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Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu
- Qin Shi Xu #65
潞王朱常淓 1
琴史續 #65 2
A Luwang qin 3          
Zhu Changfang (1608 - 1646) was Prince of Lu (or Lu and Jian),4 a district centered on Weihui5 in what is now northern Henan, next to Lu'an district of Shanxi.6 In 1644, as the Ming dynasty was collapsing, he left Weihui, soon arriving in Hangzhou, where he spent two years. In 1646 he was taken to Beijing and executed along with several other princes who had resisted the Qing dynasty.

Zhu Changfang was a noted painter and calligrapher, also writing a book on chess. His importance to the qin is two-fold:

  1. He compiled an important qin handbook, Guyin Zhengzong (1634);7 it has 50 melodies, the most famous of which is Yan Luo Pingsha. Wu Zhao's preface in QQJC/IX says the tablature seems to have come from imperial collections rather than belonging to a particular teacher or school. Note, however, that many melodies partially indicate finger positions using the new decimal system, particularly in higher positions. He may have composed several of the melodies himself.8
  2. He made, or directed the making of, a large number of qins (as at right; see further). He began this in Weihui, but apparently increased the output once he had arrived in Hangzhou (unless he had brought with him many instruments). These may have numbered in the hundreds - some even claim thousands - but most surviving "Luwang qins" look exactly alike and often have a rather bad sound. It is known that many are forgeries, but others seem to be of very high quality. Thus the provenance of many so-called Luwang qins is often uncertain.

Zhu Changfang's responsibilities as prince, as well as his sources of income, are not clear. He was the third son of (Zhu) Yiliu (1568 - 1614), known as Prince of Lu and Prince of Jian. By the end of the Ming dynasty there were many princes with little or no money or power, but presumably this was not the case for Zhu Yiliu, as he was the fourth son of the Longqing emperor (r. 1567 - 73) and a younger brother of the Wanli emperor (r. 1573-1620), who designated Yiliu as Prince of Lu in 1584, his princedom being Weihui district of Henan province. The mausoleum of Prince Lu below Fenghuang Mountain, 13 km north of Xinxiang in northern Henan province, is today a major local tourist site.10 As Zhu Yiliu's son and successor, Zhu Changfang was also known as Xiao Luwang, Younger Prince of Lu.

The Weihui district of Henan is very close to Lu'an district of Shanxi province, apparent home of Zhu Cheng, who had somewhat earlier compiled the Wuyin Qinpu (1579); Zhu Changfang's Guyin Zhengzong seems to have little in common with it. Most accounts seem to suggest that Zhu Changfang, having succeeded as Prince of Lu in Weihui in 1618, fought to save the Ming in the face of rebellions, then retired to Hangzhou. Other sources, however, suggest otherwise.11

The biographical entry in Qinshi Xu is as follows:12

Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu, had the personal nickname 敬一道人 Jingyi Daoist. He was a son of 簡王翊鏐 (Zhu) Yiliu, Prince of Jian. In 1618 Changfang inherited his feudal title. Later as the Ming dynasty perished he lived in Hangzhou. When the Qing soldiers arrived Changfang came out on the road and surrendered to them. The people of Hangzhou then respected him, calling him 潞佛子 Buddha Lu. By nature Changfang was lofty and elegant. He was good at music, made hundreds of qin, editing words and arranging them (calligraphy?), at that time ordinary people could not acquire these. Wen Junyan of West Lake made qins in this style, unattainable for a long time. (? Text here may be corrupt: Wen Yanjun of West Lake? Literary gentlemen's qins?)

Translation incomplete. In May 1646 he was apparently executed in Beijing for resisting the Qing (buried in Lu? 中文)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Sources for 潞王朱常淓 Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu
Bio/571 begins, "朱常淓字中和,號敬一主人,又號敬一道人 Zhu Changfang, style name Zhonghe; nicknames Jingyi Zhuren and Jingyi Daoren." (敬一 Jing Yi: honor unity? If so then "Master of Honoring Unity", "Daoist Honoring Unity". More details about him at Chinese Wiki and Chinese Baidu as well as in an article published by the museum at his father's tomb. His later interest in Buddhism led him also to be called the Buddhist master of Lu (潞佛子 Lu Fozi). He apparently also wrote a book about chess. As for 潞 Lu, 18839 has only .0, with no mention of the Prince of Lu (潞王 Lu Wang).

The only source mentioned in Qinshi Xu is Chunhu Manlu.

2. Folio 2 #10 (overall #65) original title is 潞王常淓 Luwang Changfang; 5 lines.

3. 潞王琴圖 Lu Wang (Prince of Lu) Qin Illustration
The illustration above came from a website image that does not identify its source. As mentioned above and in his Qin Shi entry, there are hundreds of qin said to have been made by him, though it would be more accurate to say they were made in his studio. These were all apparently numbered. Unfortunately, the high regard these instruments once had has led to so many forgeries that it is difficult to prove the provenance of "Lu Wang Style" instruments, even when numbered. As for their style, although some Lu Wang qin are said to be "Liezi style" (q.v.), and most are said to be in "Confucian style" (中和 zhonghe q.v.), in fact almost all have a uniquely distinctive (because of angularities) version of the Confucian style. This style is clearly seen in the qin illustrated this sketch from Guyin Zhengzong, Lu Wang's own handbook. Many also had/have the same inscription as what is written on the one in the illustration above.

Many instruments attributed to Lu Wang survive today. As stated by Van Gulik,

The Prince of Lu is especially known as a builder of (qin). Specimens of instruments built at Hangzhou by him or under his direct supervision are often met with in Chinese collections; most bear dates from the Zhongzhen period (1628-44).

The quality of a "Lu Wang Qin", or its inscriptions, is apparently not necessarily proof that it came from the actual studio of the Prince of Lu. Many are of very bad quality: bad sound as well as unattractive shape. Some people say that bad ones are forgeries, others say there is no evidence that instruments from Lu Wang's studio were very good in the first place. In addition, as the biographical entry above states, there were instruments in this style known to have been made by skilled Hangzhou craftmen such as 西湖文君彥 Wen Junyan of West Lake. It is also known that many so-called Lu Wang qin have subsequently been re-made, improving their appearance and perhaps their sound. In sum, determining the "authenticity" of a "Lu Wang Qin" requires expert examination.

There are examples of beautiful Lu Wang qins in at least two American museums, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (shown here in a scholar's studio) and the Metropolitan Museum of New York (shown here by itself - note that at least part of the inscription on the back is the same as with the MIA instrument). When I used the latter for a performance at the Metropolitan Museum I thought the sound was good but not great; I have not heard the MIA instrument.

(Addendum: In 2015 Xiling Yinshe Auction auctioned this "Lu Wang style qin inscribed by Lu Hongqi" for about 1,000,000 RMB.)

4. 潞簡王翊鏐 Prince of Lu and Jian (Zhu) Yiliu (1568 - 1614)
Zhu Changfang's father, also referred to as Lujian Prince, died in 1615; his mausoleum is now a cultural heritage site in 新鄉 Xinxiang City, Henan (a story calls him King Lujian). His original title was apparently Prince of Lu (潞王 Luwang), with Prince of Jian (簡王 Jianwang) being his posthumous title. He was the fourth son of 穆宗 the Longqing emperor, r. 1567 - 73. It is not clear whether, like his son, he had an interest in the qin. Perhaps in this regard see under Qinshu Daquan.

5. 闈輝府 Weihui district (闈輝府)
Modern maps show Weihui in 新鄉省 Xinxiang district of northeast Henan province, about 75 north northeast of 鄭州 Zhengzhou; on old maps this is next to 潞安府 Lu'an district of what is today Shanxi province (next footnote).

6. 山西 潞安府 Lu'an district of Shanxi province
Modern maps have a 潞城 Lucheng a little over 100 km northwest of Weihui.

7. Orthodox School of Ancient Sounds (Guyin Zhengzong 古音正宗) (1634; IX.3)
separately; see also its Table of Contents.

8. Zhu Changfang: composer of melodies?
According to the Chinese Hudong site 朱常淓也善于琴曲创作,有《中和吟》、《宗雅操》、《养生操》、《悲秋》等作品 Zhu Changfang was good at composing qin melodies, his output including Zhonghe Yin, Zongya Cao, Yangsheng Cao, Bei Qiu and so forth. These are all melodies published for the first time in Guyin Zhengzong. It is not clear why this article attributes these to Zhu and not the others published here for the first time, in particular, Ping Sha Luo Yan.

10. Mausoleum of Prince Lu (潞王陵 Luwang Ling
Located 13km north of 新縣 Xinxiang in northern Henan Province. See external account (中文).

11. Prince of Lu at the end of the Ming dynasty
Some external sources such as this one suggest differently (details to be added).

12. Original text of biography (Qinshi Xu #65)
The original Chinese is,

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