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Melody: Wild Geese in Autumn  Images: 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  首頁
Imperial images: Wild Geese in Autumn 秋鴻圖譜冊 1
  The 36 images are arranged into four books2        
The Forbidden City included amongst its books the four volumes at right, an undated publication with illustrations of the 36 sections of the melody Qiu Hong (
Wild Geese in Autumn), together with related qin tablature. These were arranged into four folios/books, apparently with each of the 36 sections of tablature following an illustration. These have now been reprinted in at least two publications, a facsimile edition and as part of a book entitled Zithers of the Forbidden City.3

The introduction in Zithers of the Forbidden City quotes the comment under the melody title Qiu Hong (see (image one) that states that this is the tablature of Guo Chuwang (a well-known late Song dynasty qin master) as edited by his disciple Xu Tianmin and Xu's descendant Xu Xiaoshan. The introduction then quotes Xu Jian's Qinshi Chubian, Chapter 7A, in suggesting that Xu Xiaoshan may have given the tablature to Zhu Di at his feudatory court (fandi; does this mean it was in Nanjing before as Yongle, i.e., emperor Chengzu, 1403-1425, he moved the capital to Beijing?). It also suggests that the painting may have been done by an artist called Zhu Fu,4 who lived at that time and is known to have done a painting on a related theme.

The original publication apparently has only tablature and illustrations, no commentary other than the musical attribution under the general title with the first image, mentioned above. It is thus unfortunate that the modern introduction does not discuss some important aspects. Some issues that need further study include:

  1. What is the source of the tablature?
    The modern introductions says that because the writing here was only qin tablature it was not included in Treasure Boxes of the Stone Moat (石渠寶笈 Shi Qu Bao Ji), a Qing dynasty imperial catalogue of painting and calligraphy in their collection. Perhaps this is by way of saying there is no official information as to when the documents came into the imperial collection. The above comments identifying known qin players from the 13th to early 15th centuries are not evidence that these are materials or exact copies of materials directly connected to them. There seems to be no consideration of the possibility that they were copied and/or edited later, within the palace.

  2. What is the source of the music in the tablature?
    At first glance it seems that from Section 8 through Section 27 the music is completely different from that in Shen Qi Mi Pu and other versions. Perhaps on this basis the modern introduction talks about the palace tablature being a 浙派 Zhejiang school version that is earlier than the tablature in either
    Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425) or Wugang Qinpu (1546). In fact, although Section 10 in the palace is different from that of the other versions (original tablature lost?), the other pages were more likely just placed out of order at some time.5 In particular, the contents of folios 2 and 3 apparently have been reversed. The arrangement here (see also below), putting them in the same order as in Shen Qi Mi Pu and other early editions, shows that only in Section 10 does the palace edition differ significantly from Shen Qi Mi Pu; the Wugang Qinpu version is also very similar to the palace edition, and there is no information available at present to show how two of its sections got lost.

  3. What is the earliest known version of Qiu Hong tablature?
    The tablature here most closely resembles that of Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425), but section titles are mostly as in
    Wugang Qinpu (1546). I have been able to play the Shen Qi Mi Pu almost exactly as written; the Wugang Qinpu version would seem to require more editing to play it. Perhaps this means that the 1546 version is a bad copy of 1425, but it could also be a copy of some earlier tablature. Perhaps the palace version is a copy of 1425, but from my reading I would say one must consider the possibility it was the other way around.

  4. Could the images have been added later?
    The modern introduction does not seem to consider the possibility that they were added after the reign of Zhu Di, as mentioned

  5. Why is the melody used as a prelude, elsewhere called Calling out in Flight (飛鳴吟 Fei Ming Yin), here called Flying into the Distance (飛冥吟 Fei Ming Yin)?
    There is no discussion of this.

The books have the seal of the 乾隆 Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-96), but this simply means he owned them.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Qiu Hong illustrated tablature (秋鴻圖譜冊)
I have seen a facsimile edition of this, but references here are to the version that comprises Section 3 of 故宮古琴圖典 Zithers of the Forbidden City. In addition to images of qin and associated materials from the collection of the 故宮博物院藏 Museum of the Forbidden City, the book has reprinted the tablature and paintings for Qiu Hong.

The introduction on page 198 of Zithers of the Forbidden City says:

明       /縱41.4厘米,橫71.9厘米
圖絹本/縱24.3厘米,橫62 厘米





Translation not yet completed.

2. Four Books/Folios
The four folios are entitled, in order, 平 Ping, 沙 Sha, 落 Luo and 雁 Yan. However, as mentioned above, many of the 36 individual sections are out of order when compared to the titles and tablature in Shen Qi Mi Pu and other early handbooks. Bringing them into the correct order is a four step process (see the content list below):

  1. Exchange the Folio "Luo" (and its 10 sections) with Folio "Sha" (and its 9 sections).
  2. Move the Section "Nan Si Dongting Shui" (Shen Qi Mi Pu Section 8, which now comes directly after the Folio Luo title page) so that it comes after Section 7; this puts nine sections in each folio.
  3. Exchange title page "Sha" with title page "Luo" so as to maintain the original order of section titles: Ping, Sha, Luo, Yan.
  4. Reverse Shen Qi Mi Pu Sections 22 and 23.

Not having seen the original document, I do not know how difficult it would have been for these sections to get so out of order. There also seems to be no mention of this with the original modern commentary, nor any comment on whether it is possible that any of the illustrations (which seem to be untitled) got detached from their intended section titles. (Here I have placed the tablature page directly below the illustration, but in the original the arrangement apparently placed each tablature after its related illustration.)

As arranged in Zithers of the Forbidden City the tablature is as follows (also showing the related SQMP number, which should be correct):

197: 三:琴譜 Chapter 3: Qin tablature
198: 古琴曲「秋鴻」圖譜冊 Introduction to the guqin melody Qiu Hong, as

199:「平」Cover of Folio "Ping"
200:「清商調」、「夾鍾清商意」、「飛冥吟」Tablature for two modal preludes and Fei Ming Yin (q.v.)
201: 渡江 Du Jiang (1; SQMP 1), tu pu (i.e., illustration [tu] and tablature [pu])
202: 賓秋 Bin Qiu (2; SQMP 2), tu pu
203: 依渚 Yi Zhu (3; SQMP 3), tu pu
204: 呼群 Hu Qun (4; SQMP 4), tu pu
205: 呼蘆 Hu Lu (5; SQMP 5), tu pu
206: 悲秋 Bei Qiu (6; SQMP 6), tu pu
207: 聚沙 Ju Sha (7; SQMP 7), tu pu
208: 宿蘆 Su Lu (8; SQMP 9), tu pu (in SQMP the title for this music is that of palace edition p. 221)

209:「沙」 Cover of Folio "Sha"
210: 爭蘆 Zheng Lu (9; SQMP 19), tu pu
211: 出渚 Chu Zhu (10; SQMP 20), tu pu
212: 引群出塞 Yin Qun Chu Sai (11; SQMP 21), tu pu
213: 列序 Lie Xu (12; SQMP 23), tu pu
214: 一舉萬里 Yi Ju Wan Li (13; SQMP 22), tu pu
215: 㗸蘆 Xian Lu (14; SQMP 24), tu pu (㗸 = 啣)
216: 打圍 Da Wei (15; SQMP 25), tu pu
217: 清同友愛 Qing Tong You Ai (16; SQMP 26), tu pu
218: 雲中孤影 Yun Zhong Gu Ying (17; SQMP 27), tu pu

219: 「落」Cover of Folio "Luo"
220: 南思洞庭 Nan Si Dongting Shui (18; SQMP 8), tu pu
221: 北望鴈門關 Bei Wang Yanmen Guan (19; should be SQMP 10, but tablature, though beginning and ending like SQMP 9, is new), tu pu
222: 顧影 Gu Ying (20; SQMP 11), tu pu
223: 入雲 Ru Yun (21; SQMP 12), tu pu
224: 破陣 Po Zhen (22; SQMP 13), tu pu
225: 書空 Shu Kong (23; SQMP 14), tu pu
226: 雁落平沙 Yuan Luo Pingsha (24; SQMP 15), tu pu
227: 叫月 Jiao Yue (25; SQMP 16), tu pu
228: 延頸 Yan Jing (26; SQMP 17), tu pu
229: 報更 Bao Geng (27; SQMP 18), tu pu

230:「雁」 Cover of Folio "Yan"
231: 問訊衡陽 Wen Xun Hengyang (28; SQMP 28), tu pu
232: 傳書 Chuan Shu (29; SQMP 29), tu pu
233: 避弋 Bi Yi (30; SQMP 30), tu pu
234: 驚寒 Jing Han (31; SQMP 31), tu pu
235: 懷北 Huai Bei (32; SQMP 32), tu pu
236: 引陣 Yin Zhen (33; SQMP 33), tu pu
237: 入塞 Ru Sai (34; SQMP 34), tu pu
238: 天衢遠舉 Tian Qu Yuan Ju (35; SQMP 35), tu pu
239: 聲斷楚雲 Sheng Duan Chu Yun (36; SQMP 36), tu pu

Since Zithers of the Forbidden City does not discuss the discrepancies, further work on this needs to be done.

3. Zithers of the Forbidden City
Subtitle: Classics of the Forbidden City; pp.198-239.

4. 朱芾 Zhu Fu
朱芾 Bio/541 says Zhu Fu was active during the reign of the first Ming emperor. The above commentary in Zithers of the Forbidden City mentions a painting attributed to him entitled "蘆洲聚雁,極瀟湘煙水之致 Lu zhou ju yan, ji Xiao Xiang yanshui zhi zhi.

5. Pairing the tablature and images
This is a particularly important issue in light of the apparent page mix up described above. In addition, my own impression is that some of the tablature and images could be changed, e.g., exchanging the images attached to sections 1 and 2 (q.v.).


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