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Taiyin Daquanji 1   (and Taigu Yiyin) 太音大全集
Folio 1A : Invocation (added: Folio 1 Table of Contents)
Explanations provided by the translator are put either in brackets ( ) or in footnotes.2
This opening 題辭 invocation is not found in other editions  

The "太音大全集題辭 Invocation to Taiyin Daquanji" at right is as follows: 3

The qin: for music it is a very important instrument, filled with the most ancient pure sounds, containing inexhaustibly interesting beauty. Its sounds regulate, its notes clarify. Its golden harmonic markers, jade tuning pegs, vermilion strings and (to hold it) brocade bags, are splendid without being wasteful, costly without being extravagant. It started with Fu Xi, then reached maturity during the Three Dynasties (Xia, Shang and Zhou). It extends out from the emperor, but amongst the common people both inexpensive and valuable ones can be had. However, amongst those "whose heart is without virtue, who have no deep interest in literary pursuits", it is not proper for them even to do it. When (the qin) is grand it can be made to move heaven and earth, move ghosts and spirits. When it is delicate can give pattern to birds and beasts, provide trust in grass and trees. Once attained then most importantly it can be used to change people so that they have well-regulated households, less importantly it can be used for enjoying the dao and forgetting one's poor circumstances: all these are the virtues that the qin can make happen. The qin does not need words, so although ones' teachers may be learned Confucian scholars, hoary headed with bushy brows and many years of experience, with vigorous deep study, not yet able to arrive at a household, how can they be able to make such a success at profound learning?

From an early age I loved these sounds, hating that I had not attained the tradition of them. After I grew up I traveled as an official from north to south, and thus did attain the traditions, but still hated that I was not yet able to produce its beauty. So I collected the qin tablature of all the experts and what is now called Taigu Yiyin, collecting numerous explanations. While organizing this, I had to determine which should or should not be rejected, where vague explain it, things that were difficult or doubtful add annotations, if too disorganized then carefully put them in order. Then categories had to be distinguished, thus the essentials could be made into this publication. I then named it Taiyin Daquanji and stored it in a box.


The translation is tentative.

Table of Contents for Folio 1
The edition of Taiyin Daquanji in QQJC does not have any tables of contents, either an overall one such as the one added
here or a particular one for any of the five folios (compare the Taigu Yiyin in QQJC, from "YJZZTGYY", which has an overall ToC). The following Table of Contents is added below for easy reference.

    Folio 1 (卷一)
  1. 題辭 Invocation (I/45)

  2. 造琴法度 Qin construction methods (I/45)
    (底面制度 Methods for the top and bottom)
    灰法 Methods for the ash
    糙法 Methods for the (raw) rough lacquer
    煎糙法 Method for boiled rough lacquer
    合光法 Method of combining (powders for ) brightening
    退光出光法 Method of "removing the shine, bringing out the shine"
    又法 Another method (for removing then restoring the shine)
    又法 Yet another method
    安徽法 Method for determining proper position of the studs
    綴徽法 Method for attaching the studs
    磨㪇法 Method for grinding down the (areas with) the buzzing noise flaw

  3. 琴絃 Information about making qin strings (I/47)
    辨絲法 Method of discerning (proper) silk
    大琴絃 (String sizes): big (i.e., thick) qin strings
    中琴絃 Medium (in thickness) qin strings
    小琴絃 Small (i.e., thin) qin strings
    細琴絃 Fine (i.e., very thin) qin strings (here 細 was written 柚)
    纒紗 Wrapping gauze
    加減墜子法 Method for correcting size with the zhuizi
    打法 Method of operating (the zhuizi)
    煮法 Method of boiling the strings
    用藥 Using potions (when boiling)
    纏法 Method for wrapping gauze

  4. 雜事 Miscellaneous Information, including the inlaid studs and more on strings (I/48)
    論徽 Discussing hui (harmonic markers)
    論絃 Discussing strings
    衢仙琴檀十友 The Emaciated Immortal's Ten Friends of the Qin Dais

  5. 制度 (Qin) assemblage (I/49)
    制度 Assemblage (three qin diagrams)
    撫琴論 Essay on playing the qin (plus images of playing, stringing, fingers)
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Great Collection of Superlative Sound (太音大全集 Taiyin Daquanji)
As discussed in footnotes to the front page for this edition of the handbook, although the work originally was compiled in the Song dynasty, it survives only in reprints; these are available in at least four versions. This footnote discusses how the version used here for translation was selected. There are some inconsistencies due to the fact that I did most of this translation from another edition, then have made revisions to fit the version that seems to be most available now, in the 2010 30 Volume edition.

The translations for this section, as outlined in the Table of Contents above, were made from the Taiyin Daquanji printed in QQJC Vol. I (2010 edition, pp. 45-52 (top half); this is the edition referred to by Tong Kin-Woon as the "Yuan Volume" (see his #5), after its supposed editor, Yuan Junzhe. Originally I translated this section from the Taigu Yiyin Dr. Tong had copied in Qin Fu, pp. 31-39. TKW had had to copy out some passages by hand that were not in the Taiwan copy of Taigu Yiyin, and in addition there are some small differences between the different editions. Differences are noted as they occur, and comparison is also made with the "Zhu volume" (#6, see QQJC, Original Series Vol. 1, pp. 32-36). Some of this material is also in the Taigu Yiyin in QQJC Vol. I (#3?), though in quite a different order. The meanings of some passages still elude me.

As can be seen from the ToC above, Taiyin Daquanji, Folio 1, begins (after the Invocation) with 11 sub-sections dealing with qin construction; these are the sections translated on the following web page (see also QFTGYY, pp. 33-34). The older Taigu Yiyin as published in Qinqu Jicheng has the first four of these sections towards the end of its Folio 1 (see I/31-3), and calls the first sub-section (here 造琴法度 "Qin construction methods") 底面制度 "Structure of the top and bottom". This is prefaced with a general title, 斲琴法 "Methods for building qins", which in characters two to a column has a preface that says,

(Preface from TGYY#3, I/32)

[TKW1:] The Yuan volume refers to Taigu Yiyin Folio 1 as Taiyin Daquanji Folio 1; the (surviving edition of the) Zhu volume calls it 新刊 Xinkan (newly engraved) Taiyin Daquanji, Folio 1, so the titles are not the same. The Zhu volume also has a line (QQJC, original series, Vol. 1, p. 32) which says, 南極函虛子臞仙編輯 "Edited by The Emaciated Immortal (Zhu Quan), Master of Emptiness at the Southern Extremities. (It also says 河南藩府殿下校正: Corrected in the palace of the provincial governor [or treasurer] of Henan [then adjacent to Kaifeng, to its west]; and 書林金臺汪氏重刊 , re-printed by the Wang family's Golden Terrace Bookstore [41049.911xx -- where was this bookstore?]).

2. Structure of the original text
In the original, each page (half a folded leaf) was divided into 11 lined vertical columns. Sections are generally not sub-divided, so the paragraphs here were not in the original.

The main text uses full-size characters. In this translation these sections are indicated as follows:
[Main text:]

Explanations, perhaps by a different editor, are added in smaller characters which allow two columns within the lined columns. In this translation such explanations are put into indented paragraphs, the beginning of each being indicated as follows:

In addition, at the end of some sections there are comments called 音釋 "Yin Shi" (Pronunciation and Explanation). In this translation these are also made into indented paragraphs, beginning as follows:
      [Yin shi:].

Finally, Tong Kin-Woon in his compilation of old qin texts, Qin Fu (Taipei 1971), added a number of footnotes (see pp. 10 - 21 of the appendix that follows p. 2056 of the main text). When those footnotes are included here in the footnotes of this translation they begin with [TKW #:].

3. Original text of the Invocation (題辭 tici)
The original text is as follows:

琴,樂之重器也,備太古之純音,涵無窮之妙趣。其音正,其聲清。金徽、玉軫、朱絃、錦囊,雖華而不為靡,雖費而不為奢。創自伏羲,備於三代;自天子達,于庶人無貴無賤皆可為之。惟「心中無德,腹內無墨」者不宜作也。其改大可以動天地、感鬼神。微可以格鳥獸、孚草木。達而在上可以化民成俗家,而在下可以樂道忘貧。皆琴之德使然也。琴可勿言哉,故雖老師宿儒, 皓首厖眉而索年竟歲, 極力攻鐟,尚不能到其戶扃,矧能造其閫奧耶?


Here are some explanations of certain special terms:

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or to the Guqin ToC.