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Guo Mian
- Qin Shi Xu #15
郭沔 1
琴史續 #15 2

Guo Mian was a famous qin player in Hangzhou at the end of the Southern Song dynasty (mid 13th century). He is better known by the name Guo Chuwang, Chuwang meaning "Chu-looking". Chu was an ancient Chinese state roughly equivalent to the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan. Guo was from coastal Zhejiang and must have lived in Hangzhou, but apparently was noted for his travels in the Chu region, and is particularly known for melodies associated with that region.

In the preface to Xiao Xiang Shui Yun it is said that when Guo traveled to Chu he looked south at the Jiuyi Mountains (Cangwu), and this caused him to feel patriotic sentiments because of these mountains' association with Emperor Shun.

QSCB, Chapter 6a3, says that Guo was the teacher of Liu Zhifang, for some reason not mentioned in the Qinshi Xu biography. In particular Guo is said to have taught Liu melodies in the shang mode; Liu in turn taught these to Mao Minzhong and Xu Tianmin (see again Chapter 6a3). Few if any details are given for what is meant here by "shang mode", but modal aspects of some melodies on Chu themes have some intriguing characteristics that could connect them to shang.4

According to standard Ming dynasty sources, Guo Chuwang's compositions include:

Fan Canglang (also called Jiuyi Yin)
Xiao Xiang Shui Yun
Qiu Hong (later attribution)

See also Rao Zongyi, Section 5, for more attributions.

Guo's biography in Qinshi Xu begins:

Guo Chuwang was from Yongjia (Wenzhou). He used his skill on the qin to become famous. During 1241 - 12655 Mao Minzhong, Agriculture Minister Yang (Zuan) and Xu Tianmin were all his disciples. One day a provincial administrator for good governance,6 Master Zhao, invited (him?) for drinks at the Goose Pool Hall.7 It was a moonlit evening. He played (or "someone beat") once and then again. There was an object that seemed like a fish but was not a fish, and there were four of them frisking about in the pool. The administrator marvelled at this. On another day he returned and played/beat again. In the formed way they frisked again as before. So he had the pool drained of water and bound them up, obtaining a stone tube that had a wuyi pitch.8 He then sank and buried it. After a long time he got it back. When he beat it again it still had wuyi mode sound. 應氣求故. People who discussed this were amazed by it.9  
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Guo Mian 郭沔
Guo Mian is better known by the name 郭楚望 Guo Chuwang ("Guo who looks at the Chu region), presumably for a fondest for going there. He was from 永嘉 Yongjia, today called Wenzhou. Bio/xxx; 40338.xxx; 15473.99xxx (gives 楚望 Chuwang as the literary name of three people, including a 王沔 Wang Mian 21295.454 [Jinshi during 976-984]).

2. 6 lines; sources stated as
佩韋齋輯聞 Peiweizhai Jiwen (612.32 Peiweizhai: nickname of 俞德鄰 Yu Delin [Bio/1755; 進士 in 1274]; .33: 16 folios)
清容集 Qingrong Ji (by Yuan Jue)
永嘉縣志 Yongjia Xian Zhi (Yongjia county annals)

4. See, for example, the comments under Shenpin Shang Yi.

5. 淳景間: presumably 淳祐 Chunyou 1241-53 to 景定 Jingding 1260 - 65

6. Provincial administrator for good governance 郡守資政
See Hucker; no further information on 趙公 Master Zhao.

7. Goose Pool Hall 雁池閣
42894.22 雁池 Goose Pool mesntions several pools and places, including one in Wenzhou.

8. Stone tube with wuyi pitch (無射律琯 wuyi lü guan
19580.862 only 無射 (1: literally "without end", because when things leave they always eventually come back. 2: musical pitch.)

9. 應氣 11599.xxx; The entry ends: 亦無射調聲應氣求故如此論者奇之。
It is not clear what all this has to do with Guo Mian.

Return to QSCB, or to the Guqin ToC.