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Qin in Zhuwu Ting Qin
(Listening to a Qin from the Bamboo Thicket, an opera) 1
古琴與竹塢聽琴
Qin Xiuran listens from the thicket 2

Zhuwu Ting Qin, also called Qin Xiuran Zhuwu Ting Qin (Qin Xiuran Listens to a Qin from the Bamboo Thicket3) was written in the 13th c. CE by Shi Zizhang,4 It concerns Qin Xiuran and Zheng Yingluan,5 betrothed at birth but then separated.

In the scene depicted at right, during the first act Zheng Xiuran has taken out her scorched tail qin and begun to play. From outside Qin Xiuran hears someone playing the "Flowing Waters High Mountains melody".6 However, as he draws closer one of her strings suddenly breaks. She then realizes someone must be listening.

Later there seems to be some discussion of playing qin for self-cultivation vs. playing to attract someone. This brings up the story of Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun.7

 

 

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Listening to a Qin from the Bamboo Thicket (竹塢聽琴 Zhuwu Ting Qin)
LXS p.52. I have not found a translation or an outline in English.
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2. Image
From 張國標,徽派版畫藝術,安徽省美術出版社,1995,194頁.
Zhang Guobiao, ed., Art of Woodcut of the Huizhou School, Anhui Publishing House, 1995, p.194.
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3. Qin Xiuran Listens to a Qin from the Bamboo Thicket (秦翛然竹塢聽琴 Qin Xiuran Zhuwu Ting Qin)
Qin Xiuran 秦翛然 (also written 秦修然、秦脩然) 25578.xxx
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4. 石子章 Shi Zizhang (fl. late 13th c.)
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5. 鄭影鸞 Zheng Yingluan.
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6. Flowing Waters High Mountains melody
流水高山調 Gaoshan Liushui Diao
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7. Other references
For Sima Xiangru see Wenjun Cao, etc. Also, in several places there is mention of lovesickness (相思病 xiang si bing), finally of the melody 相思調 Xiang Si Diao, for which see Xiang Si Qu.
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