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Yang Xiong
- Qin Shi Bu #37
揚雄 1
琴史補 #37 2
Yang Xiong's Qin?
Yang Xiong (53 BCE-18 CE), style name 子雲 Ziyun, also called 揚子 Yangzi, was an important poet and Confucianist philosopher. He has only a very brief mention in Qin Shi,
3 where the entry for Liu Xiang says he may have written Qin Qing Ying,4 suggesting thereby that the authorship is in question. This is important because Qin Qing Yin is said to be the oldest preserved treatise on the qin.5 On the other hand, the entry on this book in Qinshu Cunmu seems to suggest that although parts of it are said to have been copied in later sources, the original is lost. The entry in here in Qin Shi Bu, only three lines, adds little further information, though its mention of a qin belonging to Yang Xiong suggests that he himself did play.

David Knechtges' translation of Yang Xiong's biography in the Han Shu6 mentions the qin several times. First there is a reference to Boya in Yang Xiong's poem Refuting Sorrow.7 There are also references to the impossibility of playing qin without sound8 following popular tastes,9 and a further reference to Boya.10 However, there seems to be no mention of his Qin Qing Ying.

Yang Xiong's Qin Qing Ying is #9 in Qinshu Cunmu, which gives some details about it and about Yang Xiong,11 adding that it is included in two book collections.12 It is also quoted in Yuefu Shiji (see below).

Taiyin Daquanji, Section 2B, discusses a qin called Clear Talent (Qing Ying) said to have belonged to Yang Xiong. It has no image, but one is included in Deyintang Qinpu13 (see at right). Presumably this suggests a connection between the essay and his personal instrument.

Yuefu Shiji quotes Qin Qing Ying in several places, including:

  1. Preface to Qin melody lyrics
  2. Zhi Zhao Fei Cao (see also in 1511)

Qin Shi Bu gives Qin Qing Ying as the source for its following biographies:

  1. Zhu Rong
  2. Mou Gou
  3. Governess of Wei Nü
  4. Sun Xi (Xun Xi)

Other quotes from or references to Yang Xiong and/or Qin Qing Ying on this site include:

  1. Qinshu Daquan, Folio 17 #27 quoting two stories from Qin Qing Ying
  2. Qin illustration 4 in Taiyin Daquanji, a qin said to have belonged to Emperor Shun, quoting Yang Xiong.
  3. Biography of Emperor Yao (a quote, source not identified)
  4. Biography of Xu You (a quote, source not identified)

The entry in Qin Shi Bu says as follows,9

Yang Xiong, style name 子雲 Ziyun, was from Chengdu in 蜀 the Shu commandery (Sichuan). Famous for his poetry, he rose to be Gentleman Attendant at the Palace Gate (黃門侍郎 Huangmen Shilang). He compiled 琴清英 Qin Qing Ying, one folio. It describes the 逸事 extraordinary affairs of qin players. Qing Ying was the name of a qin. Yang Xiong obtained the qin named Qing Ying and loved it so much that he named his writing accordingly.  
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Yang Xiong references
揚雄 Bio/514 (揚, not 楊!) does not mention Qin Qing Ying. Van Gulik, Lore, mentions him p.30 and p.54

2. Original text
Three lines; sources given are: 漢書 Han Shu (see translation); 琴談 Qin Tan (QSCM #242; Qing dynasty); and 蓴湖漫錄 Chunhu Manlu.

3. Mention in Qin Shi
The entry for Liu Xiang in Qin Shi says only, "或云揚子雲嘗制琴清英。今皆逸逸。 Sometimes it is said Yang Ziyun once wrote Qin Qing Ying, but now it is lost."

4. 琴清英 Qin Qing Ying
21570.xxx; Qing Ying18003.265/2: qin name; quotes 文獻通考,樂 but does not mention Yang Xiong.

5. Van Gulik, Lore, p.30, says, "The oldest (qin treatise) that has been preserved seems to be the Qin Qing Ying by the Confucianist Philosopher Yang Xiong." He mentions it again on p.54s but gives no further details.

6. The Han Shu Biography of Yang Xiong, Translated and Annotated by David R. Knechtges. Occasional Paper No. 14, Center for Asian Studies, Arizona State University, May, 1981. (Return)

7. Ibid, p. 21 (with endnote #135) (Return)

8. Ibid, p. 54 (Return)

9. Ibid, p. 56 (Return)

10. Ibid, p. 56 (with endnote #473) (Return)

10. Qinshu Cunmu entry on 琴清英一篇 Qin Qing Ying, 1 chapter
The original text begins as follows,


Not yet translated. It includes a statement that his Qing Qin Yin is lost, but for this it has 音 yin for the title instead of 英 ying.

12. The sources, indicated in small characters under the entry title, include:

I have not seen the contents of these two works.

13. This image from Deyintang Qinpu can be found in QQJC XII, p. 457. (Return)


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