Thursday, May 27, 2021

Musical instrument: qin (琴)

Musical instrument:  qin
(琴)

compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 27 May 2021)

In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Chinese musical instrument called qin (琴)--a plucked zither without bridges--as documented in the Chinese historical record.

Links to textual sources are highlighted in green.

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Chinese historical reference works discussing the qin

● Shiji《史记》(Records [of the Grand] Historian), also called Taishigong Shu 《太史公书》 (Book of the Grand Historian) or Taishigong Ji 《太史公记》 (Records of the Grand Historian)
The official history of China's pre-Han period, this text covers the world as it was then known to the Chinese, encompassing a 2,500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor (黄帝, alleged to have reigned from 2698 BC to 2598 BC) to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han (汉武帝, r. 141 BC-87 BC) in the author's own time, also including the Xia, Shang, Zhou, and Qin Dynasties.  Shiji was completed c. 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty historian Sima Qian (司马迁, c. 145 BC-c. 86 BC), after having been started by his father, Sima Tan (司马谈, c. 165 BC-110 BC), a Western Han historian and astrologer.  It is one of the Twenty-Four Histories (二十四史).  The qin is discussed in several volumes.

 Shujing (Book of Documents or Classic of History), also known as Shangshu (Esteemed Documents)
One of the Five Classics of ancient Chinese literature, this work is a collection of rhetorical prose attributed to figures of ancient China, and served as the foundation of Chinese political philosophy for over 2,000 years.

The qin is mentioned in the "Yu Shu" (虞書) section, under the heading "Yi and Ji" (益稷):

夔曰:「戛擊鳴球、搏拊、琴、瑟、以詠。」祖考來格,虞賓在位,群后德讓。下管鼗鼓,合止柷敔,笙鏞以閒。鳥獸蹌蹌;《簫韶》九成,鳳皇來儀。夔曰:「於!予擊石拊石,百獸率舞,庶尹允諧。」


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Chinese poems mentioning the qin

《诗经·小雅·常棣》
(Chang Di)
from the "Xiao Ya" (小雅, Lesser Court Hymns) section of the Shijing
(Zhou Dynasty, c. 9th-8th century BC)

常棣之华,鄂不韡韡。凡今之人,莫如兄弟。
死丧之威,兄弟孔怀。原隰裒矣,兄弟求矣。
脊令在原,兄弟急难。每有良朋,况也永叹。
兄弟阋于墙,外御其务。每有良朋,烝也无戎。
丧乱既平,既安且宁。虽有兄弟,不如友生?
傧尔笾豆,饮酒之饫。兄弟既具,和乐且孺。
妻子好合,如鼓瑟琴。兄弟既翕,和乐且湛。
宜尔室家,乐尔妻帑。是究是图,亶其然乎?



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《诗经·小雅·车舝
(Che Xia)
from the "Xiao Ya" (小雅, Lesser Court Hymns) section of the Shijing
(Zhou Dynasty, c. 9th-8th century BC)

间关车之舝兮,思娈季女逝兮。
匪饥匪渴,德音来括。
虽无好友?式燕且喜。 

依彼平林,有集维鷮。
辰彼硕女,令德来教。
式燕且誉,好尔无射。

虽无旨酒?式饮庶几。
虽无嘉肴?式食庶几。
虽无德与女?式歌且舞?

陟彼高冈,析其柞薪。
析其柞薪,其叶湑兮。
鲜我觏尔,我心写兮。 

高山仰止,景行行止。
四牡騑騑,六辔如琴。
觏尔新婚,以慰我心。


More information:

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诗经·鄘风·定之方中
(Ding Zhi Fang Zhong)
from the "Guo Feng" (国风, Airs of the States):  "Yong Feng" (鄘风, Airs of Yong) section of the Shijing (Zhou Dynasty, c. 8th-7th century BC)

定之方中,作于楚宫。揆之以日,作于楚室。树之榛栗,椅桐梓漆,爰伐琴瑟。

升彼虚矣,以望楚矣。望楚与堂,景山与京。降观于桑。卜云其吉,终焉允臧。

灵雨既零,命彼倌人。星言夙驾,说于桑田。匪直也人,秉心塞渊。騋牝三千。


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《诗经·小雅·甫田》
(Fu Tian)
from the "Xiao Ya" (小雅, Lesser Court Hymns) section of the Shijing
(Zhou Dynasty, c. 9th-8th century BC)

倬彼甫田,岁取十千。我取其陈,食我农人。自古有年,今适南亩。或耘或耔,黍稷薿薿。攸介攸止,烝我髦士。

以我齐明,与我牺羊,以社以方。我田既臧,农夫之庆。琴瑟击鼓,以御田祖。以祈甘雨,以介我稷黍,以榖我士女。

曾孙来止,以其妇子。馌彼南亩,田畯至喜。攘其左右,尝其旨否。禾易长亩,终善且有。曾孙不怒,农夫克敏。曾孙之稼,如茨如梁。

曾孙之庾,如坻如京。乃求千斯仓,乃求万斯箱。黍稷稻粱,农夫之庆。报以介福,万寿无疆。



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《诗经·小雅·鼓钟》
(Gu Zhong)
from the "Xiao Ya" (小雅, Lesser Court Hymns) section of the Shijing
(Zhou Dynasty, c. 9th-8th century BC)

鼓钟将将,淮水汤汤,忧心且伤。
淑人君子,怀允不忘。
鼓钟喈喈,淮水湝湝,忧心且悲。
淑人君子,其德不回。
鼓钟伐鼛,淮有三洲,忧心且妯。
淑人君子,其德不犹。
鼓钟钦钦,鼓瑟鼓琴,笙磬同音。
以雅以南,以籥不僭。


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《诗经·周南·关雎》
(Guan Ju)
from the "Guo Feng" (国风, Airs of the States):  "Zhou Nan" (周南, Odes of Zhou and the South) section of the Shijing (Zhou Dynasty, c. 8th-7th century BC)

关关雎鸠,在河之洲。窈窕淑女,君子好逑。
参差荇菜,左右流之。窈窕淑女,寤寐求之。
求之不得,寤寐思服。悠哉悠哉,辗转反侧。
参差荇菜,左右采之。窈窕淑女,琴瑟友之。
参差荇菜,左右芼之。窈窕淑女,钟鼓乐之。



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《诗经·小雅·鹿鸣》
(Lu Ming)
from the 
"Xiao Ya" (小雅, Lesser Court Hymns) section of the Shijing
(Zhou Dynasty, c. 9th-8th century BC)

呦呦鹿鸣,食野之苹。
The deer one to another bleat;
In the fields, wormwood they eat.
我有嘉宾,鼓瑟吹笙。
I have fine guests today;
Se and sheng for them are played.
吹笙鼓簧,承筐是将。
Sheng and [mouth harp] reed vibrate;
While I put gifts into the crate.
人之好我,示我周行。
They are indeed good friends,
Showing me ideal means and ends.
呦呦鹿鸣,食野之蒿。
The deer one to another bleat;
In the fields, mugwort they eat.
我有嘉宾,德音孔昭。
I have fine guests today;
Good virtues they display.
视民不恌,君子是则是效。
They teach folks not to steal,
The junzi [man of virtue] is their ideal.
我有旨酒,嘉宾式燕以敖。
I have both good food and wine;
Merrily, merrily my guests dine.
呦呦鹿鸣,食野之芩。
The deer one to another bleat;
In the fields, scullcaps they eat.
我有嘉宾,鼓瑟鼓琴。
I have fine guests today;
Se and qin for them are played.
鼓瑟鼓琴,和乐且湛。
Se and qin for them are played;
We are so happy and so gay.
我有旨酒,以燕乐嘉宾之心。
I have good food and wine.
Merrily, merrily my guests dine.


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《诗经·郑风·女曰鸡鸣》
(Nü Yue Ji Ming)
from the "Guo Feng" (国风, Airs of the States):  "Yong Feng" (郑风, Airs of Zheng) section of the Shijing (Zhou Dynasty, c. 8th-7th century BC)

女曰鸡鸣,士曰昧旦。子兴视夜,明星有烂。将翱将翔,弋凫与雁。

弋言加之,与子宜之。宜言饮酒,与子偕老。琴瑟在御,莫不静好。

知子之来之,杂佩以赠之。知子之顺之,杂佩以问之。知子之好之,杂佩以报之。



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《船夜援琴
Playing Qin on a Boat in the Evening (Chuan Ye Yuan Qin)
作者:白居易(唐)
by Bai Juyi (Tang Dynasty, 772-846)

鳥棲魚不動,夜月照江深。 
Birds alight, fish don't move; the moon shines above a deep river. 
身外都無事,舟中只有琴。 
Beyond the physical nothing matters; on our boat there is only qin.
七絃為益友,兩耳是知音。 
Its seven strings sate my companion; having ears means knowing music. 
心靜聲即淡,其間無古今。
Hearts at peace with sounds so mild; here there is no past or present.

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《废琴
An Abandoned Qin (Fei Qin)
作者:白居易(唐)
by Bai Juyi (Tang Dynasty, 772-846)

丝桐合为琴,中有太古声。 
Silk and paulownia, joined together, makes up the qin:
Within it lie ancient sounds.
古声淡无味,不称今人情。
Ancient sounds – weak and savorless, 
Not suited to present men's taste.
玉徽光彩灭,朱弦尘土生。 
The luster has faded from its jade hui:
Dust has covered its vermilion strings. 
废弃来已久,遗音尚泠泠。 
Decay and ruin came to it long ago, 
But the sound that is left is still cold and clear. 
不辞为君弹,纵弹人不听。
I do not refuse to play it, if you want me to: 
But even if I play, people will not listen.
何物使之然?羌笛与秦筝。
How did it come to be neglected so?
Because of the Qiang di and the Qin zheng.

Notes:

Hui (徽) are the inlaid markers on the top board of a qin, which mark harmonic positions on the instrument's strings.  The Qiang (羌) were a historical people living to China's north and west, and the Qiang di (羌笛) referred to in the poem may be a double clarinet consisting of two cylindrical pipes of equal length, each with an idioglot single reed.  Qin (秦) was an ancient state of northwest China, centered on today's Shaanxi province; the zheng is often referred to in historical literature as Qin zheng (秦筝) based on the belief that the Qin Dynasty general and inventor Meng Tian (蒙恬, d. 210 BC) was the inventor of this instrument.

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《五弦弹-恶郑之夺雅也》
(Wu Xian Tan)
作者:白居易(唐) 
by Bai Juyi (Tang Dynasty, 772-846)

五弦弹,五弦弹,听者倾耳心寥寥。
赵璧知君入骨爱,五弦一一为君调。
第一第二弦索索,秋风拂松疏韵落。
第三第四弦泠泠,夜鹤忆子笼中鸣。
第五弦声最掩抑,陇水冻咽流不得。
五弦并奏君试听,凄凄切切复铮铮。
铁击珊瑚一两曲,冰泻玉盘千万声。
铁声杀,冰声寒。
杀声入耳肤血憯,寒气中人肌骨酸。
曲终声尽欲半日,四坐相对愁无言。
座中有一远方士,唧唧咨咨声不已。
自叹今朝初得闻,始知孤负平生耳。
唯忧赵璧白发生,老死人间无此声。
远方士,尔听五弦信为美,吾闻正始之音不如是。
正始之音其若何,朱弦疏越清庙歌。
一弹一唱再三叹,曲澹节稀声不多。
融融曳曳召元气,听之不觉心平和。
人情重今多贱古,古琴有弦人不抚。
更从赵璧艺成来,二十五弦不如五。

Notes:

More information from the website of John Thompson:
http://www.silkqin.com/09hist/qinshibu/zhaobi.htm


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听颖师弹琴
Listening to Master Ying Play the Qin (Ting Ying Shi Tan Qin)
作者:韩愈(唐)
by Han Yu (Tang Dynasty, 768-824)

昵昵儿女语,恩怨相尔汝。
划然变轩昂,勇士赴敌场。 
浮云柳絮无根蒂,天地阔远随飞扬。
喧啾百鸟群, 忽见孤凤凰。
跻攀分寸不可上,失势一落千丈强。 
嗟余有两耳,未省听丝篁。
自闻颖师弹,起坐在一旁。 
推手遽止之,湿衣泪滂滂。
颖乎尔诚能,无以冰炭置我肠。

Notes:

Ying Shi (颖师) was a Buddhist monk who had excellent skill in playing the qin.  Several Tang poets, including Han Yu and Li He, wrote poems praising his playing.

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《幽涧泉》
Hidden Gorge Spring (You Jian Quan)
作者:李白(唐)
by Li Bai (Tang Dynasty, 701-762)
translated by Graham Sanders

拂彼白石,弹吾素琴。
Dusting off those white stones,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎I pluck my plain zither.
幽涧愀兮流泉深,善手明徽高张清。
Hidden gorge bleak, oh, flowing springs deep,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎skilled hands, bright cadence, taut strings, pure notes.
心寂历似千古,松飕飗兮万寻。
Mind as lonely as eternity,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎pines rustling, oh, for ten thousand spans.
中见愁猿吊影而危处兮,叫秋木而长吟。
Behold mournful gibbons, consoled by shadows, in this perilous place, oh,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎calling out to autumn trees with lingering moans.
客有哀时失志而听者,泪淋浪以沾襟。
Among the travelers, one listens, lamenting the times, failed in his resolve,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎his tears soak the front of his robes.
乃缉商辍羽,潺湲成音。
As harmonized shang notes, and joined yu notes,‎‎‎‏‏
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎flow into tones.
吾但写声发情于妙指,殊不知此曲之古今。
I only pour out sounds to release my feelings in subtle indications,
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎and hardly know if this tune is of now or long ago.
幽涧泉,鸣深林。
A hidden gorge spring
‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎sounds deep in the grove.

Notes:

"Hidden Gorge Spring" (幽涧泉) is the title of a zither melody; "white stones" (白石) could also refer to the inlaid ivory markers on a qin, which indicate acoustic intervals; "spans" (寻) are a unit of measurement indicating eight chi (尺), or an arm span; "moans" (吟) is also the technical term for vibrato on a stringed instrument; "traveler" (客) refers to Li Bai himself as an itinerant; shang (商) and yu (羽) refer to the second and fifth notes of the pentatonic scale, associated with Autumn and Winter; "subtle indications" (妙指) could be a pun on "exquisite fingering" on a stringed instrument.

The character "志" in this poem is more often rendered as "职."

More information:

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《月夜听卢子顺弹琴》
Listening to Lu Zishun Play the Zither on a Moonlit Night (Yue Ye Ting Lu Zishun Tan Qin)
作者:李白(唐)
by Li Bai (Tang Dynasty, 701-762)
translated by Graham Sanders

闲坐夜明月,幽人弹素琴。
Sitting idly at night under a bright moon,
The recluse plays his unadorned zither.
忽闻悲风调,宛若寒松吟。
Suddenly I hear the melody of "Mournful Wind,"
As though "Cold Pines" themselves intone.
白雪乱纤手,绿水清虚心。
"White Snow" sets his delicate fingers ablur,
"Green Water" clarifies his open mind.
钟期久已没,世上无知音。
Zhong Ziqi has long since passed away,
Leaving none in the world who "know the sound."

Notes:

"Mournful Wind," "Cold Pines," "White Snow," and "Green Water" are all the names of qin pieces.

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《听颖师琴歌》
Listening to Master Ying's Qin Song (Ting Ying Shi Qin Ge)
作者:李贺(唐)
by Li He (Tang Dynasty, 790 or 791-816 or 817)

别浦云归桂花渚,蜀国弦中双凤语。
芙蓉叶落秋鸾离,越王夜起游天姥。
暗佩清臣敲水玉,渡海蛾眉牵白鹿。
谁看挟剑赴长桥,谁看浸发题春竹。
竺僧前立当吾门,梵宫真相眉棱尊。
古琴大轸长八尺,峄阳老树非桐孙。
凉馆闻弦惊病客,药囊暂别龙须席。
请歌直请卿相歌,奉礼官卑复何益。

Notes:

Ying Shi (颖师) was a Buddhist monk who had excellent skill in playing the qin   Several Tang poets, including Li He and Han Yu, wrote poems praising his playing.

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Historical specimens

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Bibliography

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Tang-era piece: Qing Bei Yue《傾盃樂》

Tang-era piece:  Qing Bei Yue
《傾盃樂》
compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 10 April 2021)
Gilded silver flask shaped in the style of a northern nomad's leather bag, embossed with the image of a horse dancing with a cup of wine in its mouth. China, Tang Dynasty. Excavated in October 1970 from Hejia Village, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, northwest China. Collection of the Shaanxi History Museum, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, northwest China.

In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to Tang-era pieces bearing the title Qing Bei Yue (《傾盃樂》or《傾杯樂》) (Tilted Cup Music), which are preserved in score materials found in both China and Japan.

In China, the Dunhuang Scores (10th century) contain two different melodies of this title:  pieces no. 3 and 12.

As preserved in Sino-Japanese sources, this piece is called Keibairaku傾杯樂けいばいらく)』or傾盃樂けいばいらく)』, and it appears in the following score collections:
1) and 2) Sango Yōroku and Jinchi Yōroku, both of which were compiled in the late 12th century
3) Rosei Yōroku『蘆聲要録』(perhaps 1661)

The list of "Tang music" pieces prepared by the Japanese flute player Heguri no Hideshige (平群秀茂) in 928 lists Qing Bei Yue as a suite in the Mixolydian mode on E, comprising three movements:  xu (序, prelude), po (破, "broaching"), and ji (急, "quick").

This piece is associated with the celebrated dancing horses of the Tang emperor Xuanzong (Tang Xuanzong de Wu Ma, 唐玄宗的舞马), which would end their performances by lifting a wine cup in their mouths, then tossing back their heads as if to drain its contents.  Volume 28 of Jiu Tang Shu《旧唐书》(The Old Book of Tang), an official history of the Tang Dynasty, includes a mention of a debut performance, during Xuanzong's reign (713-756), by thirty pairs of dancing horses, which danced to a piece entitled Qing Bei Qu《傾杯曲》.

An archaeological discovery made in Hejia Village, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, northwest China in October 1970 provided proof of the veracity of these stories of dancing horses: a Tang period gilded silver flask (now in the collection of the Shaanxi History Museum), shaped in the style of a northern nomad's leather bag, embossed with the image of a horse dancing with a cup of wine in its mouth.

More information about the silver flask:
http://masterpieces.asemus.museum/masterpiece/detail.nhn?objectId=10735

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Chinese historical sources mentioning Qing Bei Yue

● Jiegu Lu《羯鼓錄》
Jiegu Lu is a book on music in two parts by Nan Zhuo (南卓, fl. 848-850).  The first part was completed in 848 and the second in 850.  The title appears as《傾杯樂》.

Jiu Tang Shu《旧唐书》(The Old Book of Tang), also known simply as Tang Shu《唐书》 (The Book of Tang), a historical work in 200 volumes that was completed in 945, actually during the Later Jin (后晋) Dynasty, one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (五代十国) period following the fall of the Tang Dynasty; it is one of the Twenty-Four Histories (二十四史).  The title appears in volume 28 as《傾杯樂》.

● Tang Huiyao《唐会要》(Institutional History of Tang)
This history of the Tang Dynasty, comprising 100 volumes and 514 sections, was compiled by Wang Pu (王溥, 922-982) and presented to Emperor Taizu, the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty, in 961.  The title appears in volume 33 as《傾盃樂》.

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Chinese poems and poetic lyrics mentioning Qing Bei Yue

《范真传侍御累有寄,因奉酬十首》
作者:鲍溶(唐末)
by Bao Rong (late Tang Dynasty, fl. c. 820)

昨日新花红满眼,今朝美酒绿留人。
更宜明月含芳露,凭杖萧郎夜赏春。
白雪翦花朱蜡蒂,折花传笑惜春人。
请君白日留明日,一醉春光莫厌频。

云髻凤文细,对君歌少年。
万金酬一顾,可惜十千钱。
玉管倾杯乐,春园斗草情。
野花无限意,处处逐人行。
闻道中山酒,一杯千日醒。
黄莺似传语,劝酒太叮咛。
红袂歌声起,因君始得闻。
黄昏小垂手,与我驻浮云。
相劝醉年华,莫醒春日斜。
春风宛陵道,万里晋阳花。
碧绿草萦堤,红蓝花满溪。
愿君常践蹋,莫使暗萋萋。
萋萋巫峡云,楚客莫留恩。
岁久晋阳道,谁能向太原。
岁酒劝屠苏,楚声山鹧鸪。
春风入君意,千日不须臾。

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《鹧鸪天》(集曲名)
Partridges in the Sky (Zhegu Tian)
作者:无名氏(唐末宋初)
Anonymous (late Tang or early Song Dynasty)

烛影摇红玉漏迟。鹊桥仙子下瑶池。
倾杯乐处笙歌沸,苏幕遮阑笑语随。
醉落魄,阮郎归。传言玉女步轻移。
凤凰台上深深愿,一日和鸣十二时。

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Videos and recordings of Qing Bei Yue

● Studio recording of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3) (China, c. 1992) (starts at 3:16)

● Studio recording of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 12) (China, c. 1992) (starts at 27:06)

● Studio recording of a solo performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 12), as reconstructed by Chen Yingshi, performed by a pipa player from the Shanghai Chinese Ancient Music Ensemble (Shanghai, China, 1988)

● Solo performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3) by Xu Bilan (shu konghou) (probably China, 2012)

● Duo performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3), as reconstructed by Ye Dong, performed by Xu Bilan (shu konghou) with Xu Ge (janggu) (China, 2015)

● Duo performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3), as reconstructed by Ye Dong, by Xu Bilan (shu konghou) with Xu Ge (janggu) (China, 2018)

● Performance of Qing Bei Yue (from Sino-Japanese sources), performed by Xu Ge and his ensemble (China, 2018)

● Duo performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3) by shu konghou players Tomoko Sugawara and Fan Rong (Shanghai, China, 2019)

● Performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3) by the Eurasia Consort (2019) (starts at 12:14)

● Performance of the Ji movement of Qing Bei Yue (from Sino-Japanese sources) by Xu Ge and his ensemble, with added Western harmony in the shu konghou part (Weihai, Shandong province, China, 2020)

Multitracked studio recording of the Ji movement of Qing Bei Yue (from Sino-Japanese sources) by Bilibili user männlichkeit (China, 2020)

● Performance of Qing Bei Yue (Dunhuang Scores no. 3) by the Eurasia Consort (2020)

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Bibliography

Chen Yingshi 陈应时. Dunhuang Yuepu Jieyi Bianzheng敦煌乐谱解译辨证[A Dialectical Investigation of the Interpretation/Deciphering/Decoding of the Dunhuang Scores]. Shanghai: Shanghai Yinyue Xueyuan Chu Ban She 上海音乐学院出版社, 2005.
Ye Dong 叶栋. Dunhuang Pipa Qupu《敦煌琵琶曲谱》.  Shanghai:  Shanghai Wenyi Chubanshe 上海文艺出版社, 1986.
Ye Dong 叶栋. Tangdai Gu Pu Yi Du《唐乐古谱译读》.  Shanghai:  Shanghai Music Publishing House, 2001.
http://www.jianpu.cn/book/4/4327.htm

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Tang-era piece: Wei Qing Tangtang《韋𡖖堂堂》

Tang-era piece:  Wei Qing Tangtang
《韋𡖖堂堂》
compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 10 April 2021)

In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Tang-era piece entitled Wei Qing Tangtang《韋𡖖堂堂》(modern/standard spelling: 《韋卿堂堂》).

In the Sino-Japanese tradition, this piece is called Ikyō-dōdō韋𡖖堂堂いきょうどうどう)』, or Wikyau-daudau韋𡖖堂堂ゐきやうだうだう)』in classical Japanese, and it appears in the following score collection:
● Gogen Fu『五絃譜』or Gogen Kinfu『五絃琴譜』, the manuscript itself simply bearing the title《五絃》(Gogen); individual pieces in the collection bear the dates 773 and 842 and the music is believed to be of Tang Chinese origin, though the manuscript was probably copied in Japan in the 11th century during the mid-Heian period.

According to the research of musicologist Steven G. Nelson, who reconstructed this piece for his master's thesis (in which it is transcribed in staff notation), it is in the Aeolian mode on E (黄鐘均角調, otherwise called 越角), which is somewhat unusual for the Tōgaku tradition. It is in six continuous sections, each comprising 8 measures of 8/4. There is quite a bit of repetition of melodic material, but interestingly enough each movement is written out completely.  The tuning specified for the 5-stringed lute in Gogen Fu is the same one used for the Dorian mode on A, called Huangzhong diao (黄鐘調) in Chinese or Ōshiki-chō in Japanese, namely E-A-c-e-g.

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Chinese historical sources mentioning the term Tangtang

● Tongdian《通典》(Comprehensive Institutions)
Written by Tang Dynasty scholar and historian Du You (杜佑, 735-812) between 766 and 801, Tongdian discusses music in its fifth section; the title appears as Tangtang《堂堂》in volume 146.

● Jiegu Lu《羯鼓錄》
Jiegu Lu is a book on music in two parts by Nan Zhuo (南卓, fl. 848-850).  The first part was completed in 848 and the second in 850.  The title appears as Tangtang《堂堂》.

● Jiu Tang Shu《旧唐书》(The Old Book of Tang), also known simply as Tang Shu《唐书》 (The Book of Tang), a historical work in 200 volumes that was completed in 945, actually during the Later Jin (后晋) Dynasty, one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (五代十国) period following the fall of the Tang Dynasty; it is one of the Twenty-Four Histories (二十四史).  In volume 29, the title appears as Tangtang《堂堂》, and in volume 51 it appears as《側堂堂》.

● Tang Huiyao《唐会要》(Institutional History of Tang)
This history of the Tang Dynasty, comprising 100 volumes and 514 sections, was compiled by Wang Pu (王溥, 922-982) and presented to Emperor Taizu, the founding emperor of the Song Dynasty, in 961.  The title appears as Tangtang《堂堂in volume 33.

Yuefu Shiji《乐府诗集》by Guo Maoqian (郭茂倩, 1041-1099)
The title appears in volume 44 as Tangtang《堂堂.

Yuefu Shiji《乐府诗集》by Guo Maoqian (郭茂倩, 1041-1099)
The title appears in volume 47 as Tangtang《堂堂.

● Wenxian Tongkao《文献通考》(Comprehensive Examination of Literature) Compiled in the early 14th century by Ma Duanlin (马端临), this work contains a list and descriptions (though no illustrations) of many ancient and Medieval musical instruments.  In volume 146, the title appears as Tangtang《堂堂》.

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Chinese poetic lyrics mentioning the term Tangtang

《杂曲歌辞 堂堂》
作者:李贺(唐)
by Li He (Tang Dynasty, 790 or 791-816 or 817)

堂堂复堂堂,红脱梅灰香。
十年粉蠹生画梁,饥虫不食推碎黄。 
蕙花已老桃叶长,禁院悬帘隔御光。 
华清源中礜石汤,裴回百凤随君王。


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《杂曲歌辞 其一 堂堂》
作者:李义府(唐初)
by Li Yifu (early Tang Dynasty, 614-666)

懒正鸳鸯被,羞褰玳瑁床。
春风别有意,密处也寻香。

Notes:

《堂堂》,角调曲,本陈后主所作,唐为法曲。


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《杂曲歌辞 其二 堂堂》
作者:李义府(唐初)
by Li Yifu (early Tang Dynasty, 614-666)

镂月成歌扇,裁云作舞衣。
自怜回雪影,好取洛川归。

Notes:

《万首绝句》题作《题美人》


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Videos and recordings of Wei Qing Tangtang

● Studio recording of Wei Qing Tangtang, as transcribed by Hayashi Kenzō, performed by the Shanghai Chinese Ancient Music Ensemble (Shanghai, China, 1988); Wei Qing Tangtang starts at 31:09

● Realization of Wei Qing Tangtang (Gogen Fu version) by Bilibili user 雪狼的天空 using synthesized sounds (China, 2021)

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Bibliography

● Wolpert, R. F.  "A Ninth-Century Score for Five-Stringed Lute."  Musica Asiatica, vol. 3 (1981), pp. 107-135.

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Thanks to Steven G. Nelson for assistance with this page.

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