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QXXS  ToC   /   Handbook list   /   Ci poetry   Qin songs  首頁
Pear-White Clouds, Spring Thoughts
Shang Yin (Shang mode, standard tuning):2 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
梨雲春思 1
Li Yun Chun Si  
  First page of the original tablature (.pdf of entire piece) 3    
Li Yun Chun Si is a setting for qin of ten ci poems. The overall title suggests a romantic theme: both "pear clouds" (i.e., "pear-white clouds") and "spring thoughts" are terms often used within the context of romance. In addition, most of the individual section titles (i.e., ci titles) have similarly romantic implications, and this is usually also reflected in the actual lyrics.4

As can be seen at right, the musical setting is attributed to Yangzhou's Zhuang Zhenfeng,5 style name Die'an (ca. 1624 - after 1667) and the lyrics are attributed to Hangzhou's Mao Xianshu, style name Zhihuang (1620 - 1688).6 It is not clear to what extent the setting of these ten poems was intended as a unit, as opposed to simply a set of 10 independent settings. In any case, they were published with little change in at least four later handbooks through 1884.7

At the same time, though, Li Yun Chun Si has an interesting relationship to the piece called Grass Hall Intonation (草堂吟 Caotang Yin) published in Japan in four sections. Specifically, the titles and lyrics of the four sections of Caotang Yin are the same as for the first four sections of Li Yun Chun Si, but the music is almost completely different. The relationship is probably due to the fact that the compiler of the Japanese handbook, Jiang Xingchou (1639 - 1695), had lived in Hangzhou at the same time as Mao and Zhuang, going to Japan in 1676. Why the lyrics are the same but the melodies different is not at all clear.8

According to Zhuang Zhenfeng's own afterword to Li Yun Chun Si he created this piece (by either revising melodies or creating new ones, it is not clear which) to replace what he considered to be quite unsatisfactory settings; since the time frame suggests that the Japanese setting was published later, presumably that was not the referenced unsatisfactory setting (further comment). What this does emphasize, though, is that although the tradition of ci poetry was supposedly intended to allow multiple sets of lyrics to apply to a single melody, within the surviving guqin repertoire the practice seems quite the opposite: more likely the lyrics will remain but a new melody will be applied to it.

In any case, because all this seems to attest to a widespread custom at the time of making new settings for either existing lyrics or lyrical patterns, the only way to try to recapture the melodic style of qin songs from that time will thus be to try to become familiar with the style by reconstructing as many of these melodies as one can.9

In this, it will be useful also to compare how Zhuang Zhenfeng also created (or re-arranged) music for other lyrics or texts: a Buddhist chant (Shitan Zhang), four Tang quatrains (Zao Zhao Yin, and prose commentary (Linhe Xiuxi

 
Introduction10
Li Yun Chun Si has a rather lengthy preface written in 康熙乙巳 1665 by 王士祿 Wang Shilu;11 the original, in grass writing, is here as a .pdf. (Thanks to 孫小青 and 姚瑩 for their help in deciphering it.)

予性懶,不耐習諸雜藝,以故於琴善所解即所謂勾、踢、卓、注、向、背、吟、猱,俗師之所擅,以教授者亦不甚了(了),願意頗好轉。每讀宋畫處士戴顒傳,顒鼓琴,並新聲變曲,其《三調》、《遊絃》、《廣陵止息》之流,皆與世異轍,心慕之意。置此處士於青林碧磵之間,停之捶琴詠,矚必殊凡,理持此與世異,故世所名善琴家友,鮮是當予意者。以在湖上遇蝶菴,為予言琴語,皆聖人意表。嘗一夕偕諸同人汎舟西陵,泊第一橋下。疎呈乍出,嵩氣四吹,蝶菴布幾,風水之交,為鼓一再行。於時青天如幕,僕鄰皆靜,為誦常尉「泠泠七絃遍,萬木澄幽陰」之句,覺瓠巴成連去人未遠已,又出太平奏以入十二曲桐示,則並蝶菴參合古法。自出新意為之者,世逸情遠韻真歌,欲抗手戴之,而予於中尤絕愛《梨雲春思》之名。唐人詩云「夢中喚作梨花雲」*,故「梨雲」以言夢也。夫夢之境幽而深,壽變而飄渺,皆與琴意有合。況緯似靈思**,劍為雅畼,安絃***命指,又豈俗師世曲之可擬乎。此曲蝶菴又名以《草堂闋》,蓋雜取草堂諸調合成之同。蝶菴索序此曲,而樂為識之如此。
康熙乙巳歲季夏中灨新城王士
祿子(虚/居/底?)漫題於西湖舟次。

    *(王建:夢好梨花歌)
  **(靈思像緯線一樣?)
***(懂得音樂的意思)

(Translation begins: "By nature I am lazy, without patience to study all the arts, so as for qin I am capable only of understanding (such basic stroke techniques as) 'hook', 'kick', 'slide up into'....things that ordinary masters are good at...." (at the end it mentions 草堂闋 Caotang Que).

Afterword to Li Yun Chun Si

This afterword is as follows:

偶坐友人齋,得見此譜,援琴試之,宮商乖背,指法參差,想非知音所製。予獨愛其詞,遂依韻另諧新聲。內有喉音字,須借黃鍾,以補中聲。因曲意綿延,彈之不忍釋手,聽之不能去懷。易名《梨雲春思》。
Once when I happened to be sitting in a friend's studio I saw written music for this, and so took up a qin and tried to play it. The melody was discordant, the fingering (awkward?), not like what a musical person would create. (But) I liked the ci lyrics, so I straightaway matched them with new sounds. These included....and I changed the name to "Pear-White Clouds, Spring Thoughts".

Translations incomplete.

 
Music and lyrics
The music of the 10+1 sections of Li Yun Chun Si is paired to a series of ci lyrics following the
traditional syllabic pairing method. The lyrics themselves are as follows (compare Cao Tang Yin and see www.qinzhijie.com):

  1. 鵲橋仙 Que Qiao Xian (Magpie Bridge Immortals)
    Compare with the contemporary ci setting
    in Japan as well as the earlier one by 秦觀 Qin Guan. Qingping Yue also concerns Magpie Bridge, but the form is unrelated.

    輕煖破寒,擔雲閣雨,庭院深深鶯語。
    夭桃枝半出墻頭,見無數蜂狂蜨舞。
    柳外繡鞍,花前羅襪,陌上喧天蕭鼓。
    春風有意惱人腸,問何處江皋湘浦。

  2. 點絳唇 Dian Jiang Chun (A Touch of Red Lips)
    Li Qingzhao wrote ci poems in this form. And Japanese handbooks have at least two examples, a Dian Jiang Chun, and a Nan Pu Yue.

    細雨斜風,十二高樓煙幾寸。
    誰相廝認,傳與靑鸞信。
    倦倚珠簾,長抱新春恨,
    悶悶悶。
    亂紅成陣,又是淸明近。

  3. 好事近 Hao Shi Jin (Approaching Bliss)
    Compare
    in Japan as well as a ci of this name by Fan Chengda, one by Li Qingzhao, and many by other women poets

    獨自步苔堦,驚訊海棠開遍。
    怪得東皇有意,也到深深院。
    惜花常是爲花愁,羞妬春風面。
    閉門不管韶華,付與鶯和燕。

  4. 畫堂春 Hua Tang Chun (A Painted Hall in Spring)
    A
    ci in this pattern by Qin Guan is translated here. Also compare the ci of this name from 1687

    借問東風來幾時,金堂燕子雙飛。
    浮花浪蘂弄春暉,蜂蝶霏霏。
    門巷輪蹄雜沓,園林紅縈芳菲。
    海棠自惜是花妃,着意徘徊,着意徘徊。 (note repetition of this last phrase)

  5. 少年遊 Shao Nian You (Youthful Travel; in harmonics)
    Name of a cipai; example by Liu Yong

    昨夜東風入畫屛,欹枕不勝情。
    吹簫秦史,登樓楚客,囘首也無憑。
    曉來數點催詩雨,百舌兩三聲。
    滿鏡新愁,一場幽悶,都付與芳樽。

  6. 風中柳 Feng Zhong Liu (Wind Amidst Willows)
    44734.xxx; XII/592xxx. The lyrics for the present melody are as follows:

    歎萬種愁生,三分春半,看吹綿滲雨交戰。
    記得柳困花羞,鷪慵蝶倦,滿園韶麗何曾見。
    朱顏暗改,屈指流光如箭,幾囘憶舊空成怨。
    黃昏近,這般愁,何處消遣。強立向,梨花庭院。

    The pattern here seems to have some relation to online examples said to be in a ci pattern called Feng Zhong Liu, but there are significant differences. For example, the following seems to be the main example. It is attributed to Lady Sun, wife of Liu Bei:

    風中柳(閨情);作者:孫夫人
    鎖減芳容,端的爲郎煩惱。鬢慵梳、宮妝草草。別離情緒,等歸來都告。怕傷郎、又還休道。
    利鎖名繮,幾阻當年歡笑。更那堪、鱗鴻信杳。蟾枝高折,願從今須早。莫辜負、鳳幃人老。

    Lady Sun's pattern is:
          66 字 divided (4,6. 3,4. 4,5. 3,4.) x 2 (i.e., 33 x 2).
    In contrast the pattern with the 1664 song setting is:
          67 字 divided  5,4,  7.   6,4,     7.
                                  4,6,  7.  3,3,4.   3,4.   (33 + 34)

    The significance of this puzzles me. Possibly related cipai titles are 風中柳令 Feng Zhong Liu Ling (44734.xxx) and 謝池春 Xie Chi Chun, but none of these seems to fit the present pattern either.

  7. 謁金門 Ye Jin Men (Visit the Golden Gate; in harmonics)
    Cipai name;
    Wei Zhuang wrote one in this form

    東方曉,花底數聲啼鳥。
    渚宮雙闕晴雲杳,瓊樓人起早。
    羅衣尙覺寒峭,意沉沉,看花老。
    試問江南春去了,何處尋芳草。

  8. 醉花陰 Zui Hua Yin (Drunk in the Blossom's Shade; "slow down")
    Compare
    a poem in this form by Li Qingzhao

    攪牕花影鶯聲碎,春風惱人如醉。                 (not 7,5: one extra character)
    無睡倚欄桿,深閨晝閑,燕泥空欲墜。
    楊花無力因風起,閒逐游絲細。                     (in 1664 起 was written 走尺)
    此際暮煙平,立盡斜陽,朱戶重重閉。

  9. 一剪梅 Yi Jian Mei (A Sprig of Blossoms)
    Li Qingzhao also wrote one in this form

    聞道春來春又歸,紅滿花枝,綠滿花枝。
    乍晴乍雨踏靑時,晴也愁睂,雨也愁睂。
    藍橋有路阻佳期,心在天涯,夢在天涯。
    淚零花片濕春衣,怕聽鵑啼,莫聽鵑啼。

  10. 千秋歲 Qian Qiu Sui (A Thousand Autumns)
    Compare these lyrics to those of separate halves of
    this poem by 張先 Zhang Xian and this one by 黃庭堅 Huang Tingjian

    斜陽巷陌,杜宇聲聲切。
    柳絮風,梨花雪。                        (Huang Tingjian same; Zhang Xian has 7 characters)
    只道春爲主,誰知春爲客。
    望不見,雲山疊處千層碧。

    尾聲 Weisheng (Coda, in harmonics)
    Compare with structure of #10: were these two together intended to make a complete Qian Qiu Shui?

    慵把彩毫攜,莫把金樽歇。         (Others also have 5+5 for part 2)
    悶懨懨,愁脈脈。
    有淚濕靑衫,無句題紅葉。
    知心  惟有夜半穿窓月。               (Old ci patterns have 3+7: 知心者?)

None of the poems from Qinxue Xinsheng is yet translated.

 
Footnotes (Shorthand/I references are explained on a
separate page)

1. Pear-White Clouds, Spring Thoughts (梨雲春思 Li Yun Chun Si) (XII/78)
Attributions for the present song setting are given at the beginning of the melody (see image above, discussed further below).

15403.23 has only 梨雲: "clouds that are white like pears"; quotes suggest a connection to spring and romance. "Chun Si", the name of an unrelated melody, is also a term suggestive of romance.

There seems to be an unrelated melody in the pipa repertoire called Li Yun Chun Si. The only explanation I have seen suggests that the original name is Chun Si and that perhaps Li Yun was a woman's name.

(Another apparently unrelated reference mentioning 梨雲 Li Yun is 杏雨梨雲 14820.xxx.)
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2. Shang mode (商音 Shang Yin)
As with other Ming dynasty melodies in shang mode, throughout the whole piece the open first string is treated as do (1; transcribed as "C"), which is also the main tonal center. As with these other melodies the secondary tonal centers are sol (5) and re (2; shang), but there are no flatted 3s. There is further discussion of the modal characteristics of qin melodies during the Ming dynasty under Modality in early Ming qin tablature, with further specifics on shang mode melodies under Shenpin Shang Yi. During the Qing dynasty perceptions of mode apparently changed, as can be seen by the changing mode names in later occurrences of this piece.
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3. Image: Opening page of Li Yun Chun Si
Copied from QQJC XII/78. Just under the title "Li Yun Chun Si" it says, "商音十段 shang mode, 10 sections". The next two lines to the left of that say,

三山莊臻鳳蝶庵子諧音
錢塘毛先舒稚黃氏校詞

The first line says, "The sounds were harmonized by Maestro Zhuang Zhenfeng, (style name) Die'an, of Sanshan (Yangzhou)"; the second says, "The ci lyrics were adapted by Master Mao Xianshu, (style name) Zhihuang of Qiantang (Hangzhou)". An afterword gives more details, suggesting Zhuang perhaps originally heard the melodies from a friend and arranged them for qin.

On the fourth line from the right it says, "Section 1, Magpie Bridge Immortals". Then after this the lines alternate between the song lyrics and the paired qin tablature.
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4. A suite or 10 separate melodies?
All melodies are in the same mode, but based on my preliminary transcription there are no musical motifs to show the melody was intended as a unit.
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5. 莊臻鳳諧音 Musical setting by Zhuang Zhenfeng
All the commentary I have seen seems to assume that Zhuang Zhenfeng (ca. 1624 - after 1667) "created" or "composed" the music, but the Chinese term "諧音 xie yin" could mean simply that he arranged a pre-existing melody. In the afterword Zhuang himself says he rejected an earlier melody and "諧新聲 arranged new sounds". This, plus the fact that he apparently created other melodies in the book, suggest the melody really was his own, though even this is not completely conclusive. See, for example, Section 2 of Caotang Yin: the three other sections of this piece (which has the same lyrics) seem to have a completely different melody but that of Section 2 is clearly related (further comment).
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6. Mao Xianshu (1620—1688; baike.com/wiki)
錢塘毛先舒(字)稚黃 From Hangzhou; style name Zhihuang. See reference to his comment about Zhuang. The text at the front of the melody says he "較詞 jiao ci", literally, "revised the lyrics". Although this may mean he merely adapted very similar lyrics, it seems more likely that "revised" means he created new lyrics to replace earlier ci lyrics in the same pattern.
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7. Tracing Li Yun Chun Si
Zha Guide 33/255/491 lists Li Yun Chun Si in five handbooks, omitting the 草堂吟 Caotang Yin published in Japan. In some places the 1664 edition is not very clearly printed. However, the four 19th century publications are seem to be based on the original 1664 tablature, rather than someone else's playing/interpretation of the melody, and these are clear enough that in almost every case they can be used to determine what was intended by the original.

The five handbooks are:

  1. Qinxue Xinsheng (1664; XII/78; .pdf)
    "商音 Shang yin". Zha Guide, based on the original preface (原註), says 又名草堂闋 also called Caotang Que
  2. Yiluxuan Qinpu (ca. 1802; XIX/230; .pdf)
    "商音 shang yin; from 1676"; same section titles and melody, but no lyrics; no commentary
  3. Erxiang Qinpu (1833; XXIII/151; this handbook also has Wuye Wu Qiufeng)
    "宮音 Gong yin"; otherwise section titles, melody and lyrics seem same; adds a lengthy Afterword
  4. Tianwenge Qinpu (1876; XXV/369)
    "徴音 Zhi yin", but section titles, melody and lyrics seem to be same; no commentary except that source is given as 梅華庵 1833
  5. Shuangqin Shuwu Qinpu Jicheng (1884; XXVII/345; .pdf)
    "黃鍾均,商音 Huangzhong jun, shang yin". Same section titles, melody and lyrics but called simply "梨雲 Li Yun" and has a brief further comment.

Regarding 草堂吟 Caotang Yin, the words Caotang Que (草堂闋 31629.173xxx; Grass Hall Stanzas) are mentioned in the preface to the Li Yun Chun Si in Qinxue Xinsheng (see XII/77, first line on bottom). It is presumably for this reason that Zha Guide p.33 says Qinxue Xinsheng listed Caotang Que as an alternate title. However, it is not clear why the setting published in Japan of the lyrics of the first four sections here, which have mostly different music, is called Caotang Yin.
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8. Comparing Caotang Yin and Li Yun Chun Si
Although the lyrics of the four sections of Caotang Yin are the same as those of the first four of the ten sections in Li Yun Chun Si the music seems to be completely different except for in Section 2 (點絳唇 Dian Jiang Chun in both), where they seem almost the same. Presumably the differences between the two Sections 2 are significant; I haven't examined the other sections closely enough to know whether there are any small changes there that might be significant (e.g., to the mode). By the time Jiang Xingchou went to Japan (1676) Qinxue Xinsheng had already been published. This suggests that Jiang's version was not the one rejected by Zhuang Zhenfeng. Perhaps a careful reconstruction of the two could shed further light on the significance of the differences.
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9. Recovering the song tradition
Another important aspect is vocal technique/style, regarding which see further.
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10. Introduction
In addition to the preface and afterword here, there are some interesting additional comments (or changes) in these other handbooks:

None of these comments on whether Li Yun Chun Si should be considered an integrated piece or a suite of separate ci lyric settings: a sort of song cycle.
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11. Wang Shilu 王士祿 (1626-1673)
21297.64 王士祿字子底,山東新城人. He was a poet, as were his brothers 王士祜 and 王士禎 (q.v.): together they were known as the "三王 Three Wangs".
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