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SQMP ToC   /   1425 Zhi Yi 網站目錄
36. Celestial Air Defining Zhi Mode
- Zhi mode, standard tuning: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6, but played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 (usually2)
 
神品徵意 1
Shenpin Zhi Yi 3
 
Of all the modes using standard tuning, zhi seems to have the most modal complexity. There is some discussion of this
below as well as under Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature. The modal characteristics discussed here are mostly determined from personal observation, resulting in quite different results from more traditional examination.4

Zhi modal preludes may have a variety of names. The ones covered here are listed above the chart tracing these preludes. They include a number of melodies intended to introduce characteristics of zhi mode or, in some cases, the modal characteristics and melodic style of the pieces following it.5 These range from those almost identical to the one here, to ones with melodies that seem unrelated. There are zhi modal preludes in at least 27 handbooks from 1425 to 1670, but after this there are very few.6 The later ones include several repeats from Ming handbooks (usually grouped together rather than placed separately at the beginning of their respective modal sections) and the new Yuyin Chudiao published in 1876. Several of the preludes have lyrics.7

SQMP has two modal preludes and three melodies in zhi mode

  1. Shenpin Zhi Yi
  2. Zhi Yi
  3. Shan Ju Yin
  4. Yu Hui Tushan
  5. Qiao Ge.

Five of the nine pieces from Zheyin Shizi Qinpu not in SQMP are in zhi mode:

  1. Guan Ju
  2. Nanxun Ge
  3. Tiantai Yin
  4. Si Shun
  5. Shi Xian.

Later Ming melodies grouped within this mode include the following (with earliest date of publication).

  1. Hong Fei (1456)
  2. Guan Ju Qu (1511 8)
  3. Qing Yun Ge (1525)
  4. Weibin Yin (1539)
  5. Yan Guo Hengyang (1539)
  6. Huitong Yin, (1525)
  7. Shishang Liu Quan, (1525)
  8. Dongting Qiu Si, (1525)
  9. Zuiyu Chang Wan, (1525)
  10. Jingji Yin (1525)
  11. Yu Ge (1525; standard tuning, unrelated to the Yu Ge in ruibin mode)
  12. Long Gui Wandong (1525)
  13. Shuangye Hong (1525)
  14. Feng Bo Yin (1557)
  15. Geng Shen Yin (1559)
  16. Geng Ge (1559)
  17. Saishang Hong (1589)

As for complications within zhi mode melodies, on the one hand zhi mode is very straightforward in that the tonal center always seems to be the equivalent of the open fourth string, called "zhi"; however, the name of the relative pitch assigned to this string can vary, including at least 5 (zhi; sol), 1 do, 2 (re) and 6 (la). In this context it is useful to compare non-pentatonic notes within zhi mode melodies with those in shang mode melodies. As with early shang mode, SQMP melodies in zhi mode often include an altered third: in other words, the third interval up from the main tonal center (main note), while normally a whole-tones third, is sometimes flatted (further comment). On the other hand, whereas with shang mode it is clear that the first string should be considered as the relative note gong, with the zhi mode this is not so clear. (In shang mode the open first string is usually the main tonal center, with the open second string [shang] as the secondary tonal center [sometimes the open fifth string is also a secondary tonal center].)

If the tonal center in zhi mode is considered as the relative pitch zhi (sol, 5) :

In my transcriptions I have chosen always to express gong as "C", hastening to remind everyone that this is better considered as the relative note do. For almost all of these transcriptions, my decision as to which specific note to consider as gong has been based on avoiding written accidentals.9 Applying this to Shen Qi Mi Pu melodies in zhi mode is what led to considering the first string as gong.

However, especially with later melodies in zhi mode, it has sometimes seemed more appropriate to consider other open strings as gong (i.e., to consider the open fourth string as something other than zhi (sol). Thus, in some cases the open fourth string seems to function as do better than the first string. Once again, since the fourth string is called "zhi", the title zhi mode" remains appropriate. In this case the relative tuning of zhi mode melodies would be considered not as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 but as 4 5 7b 1 2 4 5. This returns the occasionally flatted note to being mi (3).

Later zhi mode melodies become even more complex. For this it is interesting to consider the possibility that the musical complexity resulted from the players themselves being uncertain about which note was gong. The complexity generally relates to the flatted or non-flatted thirds plus the fourth (fa). Thus (considering the open fourth string as do), in addition to the flatted third alternating with the non-flatted third, the fourth (fa) is also quite common, either substituting for mi and/or mib (as with the shang mode melody Qiujiang Yebo) or mixing together with them (as with the zhi mode melody Saishang Hong).

Further complicating analysis is the movement of some melodies between shang and zhi modes. Thus, Yu Qiao Wen Da, originally grouped with shang melodies, is later said to be zhi (in some other cases it seems as though the modality of a piece changes but the name of the mode does not). The later versions do in fact have characteristics of the zhi mode, though this requires considering the 3rd string as 1 do (see further comment).

It also appears that a number of melodies in mid-Ming handbooks categorized as in zhi mode diverge from the common pattern of this mode as described above. For example, Nanxun Ge seems to have the open 1st string, played as do, as its main note. Shi Xian seems to fit best into the traditional scale system if the tuning is treated not as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 but as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 .10

Other melodies published in the mid-Ming and later seem best understood if the relative tuning of the seven qin strings is considered to be 2 3 5 6 7 2 3. This is because some zhi mode melodies seem best interpreted as having characteristics of a la - mi mode (compare A minor). Thus, if the tuning for Weibin Yin is considered as 1 2 3 5 6 1 2 , with 5 as the main note, it turns out that the third above 5 is always played as 7b, never changing to the whole-tones third. This makes the open fourth string sound not like 5 or 1, but like 6 (la). This in turn suggests that perhaps the tuning should be treated as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 . If the tuning is treated in this way, the melody will be found to have several occurrences of 4# (sharped 4), but overall it gives the feeling of a la - mi melody such as those in yu mode, but with the tonal center sometimes shifting from 6 and 3 to 1 and 5.11

In other cases, such as Saishang Hong, the note 1 is often sharped, giving the flavor or alternating between an A major and A minor mode. In this regard, it is interesting to observe that the ambiguous note, 1 or 1 sharp, has no open string representation in 2 3 5 6 7 2 3. Note also that a sharped 1 in la - mi modes is not uncommon in the qin repertoire. See, for example, comments under Shenpin Wuyi Yi, as well as the yu mode melody Pei Lan.

The above was made through personal observation with a limited number of pieces. Meanwhile the table below results from only casual observation of zhi mode preludes in almost 30 handbooks. The comments here and there should thus be considered only preliminary, perhaps forming a basis for a more complete analysis.

 
Original preface
None
12

 
Music
One section
13

(00.45) -- harmonics
(01.04) -- Modal prelude ends

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

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Shenpin Zhi Yi 神品徵意
10483.66 徵歌 zhi yi quotes Li Bai; .78 徵聲 says 五音中之徵聲; but no mention of a zhidiao. Zhi, elsewhere usually pronounced zheng, has a great many meanings (summon, ask, clear, stop, surname, etc).
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2. Zhi mode tunings (see also characteristics)
Later the melodies seem often to suggest the tuning should be considered as 4 5 7b 1 2 4 5 (see further) or 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 (see further). See also Qin Tunings, some theoretical concepts and Van Gulik's comments in Lore, pp.86-7. Here Van Gulik says the diaoyi include all the basic playing techniques used in that mode, but I have not found this to be the case.
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3. Image
Not yet selected.
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4. Traditional examination of mode
The comment about modal consistency is a tentative statement based mainly on looking at Ming dynasty handbooks. In the Qing dynasty there is often discussion of 調 diao as well as an 音 yin, or a 均 jun as well as an 音 yin. These presumably concern the two basic aspects of diao, tuning and mode, but my preliminary observations suggest these terms are not used consistently, and as yet I have not played or examined a sufficient number of Qing melodies given these attributes to know precisely how the terms are used.

One possible problem is that over the years the musical characteristics of a piece might change but the old mode name is kept. This might particularly be the case with a number of zhi mode melodies.
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5. Intention of the modal preludes
Some modal preludes may have been created specifically for the pieces they precede; such preludes, according to some definitations, should have been called kaizhi.
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6. Tracing Zhi modal preludes
See chart below. Of the versions available after 1670, those in 1715 and 1871 seem to copy Ming editions while the Zhiyin Chudiao published in 1876 is a new melody.
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7. Lyrics for zhi modal preludes
Zha Guide copies the lyrics from several handbooks, including:

None yet translated.
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8. Mode in Guan Ju
The earliest version of Guan Ju do not specify their mode. There is
further comment here as to why I consider the 1511 Guan Ju Qu to be in zhi mode.
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9. Deciding which note is gong
For more on the rationale for this see comments under
Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.
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10. Tuning 2 3 5 6 7 2 3
If the tuning of Shi Xian is considered as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 there are many F#s (F sharps) in the transcription.
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11. Varying relative pitch names for the strings in zhi mode
In zhi mode melodies the main and secondary tonal centers are consistently the equivalent of the open fourth string (named zhi) and the open second string (named shang). However, not only is it not always clear which of these two represents the primary and which the secondary tonal center, it also seems that the relative tuning can be considered in at least four different ways, as follows:

  1. First string as do: 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
    For early known zhi mode melodies such as those in Shen Qi Mi Pu I originally considered it best to use this as the relative tuning; the main tonal center in this case is usually the note 5 (the note zhi as well as the equivalent of the open fourth string called zhi; the secondary tonal center is 2, a fifth above. This is discussed further
    above.

  2. Third string as do: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6
    More recently it has seemed to me that for the modal preludes in particular the tuning might better be considered as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 . Earlier I was already considering this for melodies such as the 1491
    Shi Xian. Here the main tonal centers are still the equivalent of the open 4th string and the open 2nd string, with the open 4th perhaps somewhat more important. My original transcription of Shi Xian in Music Beyond Sound treated the tuning as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 , thereby making the primary tonal center the note 5 and the secondary tonal center 2. However, there are then numerous occurrences of 7 flat as well as 4. Avoiding the most number of accidentals in Shi Xian requires considering the tuning to be 5 6 1 2 3 5 6. In that case 2 (open fourth string, called zhi) is the main tonal center and 6 is the secondary tonal center. (See also below for considering the tuning here as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 .) In my current analysis of the zhi modal preludes I am treating the tuning as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6.

  3. Fourth string as do: 4 5 7b 1 2 4 5
    In some melodies, such as Saishang Hong and Long Gui Wandong, it seems best to consider the relative tuning this way. This makes the primary tonal center 1, the secondary 5. Note that the tablature for both these melodies avoids using the open 5th string. Since the open fifth string is a second interval above the main tonal center (i.e., the open fourth string) and a fifth interval above the secondary tonal center (open second string), this means that if the tuning is considered as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2, then the scale must be considered as 1 2 4 5 7, with the main tonal center 5, secondary 2, and 7 often flatted (6 sharped?). However, if one considers the tuning as 4 5 7b 1 2 4 5, this makes the main tonal center 1 (do) and the secondary tonal center 5 (sol), i.e., it is a do sol mode (here 1 is sometimes sharped [not 2 flatted], perhaps during passages when the tonal center shifts to 6). It is, however, rather unusual (at least in the Ming dynasty qin repertoire) for the note 2 (re, shang) to be avoided; in addition, another avoided note is 6 (la), making the scale (i.e., the names of the notes generally played in this melody) 1 3 4 5 7b, with 3 often flatted.

  4. 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 (no string as do!)
    Yet another alternative may sometimes be to consider zhi mode as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 . Already the alternative of 4 5 7b 1 2 4 5
    outlined in the previous paragraph allows considering 3 (mi) the norm and a flatted 3 as a variation. However, it is also possible to consider the flatted 3 the norm and non-flatted 3 as the variation. In this case it might be more natural to consider the melody not to be in a do - sol mode but in a la - mi mode, so that the scale is not 1 3 4 5 7b but 6 1 2 3 5, with 1 sometimes sharped. For this the tuning of the seven qin strings should be considered as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 . A sharped do (1) in la - mi modes is not uncommon in the qin repertoire. See, for example, comments under Shenpin Wuyi Yi.

    A good related example is Weibin Yin. As discussed above and elsewhere, avoiding the most number of accidentals there requires considering the tuning to be 5 6 1 2 3 5 6. In that case 2 is the main note and 6 the secondary note. However, there are then numerous occurences of 4 (fa). To avoid this one can consider its tuning as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 .

    Comparing Weibin Yin to Shi Xian, mentioned above, and considering the tuning 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 in Western terms as G A C D E G A , the mode of Weibin Yin would seem somewhat akin to a D minor mode (except that the B is usually not flatted), while that of Shi Xian seems more closely to resemble A minor. Both start on the open 7th string. In Shi Xian it is clear that the primary tonal center is the open 2nd string and this should be considered as 6 (A), with the secondary tonal center 2 (D). In Weibin Yin, however, it soon becomes apparent that the primary tonal center is the open 4th string and that this should be considered as 6 (A) with the secondary tonal center being 3 (E).

The ph.d. dissertation by Tse Chun-Yan, which discusses special intonations that may have been used in Qing dynasty (and perhaps earlier) melodies, says that the special intonation was most commonly present in zhi mode.
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12. Preface
Although SQMP modal preludes have no prefaces, those in Zheyin (which all have identical music) do. The preface to the zhi modal prelude in Zheyin is as follows,:

(徵意)﹕希仙曰,
考之徵數五十有四聲,陰中之陽,稍清也。 位於四弦專之,而為徵調。有清和之音。

Meaning of Zhi (mode):
(Not yet translated.
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13. Music
Timings follow my recording. Note that the tablature in Zheyin Shizi Qinpu is identical, so its lyrics can be sung here.
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Appendix
Chart Tracing 徵 Zhi Modal Preludes

This chart covers the following entries from Zha Fuxi's Guide:

Shenpin Zhi Yi (6/--/--)
Zhi Yi (1/7/9; includes Zhi Yi Kao)
Zhi Diao (1/-/5)
Zhiyin Chudiao (42/275/--)
Zhiyin Pu Shi (42/276/569)
The third category (--/--/--) is Zha's reference for lyrics

As indicated above, this mode uses standard tuning and the main tonal center is always the equivalent of the open 4th string, called "徵 zhi". However, the actual tuning can be treated variously. This chart treats the relative pitches as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 , but in many cases one could argue that they should instead be considered as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 ,   4 5 7b 1 2 4 5   or   2 3 5 6 7 2 3.

      琴譜
    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
  1.  事林廣記
      (Song/Yuan; I/19)
徵調 Zhi Diao; main tonal center 5, secondary 2 but not so solidly;
Begins 2 2 2 , 4 3~ 2 2 2 , 3 4 2 2 2....; see further comment
  2.  太音大全集
      (Song/Yuan; I/102)
徵意 Zhi Yi; 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 ; main tonal center 5, secondary 2 ;
Begins (2 2 2 2 ?), 5 7 5 1 4 5, 4 7 7 6 5 4 2 2 2....; see further comment
3a.  神奇秘譜
      (1425; I/150 [here])
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi; main tonal center 6, secondary 2 (comment)
Starts open 7, 4 stopped at 9, da yuan.... (6 6 66 6 6 6, 2 2 6 12 , 6 , 4 5 6 565 4 2....)
3b.  神奇秘譜
      (1425; I/150 [next])
徵意 Zhi Yi; 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 ; main tonal center 5, secondary 2 ;
Starts same but soon changes (6 6 66 6 6 6, 2 3 6 12 6 121212 5 6....)
  4. 浙音釋字琴譜
      (<1491; I/203)
Shenpin Zhi Yi; identical to 1425 but adds lyrics
(綠槐高柳咽新蟬....; compare 1585)
5a. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/148)
徵意 Zhi Yi; begins like 1425 #2
 
5b. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/161)
徵意 Zhi Yi; related;
Begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 1 2 3 5 6 6 , 1 2 3 2....
  6. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/236)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi; like 1425 #1 but changing notes here and there;
Begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 4 6 1 2 6 , 4 56 1....
  7. 梧岡琴譜
      (1546; I/428)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi;
Very similar to 1539 (starts: 6 6 66 6 6 6, 2 3 6 12 2 6 , 4 5 6~ ....)
  8. 步虛僊琴譜
      (1556; III/283)
徵意 Zhi Yi; also in Facsimile edition #19 (Folio III)
Very similar to 1546
  9. 太音傳習
      (1552-61; IV/111)
徵意 Zhi Yi
Very much like 1546
10. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/357)
徵意考 Zhi Yi Kao; preface begins, "徵音次於角,事也。於五行屬火....而徵四絃之正聲也。"
Music like 1539/1546
11a. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/434)
徵意 Zhi Yi;
Again similar (begins 6 6 66 6 6 6, 2 3 6 2 7 6 1 1 1 6....)
11b. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/444)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi;
Identical to 1546
12. 龍湖琴譜
      (1571; 琴府/255)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi; lyrics same as 1425/1585
Melody somewhat different but still similar (begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 43 2 6....)
12. 五音琴譜
      (1579; IV/230)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi;
Somewhat different: begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 54 6 1 7 2....
13a. 新刊正文對音
      捷要 (1573; --)
See in ToC: identical to 1585?
 
13b. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/438)
徵意 Zhi Yi; same lyrics as 1491 (change one character) but different music
Melody begins 6 6 6 6 4 5 6 1 6 , 4 6 6 2 6, ....
14. 玉梧琴譜
      (1589; VI/49)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi; compare 1539;
(begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 4 6 1 2 6 , 4 5 6~ 5....)
15. 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589; VII/--)
徵意考 Zhi Yi Kao; missing
Guide says preface = 1557, lyrics = 1491
16. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/504)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi;
Mistakes? (Begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 3 6 1# 2 6 , 4# 5 5 6....)
17. 文會堂琴譜
      (1596; VI/236)
徵意 Zhi Yi;
(Begins 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 4 6 5 6 7 2 2 6 3....)
18. 綠綺新聲
      (1597; VII/13)
徵意 Zhi Yi; new composition? There are differences in the lyrics;
Pentatonic (6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 2 2 6 2 2 , 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 ....); only one phrase ends on 4th string equivalent
19. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/359)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi.
Identical to 1589
20. 三才圖會續集
      (1607; VI/475)
徵意 Zhi Yi; lyrics same as 1585: music also seems same
 
21. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/398)
徵意 Zhi Yi; related to earlier versions; preface "齒開唇開謂之徵。有抑揚和美之音。";
(Starts 6 6 66 6 6 6 , 2 6 6 . 2 6 1 7 2 2 6.... )
22. 琴適
      (1611; VIII/20)
徵意 Zhi Yi;
same music and lyrics as 1597
23. 樂仙琴譜
      (1623; VIII/369)
徵意考 Zhi Yi Kao; preface; lyrics have two characters diff. from 1589
Preface: compare 1557, "白門桐菴曰:徵音次於角....而徵四絃之正聲也。"; same music as 1589
24. 義軒琴經
      (late Ming; IX/---)
徵意 Zhi Yi
Missing
25a. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/376)
神品徵意 Shenpin Zhi Yi
Like 1425 but closer to 1546
25b. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/376)
徵意 Zhi Yi
Same as 1425; afterword
26. 琴學正聲
      (1715; XIV/)
 
 
27. 青箱齋琴譜
      (~1866; XXIV/388)
Zhi Yi; lyrics same as 1597
Music also from 1597
28. 白菡萏香館琴譜;
      (1871; XXIV/431)
Zhi Yi
Seems to be from 1611 Zhi Yi
29. 天聞閣琴譜
      (1876; XXV/345)
徵音初調 Zhiyin Chudiao; see comment
New unrelated melody (begins in harmonics: 1 3 5 5 3 5 5...)
30. 雙琴書屋琴譜集成
      (1884; XXVII/291)
徵音譜詩 Zhiyin Pu Shi; lyrics begin, "雲淡風輕近午天...."
Another new unrelated melody begins 6 5 3 5 6 1 6....)

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