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A Brief Introduction to the Silk-String Zither         New: Rao Zongyi's essay on Song dynasty qin music 中文   目錄
Guqin History

Historical information, much of it elsewhere on this site, includes:

古琴歷史
Title page of Qin Shi (Qin History)
by Zhu Changwen (1041-1100)
  1. Origins of the Qin
  2. Information about or from two important modern Chinese language sources
    A. Xu Jian, Qinshi Chubian (Introductory History of the Qin). Organized by dynasty:
         translations of most entries from: Nanbei, Sui/Tang, Song/Yuan and Ming dynasties.
    B. Zha Fuxi, ed., Cunjian Guqin Qupu Jilan (Guide to Existing Guqin Pieces
         in Tablature). Qin handbooks uncovered during the China-wide search of the
         early 1950s; it resulted from the guqin work of 1956 led by Zha Fuxi, and
         its follow up; includes most melody prefaces and lyrics (see index).
  3. Records, Fables and more from Qinshu Daquan (QSDQ)
  4. Biographies : Qin Shi, Qin Shi Bu, Qin Shi Xu, QSDQ, Other and 20th century
    Most of these are incomplete, and many translations are tentative.1

 
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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. A note on the translations
Unlike with my Shen Qi Mi Pu and Zheyin Shizi Qinpu translations, most of the history-related translations into English have not been checked by experts. In addition, many entries are incomplete and mixed with summaries, paraphrases, and some added commentary. I began the translations with my classical Chinese teacher 方慕廉 Fang Mulian at the Mandarin Training Institute of Taiwan Normal University, 1974 - 76. She had studied classical Chinese at Beijing University in the 1940s, and was very good at translating classical Chinese into modern Chinese, but she spoke no English. I continued in Hong Kong with 唐健垣 Tong Kin-woon until 1978, when he went to the U.S. for his Ph.D; I continued with him in 1982, after he returned. My main reference materials were the Zhongwen Da Cidian (Murohashi) and Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary.

Most of those translations were on file cards or as marginal notes I had made in books. In the summer of 2004 I decided to put the translations on my website, where the material might be more useful in spite of the obvious flaws. Since then I have improved many of the entries by consulting some dictionaries not available when I originally began the work, most notably the Hanyu Dacidian, Zhongguo Lidai Renming Dacidian (a biographical dictionary), the eight volume Zhongguo Ditu Lishi Ji (Historical Atlas of China), Hucker's Dictionary of Imperial Titles in Ancient China, and DeFrancis' ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary.

These pages have already led to some useful feedback. And when people ask me questions (always welcome) it gives a useful framework in which to answer. Without such feedback I will probably go back and focus in other areas.

The many shorthand references emphasize that this is an on-going project; they also help my further research. (Return)

 

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