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Listen to Qin Music 1     (Now also on )
下面鏈接的143 .mp3文件都是個人彈我打譜的琴曲。(看中文的
 
請聽絲弦古琴
A Fisherman's Song from my CD:   
listen while reading a transcription    
To get a general flavor of the musical variety available in the old qin repertoire one might begin by listening to the following melodies selected from the list below:

  1. Apricot Tree Forum (杏壇 Xing Tan; intro): a lively melody connected to Confucius
  2. Selecting Reality (採真遊 Cai Zhen You; intro): a Daoist meditation
  3. Li Ling Thinks of Han (李陵思漢 Li Ling Si Han; intro): anguish on the frontier
  4. Wine Mad (酒狂 Jiu Kuang; intro): later made into a drinking song
  5. Secluded Orchid, in Stone Tablet Mode (碣石調幽蘭 Jieshidao You Lan; intro): the world's oldest surviving detailed music composition (6th c. CE)
  6. Wild Geese Settle on a Sandbank (雁落平沙 Yan Luo Pingsha; intro): earliest version of the most popular melody

The following outline has links to 143 .mp3 files (how to listen2) with my recordings3 of my reconstructions (dapu) from early qin tablature. To go directly to the recording select the Chinese title; selecting the English title goes to the commentary, which in turn links to the recording. The melodies are listed here chronologically by date of publication:

I.  Tang and Song dynasty (including You Lan) 唐、宋代出版的 (包括‘幽蘭’)
II.  Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425) 神奇秘譜錄音
III.  Zheyin Shizi Qinpu (<1491) 浙音釋字琴譜錄音 (希聲)
IV.  Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539) 風宣玄品錄音
V.  Xilutang Qintong (1525) 西麓堂琴統
VI.  Other Handbooks 別的琴譜

    I.   These 13 MP3 files have music I play from four sources: one Tang dynasty (1 track) and three Song dynasty (12 tracks).
          None of these recordings is available yet on CD. 以下個MP3有唐、宋代出版的音樂。到現在沒有光盤。

  1. Jieshidao You Lan (聽「碣石調幽蘭」), Secluded Orchid, in Stone Tablet Mode; the world's oldest surviving music composition (6th c. CE)
  2. Gu Yuan, Ancient Lament (聽「白石道人歌曲古怨」), a song composed by Jiang Kui (ca. 1155 - 1221)
  3. Shilin Guangji (1269 CE): Golden Oriole Prelude (a song) plus five modal preludes (事林廣記開指黃鶯吟五個調意)
  4. Taiyin Daquanji (13th C.?): Five modal preludes (太音大全集五個調意)
 
  II.  These MP3 files have the music from 23 of the 64 tracks on my Shen Qi Mi Pu recordings (a 6-CD set)
        六個光盤 神奇秘譜神奇秘譜 (1425 CE) 的音樂,如下
  1. Dunshi Cao (聽「遯世操」 Withdrawing from Society)
  2. Huaxu Yin (聽「華胥引」 Huaxu [Clan] Prelude)
        - with transcription linked to Rhythm in Early Ming Qin Tablature
  3. Gu Feng Cao (聽「古風操」 The Ancient Style)
        - used with dance in Silk Stone Moving
  4. Zhao Yin (聽「招隱」 Seeking Seclusion)
  5. Jiu Kuang (聽「酒狂」 Wine Mad; listen also to the song; 聽琴歌)
  6. Huo Lin (聽「獲麟」 Captured Unicorn)
  7. Qiuyue Zhao Maoting (聽「秋月昭茅亭」 Autumn Moon Shining on a Reed Pavilion)
  8. Shanzhong Si Youren (聽「山中思友人」 Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend)
  9. Guanghan You (聽「廣寒遊」 Wandering in a Lunar Palace)
  10. Yin De (聽「隱德」 Hidden Virtue)
        - compare with the related Qiujiang Yebo
  11. Guanghan Qiu (聽「廣寒秋」 Autumn in a Lunar Palace)
  12. He Ming Jiugao (聽「鶴鳴九皋」 Cranes Cry in the Nine Marshpools)
  13. Yi Lan (聽「猗蘭」 Flourishing Orchid)
  14. Zhi Zhao Fei (聽「雉朝飛」 Pheasants' Morning Flight)
  15. Wu Ye Ti (聽「烏夜啼」 Evening Call of the Raven)
        - also: one .WAV file with transcription of a brief passage, with fingering explanation.
  16. Fan Canglang (聽「泛滄浪」 Floating on the Canglang)
  17. Xiao Xiang Shui Yun (聽「瀟湘水雲」 Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers)
  18. Zepan Yin (聽「澤畔吟」 Marshbank Melody)
        - with slide show
  19. Li Sao (聽「離騷」 Falling into Grief)
        - with slide show
  20. Zhuangzhou Meng Die (聽「莊周夢蝶」 Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream)
  21. Chu Ge (聽「楚歌」 Song of Chu)
 
III. These MP3 files have the music from 3 of the 13 tracks on my single CD Music Beyond Sound, which consists of music from Zheyin Shizi Qinpu (<1491)
       光盤希聲浙音釋字琴譜 (<1491) 的音樂,如下
  1. Guan Ju (聽「關雎」 Cry of the Ospreys)
  2. Yu Ge Diao (漁歌調 Melody of the Fisherman's Song; see image above right)
        - Sing along with my transcription.
  3. Yangguan San Die (聽「陽關三疊」 [看歌詞] Thrice Parting for Yangguan, long version [compare the 1530 short version])
 
 IV. On these 61 MP3 files I play music from Xilutang Qintong (1525). The music is not yet available on CD.
        以下個MP3有西麓堂琴統 (1525) 的音樂。到現在沒有光盤。

  1. Tiao Xian Pin (聽「調絃品」 String Tuning Melody)
  2. Gong Yi (聽「宮意」 Defining Gong Mode)
  3. Xiuxi Yin (聽「修禊吟」 Purification Ceremony Melody)
  4. Yang Chun (聽「陽春」 Sunny Spring)
  5. Kangqu Yao (聽「康衢謠」 Ballad of the High Road)
  6. Chonghe Yin (聽「冲和吟」 Intonation on Balanced Vital Force)
  7. Gukou Yin (聽「谷口引」 Gukou Allure)
  8. Yi Qiao Jin Lü (聽「圯橋進履」 Going for Shoes under the Bridge)
  9. Da Guan Yin (聽「達觀吟」 Intonation on Being Free of Worldly Emotions)
  10. Liu Shang (聽「流觴」 Floating Wine-Cups)
  11. You Lan (聽「幽蘭」 Secluded Orchid)
  12. Fei Dian (聽「風電」)
  13. Feng Lei (聽「風雷」)
  14. Chun Jiang (聽「春江」 Spring River)
  15. Yan Yi Ge (聽「剡移歌」 Doorbar Song)                           (看歌詞 / lyrics are sung)
  16. Huai Gu Yin (聽「懷古吟」 Cherish Antiquity Intonation)
  17. Xing Tan (聽「杏壇」 Apricot Tree Forum)                     (看歌詞 / lyrics, Section 10, are sung)
  18. Qing Ye Yin (聽「清夜吟」 Clear Evening Intonation)
  19. Jiang Yue Bai (聽「江月白」 White Moon over the River)                       (看第四、五段歌詞 / lyrics, sections 4 & 5, are sung)
  20. Xue Chuang Ye Hua (聽「雪窗夜話」 Evening Talk by a Snowy Window)
  21. Qiu Feng (聽「秋風」 Autumn Wind)
  22. Chun Jiang Wan Tiao (聽「春江晚眺」 Spring River Evening View)
  23. Meishao Yue (聽「梅梢月」 Moon Atop a Plum Tree)
  24. Jiao Yi (聽「角意」 Meaning of Jiao Mode)
  25. Mengji Yin (聽「蒙棘引」 Covered Brambles Prelude)
  26. Cangwu Yuan (聽「蒼梧怨」 Cangwu Lament)
  27. Lienü Yin (聽「列女引」 Exemplary Woman Prelude)
  28. Cai Zhen You (聽「採真遊」 Selecting Reality)
  29. Shishang Liu Quan (聽「石上流泉」 On a Rock by a Flowing Spring)
  30. Dongting Qiu Si (聽「洞庭秋思」 Autumn Reverie at Dongting)
  31. Zui Yu Chang Wan (聽「醉漁唱晚」 A Drunken Fisherman Sings in the Evening)
  32. Yu Ge (聽「漁歌」 Fisherman's Song)
  33. Chunxiao Yin (聽「春曉吟」 Spring Dawn)
  34. He Wu Dongtian (聽「鶴舞洞天」 Cranes Dance in the Grotto-Heaven)
  35. Yao Tian Sheng He (聽「瑤天笙鶴」 Jade Sheng Heavenly Crane)                       (看第八段歌詞 / lyrics, section 8, are sung)
  36. Chun Si (聽「春思」 Spring Thoughts)
  37. Boya Diao Ziqi (聽「伯牙弔子期」 Boya Mourns Ziqi)                                         (看歌詞 / lyrics are sung)
  38. Huangzhong Yi (聽「黃鐘意」 Defining Yellow Bell Mode)
  39. Li Ling Si Han (聽「李陵思漢」 Li Ling Thinks of Han)
  40. Yize Yi (聽「夷則意」 Meaning of Yize Mode)
  41. Chutai Yin (聽「處泰吟」 Dwell at the Source)
  42. Yuan You (聽「遠遊」 Wander Afar)
        - with slide show
  43. Yi Guanshan (聽「憶關山」 Recalling Guanshan)
  44. Han Gong Qiu (聽「漢宮秋」 Autumn in the Han Palace)
  45. Dalü Yi (聽「大呂意」 Defining Dalü Mode)
  46. Kongtong Yin (聽「崆峒引」 Kongtong Mountain Prelude)
  47. Kongtong Wen Dao (聽「崆峒問道」 Discussing the Dao at Kongtong Mountain)
  48. Jiazhong Yi (聽「夾鍾意」 Defining Jiazhong Mode)
  49. Yueshang Yin (聽「越裳吟」 Yueshang Intonation)
  50. Yueshang Cao (聽「越裳操」 Yueshang Melody)
  51. Linzhong Yi (聽「林鐘意」 Linzhong Prelude)
  52. Shenren Chang (聽「神人暢」 Rhapsody on a Celestial)
  53. Yingzhong Yi (聽「應鐘意」 Yingzhong Prelude)
  54. Han Jie Cao (聽「漢節操」 Han Credentials)
  55. Song Yu Bei Qiu (聽「宋玉悲秋」 Song Yu Mourns Autumn)
        - with slide show
  56. Wumei Yi (聽「無媒意」 Defining Wumei Mode)
  57. Linqiong Yin (聽「臨邛吟」 Linqiong Prelude)
  58. Feng Qiu Huang (聽「鳳求凰」 A Male Phoenix Seeks his Mate)                 (看第三、第八段歌詞 / lyrics, sections 3 and 8, are sung)
  59. Gu Guan Yu Shen (聽「孤館遇神」 Encountering Spirits in an Isolated Mountain)
  60. Qingyu Yi (聽「清羽意」 Defining Qingyu Mode)
  61. Taoyuan Chunxiao (聽「桃源春曉」 Spring Dawn at Peach Blossom Spring)
 
  V. On these 15 MP3 files I play music from Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539). The music is not yet available on CD.
        以下個MP3有風宣玄品 (1539) 的音樂。到現在沒有光盤。

  1. Yi Sa Jin (聽「一撒金」 A Bit of Scattered Money)
  2. Wenjun Cao (文君操,兩個﹕ 聽「甲」聽「乙」看歌詞);   a 琴歌 qin song lyrics are sung; two examples: see comment
  3. Loushi Ming聽「陋室銘」Inscription on a Crude Dwelling)                       (看歌詞 / see lyrics
  4. Dao Yi Qu (聽「搗衣曲」 Pounding Cloth Melody)                       (看歌詞 / see lyrics
  5. Gui Geng (聽「歸耕」 Return to Ploughing)                       (看歌詞 / - see lyrics)
  6. Da Ming Yi Tong (聽「大明一統」 Unity of the Great Ming)                       (看歌詞 / see lyrics
  7. Zui Weng Yin (聽「醉翁吟」 Old Toper's Chant)                       (看歌詞 / see lyrics; 1571 song on same track)
  8. Feng Lei Yin (聽「風雷引」 Invocation of Wind and Thunder)
  9. Gujiao Xing (聽「古交行」 Going with Old-Style Relations)                 (看第八段歌詞 / lyrics, Section 8, are sung)
  10. Chun Jiang (聽「春江」 Spring River)
  11. Kai Gu (聽「慨古」 Sigh for Antiquity)
  12. Yan Guo Hengyang (聽「雁過衡陽」 Wild Geese Traverse Hengyang)
  13. Weibin Yin (聽「渭濱吟」 Wei Riverbank Intonation)
  14. Pei Lan (聽「佩蘭」 Fragrant Orchids)
  15. Ji Qing Cao (聽「寄情操」 Melody for Expressing Emotion)
 
        Other handbooks : These MP3 files have more of my recordings not yet available on CD.
        以下個 MP3 有別的琴譜的音樂

 
   VI. 太古遺音 Taigu Yiyin (1511)
          Of its 38 qin melodies I have recorded 13 but sing as well as play on only a few:

  1. Nanfeng Ge (聽「南風歌」 Song of the South Wind)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  2. Si Qin Cao (聽「思親操」 Thinking of Parents Melody)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  3. Xiang Fei Yuan (聽「湘妃怨」 Lament of the Xiang River Concubines)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  4. Guan Ju Qu (聽「關雎曲」 Osprey Cry Tune)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  5. Wen Wang Qu (聽「文王曲」 Songs of King Wen)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  6. Yueshang Cao (聽「越裳操」 Yueshang Melody)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  7. Yasheng Cao (聽「亞聖操」 Proximate Sage Melody)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  8. Huangzhong Diao (聽「黃鐘調」 Yellow Bell Mode)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  9. Gui Qu Lai Ci (聽「歸去來辭」 Come Away Home)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  10. Feng Ru Song Ge (聽「風入松歌」 Song of Wind through the Pines)                       (見歌詞; lyrics are sung)
  11. Chun Jiang Qu (聽「春江曲」 Spring River Melody)                                           (見歌詞; lyrics are sung)
  12. Gu Qiu Feng (聽「古秋風」 Old Autumn Wind)                                       (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)
  13. Kechuang Yehua (聽「客窗夜話」 Evening Talk by a Guest's Window)                 (見歌詞; lyrics are not sung)

 
   VII. 發明琴譜 Faming Qinpu (1530)

  1. Qiujiang Wandiao聽「秋江晚釣」 Autumn River Evening Fishing)             (看中文歌詞)
  2. Yangguan Sandie (聽「陽關三疊」 Thrice Parting for Yangguan, short version, sung )             (看、聽中文歌詞)
    [compare long version]
  3. Shiba Xueshi Deng Yingzhou聽「十八學士登瀛洲」 Eighteen Scholars Ascend Yingzhou )         (看中文歌詞; lyrics not sung)

 
   VIII. 龍湖琴譜 Longhu Qinpu (1571)

  1. Zui Weng Yin (聽「醉翁吟」 Old Toper's Chant)                       (看歌詞 / see lyrics; 1539 song on same track)
 
  IX. 五音琴譜 Wuyin Qinpu (1579)

  1. Shuixian Qu (聽「水仙曲」 Water Immortals' Melody)
 
  X. 玉梧琴譜 Yuwu Qinpu (1589)

  1. Shuilong Yin (聽「水龍吟」 Water Dragon Intonation)
 
  XI. 真傳正宗琴譜 Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (1589)

  1. Jiu Kuang (酒狂 Wine Mad: sung in Chinese or sung in English)                 (看、聽中文歌詞 ; 看、聽英文歌詞)
  2. Dao Yi (聽「搗衣」 Pounding Cloth)                       (看中文歌詞; lyrics not sung)
  3. Qingshang Diao (聽「清商調」 Qingshang Modal Prelude)                       (看中文歌詞; lyrics not sung)
 
  XII. 三教同聲 Sanjiao Tongsheng (1592)
  1. Ming De Yin /
  2. Kongsheng Jing (聽「明德引」、「孔聖經」 Bright Virtue Prelude / Confucian Canon; both sung)           (看五線譜
  3. Qing Jing Jing (聽「清靜經」 Canon of Purity and Tranquility; sung)                                                 (看歌詞看五線譜
 
   XIII. 松絃館琴譜 Songxian Guan Qinpu (1614)

  1. Zhongqiu Yue (聽「中秋月」 Mid Autumn Moon)
  2. Qiujiang Yebo (聽「秋江夜泊」 Autumn River Night Anchorage)
  3. Liangxiao Yin (聽「良宵引」 Peaceful Evening Prelude)
 
   XIV. 古音正宗 Guyin Zhengzong (1634)
  1. Yan Luo Pingsha (聽「雁落平沙」 Wild Geese Settle on a Sandbank)
 
     XV. 其他 Other
  1. Moshang Sang (聽「陌上桑」 Mulberry Lane)
  2. Mei Hua (聽「梅花」 Plum Blossoms)

For further listening: (聽別的人彈琴)

My site also has recordings by Zha Fuxi
Jim Binkley's site includes a number of old recordings, plus a link to
Wang Fei for modern, mostly metal string recordings;
Muka Fushimi (伏見无家) of the 鎌倉琴社 Kamakura Qin Society plays on silk strings. (As of 2011 these seem to be gone; try Facebook)
 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Important note on the natural volume of qin music
For the most authentic listening experience, the speaker volume should be kept low, e.g., no louder than normal speech level. Qin music is not designed to overcome its natural surroundings. Note, however, that an essential element of qin music is the color of the tones; the .mp3 file format required here necessarily means some of this color has been lost. (Return)

2. How to listen to these recordings
In order to listen while still looking at the page with commentary you probably need to right click the link, select "open in a new window", then (if necessary) make the page with the showing the recording progressing small enough that you can see both windows. When I set up most of the pages I put in code that would automatically open the recording page in a new window, but then the code meaning changed and now it usually opens in a new tab, so you cannot look at both at the same time. The aim is, by putting the recording window on top of the page introducing the melody, you should be able to read the introduction as you listen; and for many of the pieces you should be able follow the music section by section by scrolling down to the section titles, where timings are indicated.

Also, you may have settings that control whether a selected piece plays only once or repeats continuously.

For all the music I play I have also written out Western staff notation using the computer program Encore. For those transcriptions that are online along with the recordings, please note that the transcriptions use Western staff notation as though they are the Chinese number notation. In other words, C is not the modern C or the baroque C, but the relative note do, corresponding to the Chinese gong or 1. This is because there is no absolute pitch with the qin: the actual pitch of the strings depends on such variables as the size of the qin, the quality of the strings and the temperature, as well as the taste of the player. There are further comments on this under Modality in Early Ming QinTablature. (Return)

3. Online recordings (MP3; see also General and Technical Details of my Qin Recordings. )
The selections from my CDs were originally recorded during the late 1990s in the 招隱室 Studio for Seeking Solitude, a room at my home overlooking the South China Sea in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, then were edited in a professional studio. I had to record in the middle of the night, at which time the main obstacle was the noise of the motors in passing fishing junks.

The other recordings included here are part of an ongoing process. This began in October 2006 in the new Studio for Seeking Solitude at my home near the Hudson River in New Jersey, facing Manhattan. The room is rather quiet, but if you listen carefully with headphones to recordings made there you may sometimes hear way in the background the sound of passing cars, planes or helicopters. If it is a neighboring lawn care machine I have to stop. Around that time I bought a Sony RCD-W500C CD recorder. This enabled me to make the initial MP3 files for this website by first copying my DAT recordings onto a CD, then ripping MP3 files from there onto my computer. (My Sony DAT recorder records at a sample rate of 48, whereas CDs use a sample rate of 44.1. For this reason, although both the DAT and the CD are digital signals, I could only copy between the two using analog format.)

At the beginning of 2009 I started using a Fostex FR-2LE Field Memory Recorder (solid state); this solved the analog-digital problem. However, I still had only primitive editing programs available. To solve this I moved from PC to Mac and learned some basic editing techniques in Mac's Logic Express. This is the system I used when we moved to India.

After moving to Mumbai in May 2009 I continued recording in a sound insulated room (another Studio for Seeking Solitude) in our home there. There the problem was banging noises elsewhere in the building, auto-ricks and sometimes other vehicles on the street outside, and sound from speakers in a temple across Nirvana Park from our home. Although my equipent served me well most of the time in India, towards the end my Fostex blew up.

In August 2011 I bought a Roland R-26 portable recorder (www.roland.com), also digital. It can be used either with its built in microphones or with external ones.

Around the same time we moved to Singapore, where we lived in centrally located flat that was rather quiet but my new Studio For Seeking Solitude was not sound insulated. Consequently doing recordings here, from 2011 to 2013, I used the Roland R-26 by itself, without the external AKGs or Aerco preamp (see technical details). During the daytime it seemed quiet until I began recording, which had to be done at night. Then the main noise problems came from within the building: water in pipes, doors opening and closing, footsteps. Nevertheless, I was able to continue doing some recordings.

Regarding the melodies with lyrics, for those with the shorter lyrics I simply sing as I play. However, there are also here some songs that are too long or complicated for me to sing and play well at the same time (three are online at present: Ming De Yin / Kongsheng Jing, Qing Jing Jing, and the sung version of Jiu Kuang). For these I first recorded the qin onto the DAT recorder. Then I played this back, listening on headphones as the sound was also fed through a Samson S-Mix, a small five-channel mixer. I then sang along through the original microphones, also hooking them up through the AERCO microphone preamp to the Samson. This mixed sound then went to the CD recorder. I sang at the same distance from the microphone (about 1 meter) as I did when playing qin and singing at the same time; unfortunately the balance never seemed to me quite correct.

After getting my Roland R-26 I double tracked some songs using it together with the Mac: first I recorded onto the Roland, then I copied this into Logic Express. After doing any necessary editing I sang while listening on headphones to this being played back, recording that onto the R-26 (which does not have the capability of recording sound over sound.) I then copied that new track into Logic Express and the timing seemed to line up without a problem. I could then balance the qin and song tracks separately.

Issues of balance, particularly on the earlier recordings, and having to do the singing myself, are problems I am still working on, but in the mean time I have gone ahead and put some of these files online for two reasons. One is that some people have expressed particular interest in qin songs, but there are very few recordings currently available. The other is my hope that enough of the beauty of these melodies will shine through my amateur singing and recording that it encourages other people to sing the songs themselves.
(Return)

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