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Xu Qi
- Qin Shi Xu #194 2
徐祺 1
琴史續 #194

Originally from 揚州 Yangzhou, Xu Qi spent many years compiling the tablature that was eventually published in 1722 as the 五知齋琴譜 Wuzhizhai Qinpu (1722; XIV.4) 3 However, he himself died in the 1670s and it took over 50 years for his son (徐俊 Xu Jun) to find someone (周魯封 Zhou Lufeng) to help him publish his father's work. It thus seems quite likely that a significant amount of collecting work done by Xu Qi himself was done at the end of the Ming and beginning of the Qing dynasties. In addition, Xu Qi (and/or his editors) seems to have done a significant amount of comparing and studying these collected melodies. This could give Wuzhizhai Qinpu a particular significance in the study of Ming dynasty qin melodies.

Qinshi Chubian (QSCB), Qing dynasty Qin specialists (p.155), says Xu Qi studied melodies from all over but emphasized the Shu School (熟派 Shupai, from 常熟 Changshu). This school is generally connected to the Yushan School (neither is in this chart, but see discussion).

QSCB wrote of Xu Qi:4

Xu Qi, courtesy name Dasheng, self-styled Old man of Gulang, was a famous qin master of Yangzhou. He "devoted himself to qin studies, thus achieving profound insights;" (and) "whenever it came to correct qin he made it his duty". He took opportunities to travel to (places in) Yan (around Hebei province), Qi (in Shandong), Zhao (around Hebei/Shanxi), Wei (around Shanxi/Shaanxi), Wu (around Jiangsu and inland Zhejiang), Chu (Hubei/Hunan region) and Ouyue (coastal Zhejiang) where he could visit gentlemen knowledgeable of music, "fame spread from the capital, and was considered best under the enlightened rule." (?) Xu Qi's wide-ranging research into the tablature of all styles of (qin music) went on for over 30 years, and this was edited into the Qin Handbook of the Five Knowings (Five Ways of Knowing?). Among the 33 collected melodies "Shu style" ([for its origins in Changshu but better known as] Yushan Style) is most important, but it also includes (melodies in) Jingling style, Wu style and Shu (Sichuan) style. Along with the tablature (for each piece) in addition to an introduction and an afterword, there are interlineal annotations. These written comments relate his understanding and analysis of (each) melody, and in detail clearly point out their sources and the places where he made additions. Because all of this work resulted in quite a few additions to our knowledge, and the tablature he wrote is very precise and meticulous, qin players have welcomed it enthusiastically.

Qinshi Chubian then goes on to talk about Wuzhizhai Qinpu (see translation).

The Qin Shi Xu entry also has information about:

  1. 徐俊 Xu Jun
    - 徐俊字越千 Style name Yueqian, he was the son of Xu Qi who apparently inherited his father's collection qin tablature and other materials, then some years later was able to get them published.

  2. 周魯封 Zhou Lufeng
    - 周魯封字子安 Style name Zi'an, from 燕山 Yanshan, he worked with Xu Jun to publish Xu Qi's tablature collection. One version is apparently the 琴譜大成 Qinpu Dacheng preserved in Japan; its cover says it was 燕山周子安彙輯 compiled by Zhou Zi'an of Yanshan and published in 乾隆丙寅新鐫 (1746), where it was said to be from the 懷德堂藏板 Huaide Tang Collection
    . However, there is apparently some suggestion that the original of this dates back to 1662.

  3. 黃鎮 Huang Zhen
    - After studying qin in Jinling (Nanjing) as a youth he returned to Yangzhou (?) and worked with Xu Jun and Zhou Lufeng to publish Xu Qi's handbook.

  4. 汪安侯 Wang Anhou, aka 汪子晉 Wang Zijin (? see in ≥1802, but no other record of this)
    - Here it says only that, when young, Huang Zhen studied qin with Wang Anhou in Jinling (Nanjing). However, Wang Anhou seems to have been a quite well-known player connected to the Jingling School. As such he is mentioned in Songfengge Qinpu (1677/82; see XII/294) and Wuzhizhai Qinpu (1722).

    In particular, Wang Anhou is also connected with a short version of the melody Guangling San (also see Shiyixianguan Qinpu, in particular this preface.)

  5. 羅子敬 Luo Zijing
    - When young Huang Zhen also studied with Luo Zijing in Jinling

Further information under 五知齋琴譜 Wuzhizhai Qinpu.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Xu Qi 徐祺
The original QSX text is as follows,
徐祺,字大生,號古琅老人,揚州人,篤志琴學,遂臻妙悟。嘗以正琴學爲己任。歷遊燕、趙、呉、楚,訪知音之士。積三十餘年成書,未刊。其子俊字越千,能世其學與燕山。周子安魯封善取父書而增訂之成五知齋琴譜八卷。有黃鎮者字仲安,幼即好琴,常遊金陵就學於汪安侯、羅子敬之門。晚年歸皖與魯封及俊交共考師夔遺韻,五知齋琴譜既成。鎮為之序。 (Source: 蓴湖漫錄

Note the mention of 金陵汪安侯 Wang Anhou of Nanjing as one of the teachers of Huang Zhen.

No image yet.

3. Wuzhizhai Qinpu (1722; XIV.4)
Concerning the title, 262.499 五知 wu zhi says:

According to 宋任布 the Song dynasty's Ren Bu the "five knowings" are
  1. 知恩 zhi en (knowing kindness/favor),
  2. 知道 zhi dao (knowing the Way),
  3. 知命 zhi ming (knowing fate),
  4. 知足 zhi zu (knowing what is sufficient), and
  5. 知幸 zhi xing (knowing good fortune).

Ren Bu had a study room called 五知堂 Hall of the Five Knowings.

On the otherhand, according to 宋李繹 the Song dynasty's Li Yi (nickname 五知先生 Mr. Five Knowings) the five are

  1. 知時 zhi shi (knowing the appropriate time),
  2. 知難 zhi nan (knowing difficulty),
  3. 知命 zhi ming (knowing fate),
  4. 知退 zhi tui (knowing when to back off), and
  5. 知足 zhi zu (knowing what is sufficient ).

However, it is not yet clear whether or how this connects to Xu Qi.

There is a list of melodies in this handbook here.

4. 徐祺 in 琴史初編
Translated above because the 琴史續 Qin Shi Xu bio has not yet been translated. Translation is tentative.

The original text from Qin Shi Chu Bian is as follows (second part translated here):



10363.xxx 徐祺
3308.xxx 古琅 gu lang: old lang stone; often signifies "a gemstone from distant lands or supernal regions, appropriate to decorate persons of special beauty or power, to nourish transcendent beings, to grow as trees in paradise realms..... onom. of tinkle or clink of pendants...." (Kroll)

There previously were further details here about Wuzhizhai Qinpu; these have now been moved and updated here

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