T of C 
Home
My
Work
Hand-
books
Qin as
Object
Qin in
Art
Poetry
/ Song
Hear
Qin
Play
Qin
Analysis History Ideo-
logy
Miscel-
lanea
More
Info
Personal email me search me
Qin biographies     首頁
Wen Wang
- Qin Shi #7 2
 
文王 1  
琴史 #7  
文王之製 (Qin) made by Wen Wang 3                      
Wen Wang (d. ca. 1073 BCE), the Literary King, struggled against the corruption of Zhou Xin of the Shang dynasty.4 It was Wen Wang's son 武王 Wu Wang who finally defeated them, but he then declared Wen Wang the posthumous ruler. Another son, Bo Yi Kao, is depicted as an expert qin player in the Ming dynasty novel Investiture of the Gods.5

Wen Wang is associated with a number of qin melodies.

  1. Wen Wang Cao
    The Yuefu Shiji entry for lyrics of this name says Wen Wang himself wrote it.

  2. Juyou Cao, also called 離憂操 Liyou Cao
    Zhu Changwen says Wen Wang wrote this,6 but that the Wen Wang Cao that Confucius played was not actually by Wen Wang himself.

  3. Gufeng Cao.
    Shen Qi Mi Pu also credits Wen Wang with this melody

  4. Weibin Yin
    Concerns Wen Wang meeting Lü Shang7 at the Wei Riverbank.

  5. Shi Xian
    Also concerns Wen Wang meeting Lü Shang at the Wei Riverbank.

  6. Wen Wang Shou Ming
    Qin Cao, Hejian Zage, #3; has commentary.

  7. Wen Wang Si Shi
    Qin Cao, Hejian Zage, #4; has commentary.

  8. Qianjin Qing
    A Song dynasty melody list says only that Wen Wang wrote it.

The original biography in Qin Shi is as follows.8

Wen Wang, at the time of Zhou Xin, was the only one to carry out virtuous rule. He took care of the old and nurtured the young....(translation incomplete)  
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Wen Wang references
13766.25 文王 says to see 6368.34 姬昌 Ji Chang but 13766.25 has an illustration and more information. There is a memorial to Wen Wang at Anyang city in Henan province, at a place said to be the site of his imprisonment at Youli.
(Return)

2. 15 lines
(Return)

3. Wen Wang image
The original of this image, from a series called 宋人畫歷代琴式圖, is in the digital archives of the 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum.

Compare this image found at 13766.25; original in San Cai Tu Hui.
(Return)

4. 紂辛 Zhou Xin (12th c. BCE)
See under Jizi.
(Return)

5. 伯邑考 Bo Yi Kao
538.107 伯邑考 says Bo Yi Kao (also written Bo Yikao and Boyi Kao) was the eldest son of Wen Wang. He is depicted as a qin player in the novel 封神演義 Feng Shen Yanyi; his playing enamours Zhou Xin's evil concubine Da Ji.
(Return)

6. Yuefu Shiji lyrics
See YFSJ p.829f.
(Return)

7. 呂尚 Lü Shang (At right he has caught a fish without using a hook)
Lü Shang, commonly called 太公 Tai Gong or 太公呂 Taigong Lü, is said to have been a high official who broke his sword and retired into voluntary exile to avoid serving the tyrannous last Shang emperor, 紂辛 Zhou Xin. After Wen Wang (King Wen), who was serving as Chief of the West for the Duke of Zhou, met Lü by the Wei River (see Weibin Yin and Shi Xian) and, recognizing his merit, enticed him out of exile. Lü then helped Wen's son Wu Wang (King Wu) overthrow the Shang and establish the Zhou dynasty (ca. 1122 BCE). The image at right is from the Ming dynasty Liexian Quanzhuan, see under Liexian Zhuan. Further biographical details are in his biography in Liexian Zhuan and elsewhere.

The melody Yi Qiao Jin Lü relates another story of a momentous riverside meeting, this time between Zhang Liang (later advisor to Liu Bang) and Huangshi Gong.
(Return)

8. Original text
The Chinese text is as follows:

文王當紂之時,獨行仁政,養老慈少,禮下賢者,日中不暇食以待士。伯夷、叔齊、太顛、閎夭、散宜生之徒皆往歸之。崇侯虎譖於紂曰:西伯積善累德,諸侯皆鄉之,將不利於帝。紂乃囚西伯於羑里。閎夭之徒患之,乃求莘氏之姜女、驪戎之文馬、有熊之九駟,他奇怪物,因嬖臣費仲而獻之紂,紂大悅,乃赦西伯。西伯之在羑里也,演益易之八卦為六十四卦。及其出也,作《拘幽操》或曰《離憂操》,所以傷己之不幸而不敢怨也。琴操載,其辭惡紂而欲誅之,後人之所述也,豈文王之心哉?三分天下以服事商,文王之心也。韓愈作羑里之操,卒句雲「臣罪當誅兮,天王聖明」,此知之矣。然則紂不赦,則文王如之何?曰揚子云:龍不以制為龍,聖人以不(缺)為聖人。聖人既受天命,雖紂如文王何?昔孔子嘗學文王操於師襄,蓋文王所制操非一,後人不能盡得其傳也。琴操有雲,文王既得太公,作思士曲,此殆是歟。


(Return)

 

Return to the top, or to the Guqin ToC.