melodies of particular note:29
The other two melodies seem to survive first from this 1589 Boya Xinfa:
Some of the titles Zha's Guide lists as new are in fact old melodies with new titles.30 Many of the pieces not listed here as having new lyrics have in fact lyrics that are quite modified from earlier handbooks. Details of this have not been fully studied.
Also noteworthy in this handbook are the attributions given to contemporary "qin friends" for revising or writing the tablature;31 the running commentary alongside some of the melodies;33 and the style of the tablature itself, which is quite uniform throughout but somewhat different from that of earlier handbooks.33
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
Authentically Transmitted Orthodox Qin Handbook
(真傳正宗琴譜 Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu
As is discussed here and with the Table of Contents, there have been at least three modern reprints:
"Commonly seen edition" (常見本 chang jian ben) is the expression Zha Fuxi uses for the 1609 edition in his QQJC preface. Furthermore, in his Guide Guide, p. (105) 63, Zha says versions of this edition "書店常見 can often be seen in bookstores" (he wrote that in the 1950s). He makes no mention of the title Qinpu Hebi. Likewise the introduction to the Zhongguo Shudian edition makes no mention of the title Zhenchuan Zhongzong Qinpu. And a comment by Van Gulik suggests he had seen yet another edition with a different name, also
dated to 1609.
2. Yang Lun 楊掄
The image at right, from QQJC VII/53, has the inscription "楊鶴浦小像 small image of Yang Hepu" (Yang Lun).
The dates of Yang Lun (Bio/xxx) are not known. The preface by Zha Fuxi (see below) says Yang Lun's style name was 鶴浦 Hepu; elsewhere it is given as 鶴洲 Hezhou. On the other hand, the afterword by Lü Lan'gu (VII/156) says the style name was 文浦 Wenpu and that he was from 金陵 Jinling, i.e., Nanjing. The introduction to the facsimile edition of Qinpu Hebi does not mention a style name, saying he had the nicknames 桐庵 Tong'an and 鶴淑 Heshu. It adds that Yang Lun was from 江寧 Jiangning (apparently a district of Nanjing), and that he was a late Ming specialist on qin song. Qin Shi Xu does not include him and Xu Jian's Outline History only seems to mention him in passing, in connection with Yan Cheng's criticisms of qin songs in Chapter 7a2 (p. 127), not in its section on qin songs themselves. Thus one can only speculate as to what connection he might have had with Yang Biaozheng, whose handbooks were printed in Nanjing only a few years earlier. Van Gulik, Lore, p. 185, has some mistakes with both of these (he may be reflecting a Chinese confusion). Thus he calls Yang Biaozheng's handbook 琴譜合壁大全 Qinpu Hebi Daquan, a title I have not yet found elsewhere, and dates it impossibly early (1503). He also has for Yang Lun 楊倫字桐庵, i.e., a different character for Lun (Bio/840: a different person) and gives Tong'an as the style name instead of nickname. (See also the next footnote).
二香琴譜 Erxiang Qinpu (1833; XXIII/88), says, "楊鶴洲（楊掄）太古遺音則云琴弦非杭州者不可 Taigu Yiyin by Yang Hezhou (i.e., Yang Lun) says that if qin strings are not from Hangzhou they are useless." I have not located this yet, suggesting perhaps that Yang Lun also had another publication.
3. Images of Yang Lun (see also previous)
Compare the image above with the same scene as redone in the 1802 Qinpu Hebi, where it is reversed. This reveral can most clearly be seen in the tripled image at right (expand); the three images are:
As can be seen, the reversed 1802 Qinpu Hebi image in the middle directly corresponds with the earlier image below it. How does this happen? Does it have to do with the mechanical process of making woodblock prints? (There is a similar phenomenon in this image of Xi Kang.)
In the illustration from the earlier Qinpu Hebi, Folio I/14-15, you can see "楊掄像 image of Yang Lun" written over the bearded figure in the middle. To the right, in the column outside the pavilion, can be seen the characters "鐘子期 Zhong Ziqi". This apparently took too far some already too obvious attempts to equate Yang Lun with the great Boya himself (see footnote below). According to Van Gulik, Lore, p. 185, the Imperial Catalogue (ch. 114, leaf 8 recto.) was "much incensed at the fact that on the picture in the first volume the author is shown together with Zhong Ziqi." Van Gulik adds that this "arrogance" must have been recognized early, as "most copies which I have seen were printed from a revised block, where the image of Zhong Ziqi has been deleted from the unorthodox picture." There is a certain irony in this criticism in that this handbook seems to be one of the best at crediting the various people who helped compile it (see further).The version in QQJC VII is missing the whole right half of that picture (see VII/175-6); that edition is also missing many other illustrations.
Melodies I have transcribed from Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu
In addition to those reconstructions I have completed, I have also written out transcriptions for, but not memorized, several other pieces from here, including:
And for my program Music from the Time of Matteo Ricci I have rearranged Mozi Bei Ge so that it can be sung with the lyrics for Ricci's Eight Songs for Western Keyboard.
Dating the 常見本 "commonly seen edition(s)"
In both QQJC (VII/179) and the facsimile Qinpu Hebi (Folio IV/2) the date 萬歷三十七年己酉 Wanli 37th year (1509) appears at the end of the preface by 俞彥 Yu Yan to Boya Xinfa. (Zha Fuxi does not mention this preface in his QQJC commentary but he does mention it in his Guide p.105 .) Although the versions of the preface in these two reprints seem to have come from the same original woodblock, some of the other contents of these two editions are quite different. On the other hand, the tablature for both editions seems to be identical. So although it cannot be stated as a fact that both were reprinted in 1609, and it seems likely that more of these "commonly seen editions" could have been republished later, it seems very unlikely that any of the tablature itself dates from after 1609.
Yang Lun's Music Bequeathed from Antiquity
(楊掄太古遺音 Yang Lun Taigu Yi Yin)
Compare the earlier Taigu Yiyin.
Shared Teachings of Bo Ya
(伯牙心法 Boya Xinfa)
The seven melodies in the 1589 version (compare the 29 of 1609) are:
As for the title, the basic meaning of xinfa (10531.80; 7/378) is apparently "修心 xiu xin: cultivate the heart/mind". Practically the term is used to describe a teaching method in which the teacher explains things carefully so that the student doesn't simply memorize but can come to a full understanding. In Buddhism it suggests doing this teaching without the aid of scriptures. It is also a neo-Confucian term for nurturing the essence of one's thoughts while examining how these thoughts can be put to use. The significance of using the name of Bo Ya in the title is discussed in a previous footnote.
Qin Handbook Matched Well
(琴譜合壁 Qinpu Hebi)
"Matched well" could be referring to the lyrics and music. On this see Van Gulik's comment in Lore, p. 185, with regard to Qinpu Hebi Daquan. The facsimile reprint published by Zhongguo Shudian, 2006, has five folios. The first three are Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin; the latter two are Boya Xinfa. This reprint also has two introductory essays.
Edition mentioned by Van Gulik
Van Gulik, Lore, p. 185, gives Taigu Yiyin as the overall title, saying Boya Xinfa is a supplement (i.e., there is no mention of the titles Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu or Qinpu Hebi). He says this book is "much better edited" than Yang Biaozheng's "Qinpu Hebi Daquan", another qin song handbook from Nanjing published only a few years earlier. (See also his comment on the illustration.)
Introduction to Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu in Qinqu Jicheng, Vol. VII (1981)
Originally written in 1962 by 查阜西 Zha Fuxi, then edited by 吳釗 Wu Zhao for the 1981 publication, it mostly concerns the different editions of this handbook. See further mention above and below. It ends with a quote from Li Lan'gu (see also below), concluding that, "From this one can see that the materials for this handbook must have been received from their teacher."
Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu in Qinqu Jicheng
Zha says it is in the 文化部，文學藝術研究院，音樂研究所藏 collection of the Music Research Institute. Presumably this refers to both the 1589 and 1609 editions.
Commonly seen edition (常見本 Changjian ben)
Presumably the copy reprinted in QQJC is also now in the Music Research Institute. For its publication date see above.
Li Wenfang 李文芳
(Bio/xxx); 己丑 1589; QQJC VII/53.
Li Zhushi 李柱史
The couplet by Li Zhushi of 南陽 Nanyang (Bio/xxx) is:
Lü Lan'gu 呂蘭谷
The 跋 afterword by Lü Lan'gu (Bio/xxx; Lan'gu/Lanyu: 33297.68xxx) to the 1589 edition (QQJC VII/156) has no further information about Lü, but the same afterword in the 1609 edition (see facsimile edition Folio III, end) identifies Lü as a 長湖居士 retired scholar of Changhu (42022.522 says only that this means a "very long lake"). This afterword (also in QQJC VII/156) includes the following statement (no further information on "浙東太史余公 the grand scribe/astrologer of Zhedong [east Zhejiang], Master Yu [549.xxx; Bio/???])":
This handbook was abridged and edited by Master Yu, Grand Scribe of Zhedong. As for the exquisite finger techniques, they originated with Yang Hezhou (Yang Lun) and Li Siquan. Mister Yang was also able to 'illustrate all the catalpa (printing blocks)' in order to broaden this tradition. Mr. Yang could call it an essential volume."
The 1609 edition also changes "Li Siquan" to "Zhou Tong'an" (see below).
New Yang Lun image
The image at QQJC VII/176 (top right; see also next) is discussed by Van Gulik (Lore, p. 185).
Yang Lun at different ages?
Compare the beard in the 1609 Taigu Yiyin image at VII/176 with the lack of one in the 1589 Taigu Yiyin image at VII/53.
俞彥 Yu Yan
Yu Yan (Bio/1750), style names 仲茅 Zhongmao and 容自 Rongzi, was from 應天府上元 Shang Yuan in Yingtian (today's Nanjing). He became a metropolitan scholar in 1602, then later was a high military official in Nanjing. In his preface he refers to himself as Master of the Eighth Paradise (第八洞天主人 26496.63xxx); the name 茅山 Maoshan is written above the page number, and 洞天主人 Dongtian zhuren (17777.9xxx) seems to have been a rank used at Maoshan (see below). Yu adds that he wrote it at the Pass Away Summer Pavilion (銷夏亭 Xiaoxia Ting); 41354.34 銷夏灣 is a Xiaoxia Bay on the edge of Taihu lake.
Maoshan was one of the most famous centers of Daoism. It is in Jiangsu province between Nanjing and Taihu lake (see Wikipedia, Shangqing School). A number of people mentioned on this site at some time were connected to Maoshan.
Zha Guide, pages 63 - 66 (105 - 108 overall). Zha writes that this book could be found in many bookstores.
The re-print of the earlier edition had 31 instead of 34 melodies because it is missing three modal preludes, 宮意考 Gong Yi Kao, 徵意考 Zhi Yi Kao and 羽意考 Yu Yi Kao. QQJC includes only Gong Yi Kao from the later edition. No reason is given for this.
1609 edition pagination
Regarding the Taigu Yiyin part, the 1609 edition in QQJC includes only two pages, so the total number and its numbering method is not certain. The 3 folios of the Taigu Yiyin in Qinpu Hebi begin with 27 引 prefatory pages, which include the five modal preludes; this is followed by the melodies on pages numbered continuously 1 to 191. The 1609 Boya Xinfa has 127 pages.
As for Boya Xinfa, in QQJC (VII/179-227) the numbering was continuous, apparently the same as in Qinpu Hebi.
Comparing versions of Taigu Yiyin
Although I have looked at both Taigu Yiyin in QQJC as well as the one in the Qinpu Hebi facsimile reprint, I have not yet closely examined all the tablature itself. So I cannot say for certain that there were not changes within the melodies, as happened between the two available editions of Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu. (But see next footnote.)
Comparing versions of Boya Xinfa
Although QQJC tried to include from the 1609 edition only melodies that were not already printed in 1589, apparently by oversight it included in the 1609 edition the end of Jishan Qiu Yue (see QQJC, VII/195, and compare VII/165; perhaps the intention was to put here the first page of Jishan Qiu Yue, as there was a difference in the two prefaces). The latter looks as though it might have been traced from the former. (Perhaps also from oversight a folio page  is missing from the middle of the 1609 Gu Shenhua Yin [see QQJC VII/215].)
Further differences between the 1589 and 1609 editions within QQJC
Zha Fuxi's introduction in QQJC (see above) mentions the following differences:
Zha Fuxi suggests that this means either that Zhou Tong'an was a contemporary of Yang Lun and personally made the changes, or that the changes were done by the book's printer.
The most notable difference is that the listing in Zha's guide puts the five 意考 modal preludes in front.
New melodies (with new titles) in Yang Lun's handbooks
These include the following new melodies with new titles (compare next):
Older titles having new melodies in Yang Lun's handbooks
These include the earliest versions of the following new melodies for titles surviving earlier but with different melodies:
Perhaps most noteworthy of these is the song version of Jiu Kuang.
Older melodies with new titles
Zha's Guide indicates that these volumes within Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu include 12 new melodies. However, at least five of these are in fact versions of the same melody published earlier with different titles. The five are:
Attributions to "琴友 qin friends"
In Yang Lun's handbook these attributions are normally made under the heading for Section 1 of the particular melody. Howeer, in some cases there are comments like this within the preface itself (e.g., in Jishan Qiuyue). In early handbooks it was not at all common to identify either who originally copied the tablature or who revised it, nor is it clear what either "revised by" or "tablature by" mean. Checking for minor copy errors? Playing old tablature many times, developing ones own version, then copying it down? From my preliminary examination of the 1589 and 1609 editions of Yang Lun Taigu Yiyin and Boya Xinfa it seems that very few were done by the same person. Some of these are mentioned among the new melodies above; otherwise see the handbook's Table of Contents. It is perhaps significant that almost all such attributions are to melodies without lyrics.
Running commentary (compare attributions)
In both Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu and the later "commonly seen edition", some of the melodies with lyrics have added text as commentary or explanation. For example, 復聖操 Fusheng Cao, Section 1 (VII/68), has 音必 to explain the punctuation of 俾 bi; many other melodies have such explanations of pronunciation. Almost always "重 chong" is written where there are repeats in the music, presumably so that the player will keep singing during the repeat. 客窗新語 Kechuang Xinyu (VII/190ff) has a great many explanations of people and phrases. 閨怨操 Gui Yuan Cao adds "呼連 hu lian" in small print between "奩 lian" and "塵 chen" (line 2; VII/198); I am not sure of the significance of that.
Some notes on the tablature in Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu
Regarding the tablature itself, my study has been mostly with earlier tablature, and I haven't studied carefully enough other handbooks from around 1600 to be able to state which of these characteristics found in Zhenchuan Zhenzong Qinpu are unique to it, or new with it. In addition, there are probably some inconsistencies due to the fact that a number of the melodies seem to have been edited by different people (). Some characteristics that I have noted include:
分開 Fenkai: traditionally this means to pluck a string twice with the left hand at the same marker, but adding a slide up in between. The two plucks are usually written together, with fenkai after, but fenkai might also be written between the plucks. Here the second pluck is often at a lower position, and sometimes it is not even written. Since some handbooks around that time suggest that fenkai is actually like zhuang (撞 written "立" one pluck with a slide up and down), this makes the intention of the tablature unclear. This seems to happen especially when fenkai is followed by a zhuang. (The first such instance in my Mozi Bei Ge transcription can be seen in measure 29.)
度 Du: elsewhere this is the same as 歷 li, a right hand indication of a finger going over several strings; but at the beginning of the Mozi tablature (QQJC VII/183) there is a statement that du is like a fast 撞 zhuang (see above). However, zhuang is itself said to be fast (see 立 in QQJC VII/59), and some zhuang within the tablature are said to be "fast zhuang". How are these to be distinguished? (First occurrence in my transcription of Mozi is m. 73.)
急歷猱 Ji li nao: a fast (ji) run (li), with a vibrato (nao, also called rou) written at the side. See Mozi transcription measures 178, 182, 185 and 210: a vibrato would not seem actually fit with a fast li; at best I put in a very short one.
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