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SQMP  ToC   /   Liezi   /   Lingxu Yin 首頁
35. Liezi Rides the Wind
- Jiao mode, standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6
 
列子御風 1
Liezi Yu Feng  
Riding the wind 3                  
According to this famous ancient story, a student hears that the sagely Liezi can ride the wind. The student is impatient to learn, but Liezi spurns him, saying he spent many years assiduously learning from his masters before he could relax and, losing his awareness of ordinary human distinctions, drift with the wind, not knowing whether he is riding the wind or the wind riding him. This is not something which can be learned quickly. The phrase "Liezi yu feng" is originally found in the book of Zhuangzi, which briefly tells of Liezi traveling by riding the wind.4 A passage in the book attributed to Liezi gives more detail.5

Once a very popular piece, Liezi Yu Feng has undergone various revisions but is still recognizable in the 40 handbooks through 1876 which include it,6 as well as in the 1950s recording of Le Ying7 playing it "from handcopied qin tablature", now available on CD.

The numerous revisions have not affected the attribution tto the famous Song dynasty qin master Mao Minzhong (Mao Zhongweng). It is the first of several melodies in SQMP to be attributed to this famous Song dynasty qin player. The melody that precedes it, Lingxu Yin, seems to serve it as a prelude, and perhaps for this reason is also sometimes attributed to Mao Minzhong

 
Original Preface8

The Emaciated Immortal says,

as for this piece, Mao Zhongweng wrote it based on the account in the Yellow Emperor chapter of Liezi, in which (Liezi) rides the wind in such a way that his spirit roams throughout the universe.9 The flavor of the tune is the same as this story.

 
Music: 10 sections10

(00.00) 01. Relying on the air to ride the wind
(00.25) 02. Looking down on the earth
(01.04) 03. How vast is the universe!
(01.33) 04. Not aware whether the wind is riding me
(01.51) 05. Not aware whether I am riding the wind
(02.31) 06. Aiming for the silent heavens
(03.01) 07. His spirit roams in the stratosphere
(03.43) 08. Howling in the empty azure sky
(04.05) 09. Shaking out clothing in the celestial wind
(04.44) 10. Having enjoyed everything, (the rider) returns
(05.23) --- play harmonics of the modal prelude
(05.36) --- Piece ends

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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Liezi Rides the Wind (列子御風 Liezi Yu Feng
ZWDCD has only 1921.2 列子 the book; 10392.75 御風 quotes Zhuangzi Section 1: 列子御風而行. Nothing about a melody.
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2. Jiao mode (角調 jiao diao)
For more information on jiao mode see Shenpin Jiao Yi. See also Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.
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3. Image: Riding the Wind (御風 Yu Feng)
This image from an anonymous painting was probably not specifically intended to depict Liezi, but it suits the concept of his riding the wind. Compare the image with the one for the prelude, Lingxu Yin, as well as the image of Qu Yuan with Li Sao, which also involve being seated on an animal or chariot, and note that although he is on a cloud, there does not seem to be a comparable expression "ride the clouds", or even for humans "flying".
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4. Liezi Rides the Wind, from the book of Zhuangzi
China Text Project, Zhuangzi, Chapter 1 逍遙遊 - Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease, gives both the original text and the Legge translation, as follows:

夫列子御風而行,泠然善也,旬有五日而後反。彼於致福者,未數數然也。此雖免乎行,猶有所待者也。若夫乘天地之正,而御六氣之辯,以遊無窮者,彼且惡乎待哉!故曰:至人無己,神人無功,聖人無名。
There was Liezi, who rode on the wind and pursued his way, with an admirable indifference (to all external things), returning, however, after fifteen days, (to his place). In regard to the things that (are supposed to) contribute to happiness, he was free from all endeavours to obtain them; but though he had not to walk, there was still something for which he had to wait. But suppose one who mounts on (the ether of) heaven and earth in its normal operation, and drives along the six elemental energies of the changing (seasons), thus enjoying himself in the illimitable - what has he to wait for? Therefore it is said, 'The Perfect man has no (thought of) self; the Spirit-like man, none of merit; the Sagely-minded man, none of fame.'

Other online translations include that of Burton Watson (search for "Lieh Tzu7 could ride the wind and go soaring").
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5. Liezi Rides the Wind, from Chapter 2 "黃帝 Yellow Emperor" in The Book of Liezi
The A. C. Graham translation (The Book of Lieh-Tzŭ, pp. 35-37), is as follows (romanization changed to modern pinyin):

Liezi had Old Shang as a teacher, and Bogaozi as his friend. When he had nothing more to learn from either of them, he came home riding the wind. Yin Sheng heard of him, joined his disciples, and for several months did not look for lodgings. Ten times, when Liezi was not busy, he took the opportunity to beg for his secrests; and each time Liezi turned him away and would not tell him. Yin Sheng was indignant and took his leave; Liezi made no objections.

A few months after Yin Sheng withdrew he had not renounced his aim, and went to join Liezi again.

'Why do you keep coming and going?' Liezi asked him.

'Not long ago I made a request to you, but you would not tell me. It is true that I felt some rancour against you, but now it is all gone. So I have come again.'

'I used to thik you intelligent; are you really as vulgar as all that? Here, I will tell you what I learned from my own Master. Three years after I began to serve the Master and befriend a certain man, my mind no longer dared to think of right and wrong, my mouth no longer dared to speak of benefit and harm, and it was only then that I got as much as a glance from the Master. After five years, my mind was again thinking of right and wrong, my mouth was again speaking of benefit and harm, and for the first time the Master's face relaxed in a smile. After seven years, I thought of whatever came into my mind without any longer distinguishing between right and wrong, said whatever came into my mouth without any longer distinguishing between benefit and harm; and for the first time the Master pulled me over to sit with him on the same mat. After nine years, I thought without restraint of whatever came into my mind and said without restraint whatever came into my mouth without knowing whether the right and wrong, benefit and harm, were mine or another's, without knowing that the Master was my teacher and the man I have mentioned was my friend. Only then, when I had come to the end of everything inside me and outside me, my eyes became like my ears, my ears like my nose, my nose like my mouth; everything was the same. My mind concentrated and my body relaxed, bones and flesh fused completely, I did not notice what my body leaned against and my feet trod, I drifted with the wind East or West, like a leaf from a treee or a dry husk, and never knew whether it was the wind that rode me or I that rode the wind.

'Now you come to be my disciple, and before even a year has gone round, you are indignant and resentful time and again. The air will refuse your slip of a body, the earth will refuse to carry one joint of your finger; can you hope to tread the void and ride the wind?'

Yin Sheng was deeply ashamed, held his breath for a long time, and did not dare to speak again.

The original Chinese text (see China Text Project) is as follows:

列子師老商氏,友伯高子;進二子之道,乘風而歸。尹生聞之,從列子居,數月不省舍。因間請蘄其術者,十反而十不告。尹生懟而請辭,列子又不命。尹生退。數月,意不已,又往從之。列子曰:「汝何去來之頻?」尹生曰:「曩章戴有請於子,子不我告,固有憾於子。今復脫然,是以又來。」列子曰:「曩吾以汝為達,今汝之鄙至此乎。姬!將告汝所學於夫子者矣。自吾之事夫子友若人也,三年之後,心不敢念是非,口不敢言利害,始得夫子一眄而已。五年之後,心庚念是非,口庚言利害,夫子始一解顏而笑。七年之後,從心之所念,庚无是非;從口之所言,庚无利害,夫子始一引吾並席而坐。九年之後,橫心之所念,橫口之所言,亦不知我之是非利害歟,亦不知彼之是非利害歟;亦不知夫子之為我師,若人之為我友:內外進矣。而後眼如耳,耳如鼻,鼻如口,无不同也。心凝形釋,骨肉都融;不覺形之所倚,足之所履,隨風東西,猶木葉幹殼。竟不知風乘我邪?我乘風乎?今女居先生之門,曾未浹時,而懟憾者再三。女之片體將氣所不受,汝之一節將地所不載。履虛乘風,其可幾乎?」尹生甚怍,屏息良久,不敢復言。

A number of other translations can also be found online.
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6. Tracing 列子御風 Liezi Yu Feng (see tracing chart)
Zha Guide 5/56/80: the 40 handbooks through 1876 also include the variant titles 御風行 Yu Feng Xing (1585) and 列子 Liezi (1596).

There is also an old story here mentioning a melody called 御風曲 Yu Feng Qu.
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7. 樂瑛 Le Ying
Also known as "Yue Ying".
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8. Preface
See original Chinese text.
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9. "Riding the wind in such a way that the spirit roams throughout the universe"
"御風擬神遊六合"; 擬 is "determine, resemble, compare"; "神遊六合" is also the name of another qin melody, Shen You Liu He .
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10. Music for Liezi Yu Feng
The lyrics from the version in 1585 can be sung here, suggesting the whole of Liezi Yufeng in the original edition of Zheyin Shizi Qinpu had the same tablature as here. See also the original Chinese section titles.
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Appendix: Chart Tracing 列子御風 Liezi Yu Feng
Based mainly on Zha Fuxi's
Guide, 5/56/80
Further comment above; compare Lingxu Yin

      琴譜
    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
  1.  神奇秘譜
      (1425; I/149 [here])
10 titled sections; attrib. Mao Minzhong
 
  2.  浙音釋字琴譜
      (<1491; I/203)
Only Sections 8-10 (front of book is missing);
What is here is same as 1425 plus the lyrics
  3. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/136)
10T; afterword attributes Mao; many differences
 
  4. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/215)
10; many differences
 
  5. 梧岡琴譜
      (1546; I/424)
御風行 Yu Feng Xing; 8 (combines 1&2 and 3&4
Drops sharps and flats; other differences
  6. 步虛僊琴譜
      (1556; III/xxx)
10; closely related to 1425/1546
Facsimile #21
  7. 太音傳習
      (1552; IV/105)
9T; related
 
  8. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/353)
8; related
 
  9. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/430)
御風行 Yu Feng Xing
Identical to 1546
10. 龍湖琴譜
      (1571; 琴府/253)
10T (but unnumbered); no lyrics; still related
 
11. 新刊正文對音捷要
      (1573; #46)
Same as 1585?
 
12. 五音琴譜
      (1579; IV/227)
11; related
 
13. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/412)
9T; same preface as 1425; lyrics related to 1491;
Melody has some relationship but is very different
14. 玉梧琴譜
      (1589; VI/47)
8; attrib. Mao Minzhong; related
 
15.a 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589; VII/98)
10; no T; lyrics related to but diff from 1585;
 
15.b 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1609; Fac/)
Identical
 
16. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/500)
10; related
 
17. 文會堂琴譜
      (1596; VI/232)
Called 列子 Liezi; related
 
18. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/360)
Identical to 1589
 
19. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/396)
9; related
 
20. 松絃館琴譜
      (1614; VIII/114)
10; related
 
21. 理性元雅
      (1618; VIII/232)
10T; again diff. but related lyrics
 
22. 太音希聲
      (1625; IX/181)
10T; preface; lyrics like 1585 but music not as different
 
23. 古音正宗
      (1634; IX/320)
10; 列子御風行 Liezi Yu Feng Xing; related (no special connection to 1546);
Long introduction; compare 1589
24. 義軒琴經
      (late Ming; IX/429)
Has 1-9 then missing; related
 
25. 徽言秘旨
      (1647; X/117)
角音; 10; related
 
26. 徽言秘旨訂
      (1692; fac/)
Same as 1647
 
27. 友聲社琴譜
      (early Qing; XI/143)
10T; "嚴譜" (1614?)
 
28. 臣奔堂琴譜
      (1663/5; XI/100)
10; related
 
29. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/369)
御風行 Yu Feng Xing; 10; preface attribs Mao Minzhong; afterword;
No special connection to 1546; compare
30. 大還閣琴譜
      (1673; X/378)
10; like 1614; afterword
 
31. 德音堂琴譜
      (1691; XII/543)
角音; 10; related; compare 1614
 
32. 琴譜析微
      (1692; XIII/88)
角音; 10; related; compare 1614
 
33. 誠一堂琴譜
      (1705; XIII/366)
角音; 8; related; compare 1614
 
34. 臥雲樓琴譜
      (1722; XV/67)
角音; 10; related; compare 1614
 
35. 穎陽琴譜
      (1751; XVI/94)
角音; preface; "10" but only 9 sections marked; phrases separated; elaboration of earlier;
 
36. 蘭田館琴譜
      (1755; XVI/234)
角音; 10; 徐青山譜; compare 1614
 
37. 研露樓琴譜
      (1766; XVI/467)
角音; 10; compare 1614
 
38. 自遠堂琴譜
      (1802; XVII/473)
宮調角音; 10; compare 1614
 
39. 小蘭琴譜
      (1812; XIX/444)
角音; 14; shorter sections but many changes esp. towards end
 
40. 峰抱樓琴譜
      (1825; XX/320)
角音; 10; compare 1614
 
41. 悟雪山房琴譜
      (1836; XXII/387)
中呂均,角音 (zhonglü jun, jiao yin); 10; compare 1614
""  
42. 天聞閣琴譜
      (1876; XXV/289)
"= 1705"
 

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