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SQMP ToC   /   Tracing chart for Yin De and Qiujiang Yebo Listen to my recording with transcription   /   首頁
24. Hidden Virtue
Shang mode:2 standard tuning played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
隱德 1
Yin De
Picture stone: In seclusion3 (side A / side B)        
"Yin De" evokes "maintaining values" whether "in seclusion amongst the cliffs and gullies, or living in the market place", bringing honor to those who do so with humility. As a qin melody title it occurs in only four handbooks from 1425 to 1585, then once again in 1670.4 However, the melody itself also appears twice, in 1547 and 1559, under the title Chumu Yin (Intonation on Grazing).5 Except for the one dated 1585, which has lyrics,6 these melodies are almost identical.

Then in 1614 Songxianguan Qinpu published a rather different but clearly related melody called Qiujiang Yebo (Autumn River Night Anchorage).7 Songxianguan Qinpu was the first handbook of the famous Yushan Qin School, started by followers of Yan Tianchi. It has no commentary, but a story from the Yushan School connects the melody to a famous Tang dynasty poem by Zhang Ji. This poem is said to have inspired Yan Tianchi to create a new version of the melody. My own commentary on that melody makes some suggestions as to how that transformation may actually have occurred. In any case, the melody under that title then survives in at least 27 handbooks from 1614 to the present.

The introduction to the Qiujiang Yebo in Mei'an Qinpu (1931) is completely different from the commentary in any earlier handbook, saying that Qiujiang Yebo depicts musically the whole of Su Dongpo's 11th century poem Red Cliff Rhapsody #1,8 beginning with casting off the boat, followed by punting and loud singing in section two (second half of Yin De section one); hoisting sails and approaching mid-stream in the next section; and further singing, descriptions of the scenery, lowering the sails and re-anchoring in the last section.

The only attribution of Yin De is the one in Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585), which says that the famous 13th century qin player Mao Minzhong replenished it from an unknown source.

Although many of the bits of information above can be seen as either vague or contradictory, it is better to add them to your own experiences and let all this enrich your appreciation as you listen to or play the music.

There is no other recording of Yin De other than my own.

Original Preface9

The Emaciated Immortal says,

as for this piece, in the ancient time (when the Dao was followed), resolute gentlemen and benevolent men had uncommon talents, and were born with pure and lofty goals. Whether in seclusion amongst the cliffs and gullies, or living in the market place, they wore rough clothing and maintained their values, so as to nurture their heroic spirits. They were not known among (common) people so, it is said, a gentleman has great virtue while looking like an ordinary coarse fellow. And thus this piece was written in order to communicate with the most sagelike worthies, using this opportunity to speak of their own objectives.

Music (timings follow the recording on my CD; 聽錄音 listen with my transcription)
Three sections, untitled (Section 1 divided according to Qiujiang Yebo) 10

(00.00) 01. Secluded life in wooded foothills
(00.30) 1A. (see Qiujiang Yebo)
(01.05) 02. (Life with the) wind and moon, poetry and wine
(01.32) 03. Nurturing a magnanimous disposition
(02.13) --- harmonics
(02.23) ---Melody ends

Return to the Shen Qi Mi Pu ToC or to the Guqin ToC.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 隱德 Yin De (QQJC I/125)
42825.174 "virtue not known to other people"; it gives only a quote from the biography of a third century official named 王湛 Wang Zhan. 11/1130 has the same together with three other quotes. These four quotes are as follows:

No translations yet available.

2. Shang Mode (商調 shang diao)
Standard tuning is also considered as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6. For further information on shang mode see Shenpin Shang Yi and Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.

3. Picture stone: In seclusion (16" x 9"; side A / side B)
"Picture stone" refers to a slab of stone that has been sliced in such a way that, when polished, it forms an interesting design, perhaps abstract or perhaps evoking something in nature. It is enjoyable to be in the presence of such stones when playing qin. Often, as with this modest example, they are suggestive of a theme rather than explicitly depicting it. The same is often true of the best in music and poetry.

There is an ancient tradition of such stones, the most common examples perhaps being as part of traditional furniture (example) but a history of this is beyond the scope of this site. In fact, I have not yet found a general Chinese name for these stones that is not simply modern descriptive or, in classical terms, descriptive of a particular style (yunhui [grey clouds], baishi [white jade]), caihua [colored flowers]. etc). In English various generic names have been tried, including "dendritic siltstone", "Chinese picture jasper" and "Chinese picture stone". In Guangxi they are often referred to as grass and flower stones ("草花石 caohua shi) while in Dali (Yunnan) they may be called dream-stones ("夢石 meng shi"), apparently also a modern term.

The present example is a stone from Guangxi province. It is claimed that nothing has been done to alter the natural color pattern within the stone. It is said to be typical of the type of images one can get from certain quarries in Guangxi. As yet I have not found a reliable source of historical information about such stones. Meanwhile there is some preliminary information at www.kaizenbonsai.com and www.gardenofthenightingale.com.

The style of such stones from the Dali area of Yunnan province seems to emphasize more black, white and grey. There is some further information at www.schneiblefinearts.com, while this article by Michael C. Teller IV, founder and president of TK Asian Antiquities, and chairman of the International Dali Dreamstone Association, does include some historical information.

4. Tracing Yin De (see chart)
Based on Zha Fuxi's Guide 4/45/65 the five handbooks are:

  1. Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425; I/125)
    See commentary above
  2. Xilutang Qintong (1525; III/85)
    3; Almost the same as #1; no commentary: used as prelude to Chun Jiang
  3. Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539; II/145)
    3 sections; Same as 1425; no commentary
  4. Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585; IV/324)
    3T; lyrics; preface says 毛敏仲 Mao Minzhong 補 replenished it from an unknown source; first note: 大七勾四!
  5. Qinyuan Xinchuan Quanbian (1670; XI/479)
    3; same as 1425, including preface

The chart also traces occurrences of the later Qiu Jiang Ye Bo

5. Shepherd's Intonation (芻牧吟 Chumu Yin) (prelude to Herdsman's Song (牧歌 Mu Ge)
Chumu Yin and Yin De, both in 商調 shang mode, are essentially the same melody. The first noticeable difference is that the 1425 Yin De begins with the note mi, while in Chumu Yin the opening note is sol. As in Yin De, Chumu Yin also has the flattened third intervals in part 3, but it divides the melody into four sections, as in Qiujiang Yebo, and it has a slightly different harmonic passage at the end.

Regarding elements of "芻牧 chumu":

As for chumu 31389.10 芻牧 says 刈芻放牧也 cut grass and graze, with early references not seeming to specify sheep or cows.

To trace Chumu Yin see Zha Fuxi's Guide 18/177/--. The only two known surviving occurrences were published in,

  1. Qinpu Zhengchuan (1561; II/511) and
  2. Taiyin Xupu (1557; III/418).

In both handbooks Chumu Yin is used as a prelude to 牧歌 Mu Ge (Song of the Herdsman); the prelude there seems to specify that the herdsman can be herding either sheep or cattle. The title has not been connected to Han Jie Cao, which concerns Su Wu, who is often referred to as 蘇武牧羊 Su Wu the Shepherd.

6. Yin De lyrics from 1585 (IV/330)
The original lyrics, in three sections, have been copied here. A translation would begin as follows:

The mountains are shadowed and the streams winding; (a qin) has been carried a long way to reside hidden in the woods and hills. There are many rafters in the thatch hut, and in front of the doorway flowing streams clear as jade....

Qin lyrics applied to melodies otherwise occuring as purely instrumental melodies may not always have been intended for singing: they might have been read separately for or from inspiration, or have been recited silently or aloud, or sung silently, perhaps helping the player remember the tune.

7. 秋江夜泊 Qiujiang Yebo
Did Yan Tianchi invent this, or could it have been the original name? The musical connection between Qiujiang Yebo and Yin De was pointed out to me by Mitchell Clark. (Return)

8. Red Cliff Rhapsody: 前赤壁賦 Qian Chibi Fu
Su Dongpo's Rhapsody #1 and Rhapsody #1 are both set in their entirety to qin tablature in Huang Shida's Taigu Yiyin (黃士達太古遺音 1515), but there is no apparent musical relationship between those melodies and the present one.

9. Original 1425 preface
For the original Chinese text see 隱德.

10. Chinese section titles
See 隱德.

Return to the top

Appendix: Chart Tracing Yin De / Qiujiang Yebo
Based on Zha Guide 4/45/65 and 30/236/--

  隱德 (Yin De) 秋江夜泊 / 秋江晚波 / 秋江晚釣
  1. 神奇秘譜
      (1425; I/137)
3 (details)  
  _. 浙音釋字琴譜
      (<1491; I/---)
Lyrics of 1585 fit 1425, though it requires what seems quite unnatural phrasing  
  _. 發明琴譜
      (1530; I/347)
  8; 秋江晚釣 Qiujiang Wan Diao: not related
  2. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/147)

same as #1; no commentary

  3. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/87)
almost same as #1; no commentary  
  4. 太音續譜
      (1559; III/426)
Called Chumu Yin
  5. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/515)
Called Chumu Yin
  6. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/330)
3T; lyrics; first note 大七勾四 !
preface credits Mao Minzhong
(also IV/365; 8T; 秋江晚釣 ; not related)
  _. 真傳正宗琴譜
      (<1609; VII/95)
(太古正音欽佩 ?)
(VII/95; 8; 秋江晚釣; not related)
  7. 松絃館琴譜
      (1614; VIII/100)
  Earliest 秋江夜泊 Qiujiang Yebo; 4; no attribution;
no flatted mis, but many fas (compare 1673)
  8. 古音正宗
      (1634; IX/296)
Uses the decimal system, but inconsistently 4; no attribution
  9. 徽言秘旨
      (1647; X/94)
  4; no commentary
秋江晚釣 !? should be 秋江晚泊 ?
10. 徽言秘旨訂
      (1692; X/--)
  Not included
Should be same as 1647 秋江晚釣
11. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/487)
3; same as #1, including intro
12. 大還閣琴譜
      (1673; X/362)
decimal finger positions
4 sections
Compare 1614: fas replaced by mi, as today
13. 澄鑒堂琴譜
      (1689; XIV/230)
  4; 秋江夜泊
14. 德音堂琴譜
      (1691; XII/524)
  4; 秋江夜泊
15. 琴譜析微
      (1692; XIII/72)
  4; 秋江夜泊
16. 響山堂琴譜
      (<1700?; XIV/106)
  4; 秋江夜泊
17. 一峰園琴譜
      (1709; XIII/521)
4; 秋江夜泊
18. 臥雲樓琴譜
      (1722; XV/50)
4; 秋江夜泊
19. 存古堂琴譜
      (1726; XV/241)
4; 秋江晚泊
20. 光裕堂琴譜
      (1726?; XV/319)
4; 秋江晚泊
21. 琴書千古
      (1738; XV/437)
4; 秋江晚泊
22. 蘭田館琴譜
      (1755; XVI/220)
4; 秋江夜泊
23. 自遠堂琴譜
      (1802; XVII/349)
4; 秋江夜泊
24. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; XIX/121)

秋江夜泊 Qiujiang Yebo; 4; "雍門譜 Yongmen Tablature"

24a. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; XIX/155)

秋江晚泊 Qiujiang Wanbo; 4; "光裕堂譜 Guangyu Tang tablature"
      (XIX/260 秋江晚釣, 8 段, is unrelated)

25. 峰抱樓琴譜
      (1825; XX/317)
4; 秋江夜泊
26. 鄰鶴齋琴譜
      (1830; XXI/36)
4; 秋江夜泊
27. 二香琴譜
      (1833; XXIII/154)
4; 秋江夜泊
28. 悟雪山房琴譜
      (1836; XXII/261)
4; 秋江夜泊
29. 行有恒堂錄存琴譜
      (1840; XXIII/190)
4; 秋江夜泊
30. 琴學尊聞
      (1864; XXIV/xxx)
  Guide lists it p.20
But not in [207]165 or QQJC
31. 琴學入門
      (1864; XXIV/317)
  Only version with commentary: instructions on how to learn it
4; 秋江夜泊
32. 以六正五之齋
      琴學秘書 (1875; XXVI/250)
4; 秋江夜泊
33. 天聞閤琴譜
      (1876; XXV/403)
"From 1802"
4; 秋江夜泊
34. 雅齋琴譜叢集
      (not in QQJC)
  Zha Guide [239]197 lists 2:
松荺館本 & 硯田山房本
35. 梅庵琴譜 #8
      (1931; XXIX/207)
  The preface to the 1959 edition (translated in Lieberman, p.100) describes the scene of Su Dongpo's Qian Chibi Fu; uses lowered third string tuning but musically still related
36. 夏一峰傳譜
  p.74; comment says earliest is 1614 and theme is "as in the title"
4; 秋江夜泊
37. 龍吟館琴普
      (1799 #7)
earliest Mei'an-pieces? Facsimile from VG Leiden collection