T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
SQMP ToC   /   <1491 version 首頁
38. Mountain Life
- Zhi mode, standard tuning: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6, but played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 2
Shanju Yin 1
  Shanju Yin, from Kuian Qinpu 3; see also a Bai Yunli painting
"Mountains" might here be considered synonymous with wilderness or nature itself, and the scholar retiring from office to lead a leisurely life in nature is a constant theme in Chinese writing. This ideal is very cogently expressed by David Hinton in the preface to his translation of mountain poems by Xie Lingyun (385–433)

(W)ilderness provides the context for virtually all poetic thinking in ancient China. Indeed, Xie's practice of the wild became more and more central to all Chinese culture, for wilderness constitutes the very terms of self-cultivation throughout the centuries in China. This is most clearly seen in the arts, which were nothing less than spiritual disciplines: calligraphers, poets and painters aspired to create with the selfless spontaneity of a natural force, and the elements out of which they crafted their artistic visions were primarily aspects of wilderness: star and moon, river and mountain, field and garden. It can also be seen, for instance, in the way Chinese intellectuals would sip wine as a way of dissolving the separation between self and "natural world," or tea as a way of heightening and clarifying awareness of the "natural world," practices that ideally took place outdoors or in an architectural space that aspired to be a kind of eye-space, its open walls creating an emptiness that contained the world around it. The ideal of living as a recluse among the mountains also inspired the widespread practice of traveling through particularly beautiful natural areas, which generated an extensive travel literature that is often said to have originated with Xie Lingyun....

Related to this is the ideal of the recluse influencing society for the better, whether or not he was eventually recognized and called back by worthy rulers, an ideal also expressed in ancient times. For an example of this ideal see Seeking Seclusion.

Shanju Yin was a very popular title, surviving in 46 handbooks to 1894.4 In spite of the variety within these versions, most attributions are to one person, the well-known late Song dynasty Hangzhou qin master Mao Minzhong (here: Mao Zhongweng).5 When the Yuan forces overran Hangzhou Mao is said to have withdrawn into the mountains and remained separate from society; another account, however, has him going to the Yuan capital to play Yu Hui Tushan.

The great variety within the surviving versions of Shanju Yin brings up the question of what commentators mean by, "was created by". Thus, although for example the two earliest surviving tablatures are both attributed to Mao, the Shanju Yin in Zheyin Shizi Qinpu (#7 on my CD Music Beyond Sound) is quite different from the one here in Shen Qi Mi Pu (#8 on CD 4 of my Shen Qi Mi Pu CDs).6

In addition to my recordings of the two earliest versions, there have also been silk string recordings of Shanju Yin by Liu Shaochun (Guangling style) and Wang Duo (from 1525).7 Other recordings use metal strings and tend to follow the version played by Liu Shaochun. However, although their program notes generally mention only the Shen Qi Mi Pu version, clearly all are based on a very different later handbook or handbooks. All are thus very different from the present version, though a musical relationship can still be heard (or found through a transcription).

Zheyin Shizi Qinpu also adds lyrics and sub-titles to each section.

Original Preface8

The Emaciated Immortal says

this piece was written by Mao Zhongweng of the Song dynasty. Its theme lies in being a gentleman nesting in clouds or pine trees among the hills and valleys. Lacking desires, he and society have forgotten each other, and he does not drag worldly entrapments to himself, but in fact uses mountains as a barricade and clean flowing water as a (protective) moat. Heaven and earth form his hut, grass and trees comprise his clothing; he pillows his head on rocks in a stream, and rinses out his mouth with stones from the river; he happily goes back and forth amongst all this. As for the pleasure of moon in the mountains, wind on the river, or the sound of birds crying and flowers falling, the taking of all these things is not forbidden: they can be used, but never used up. This is what is called a person who loves whatever nature has fated him with, because nature has already given him so much. And if someone is happy to live until old age amongst springs and rocks, he will get even more pleasure.

Three sections (subtitles from
Zheyin Shizi Qinpu) 9

(00.00) 1. Camaraderie with the springs and rocks
(00.57) 2. Using heaven and earth as a residence
(01.40) 3. Lying in the misty haze;
                making friends with the wind and the moon
(02.28) -- play harmonics of this mode
(02.45) -- 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. Shan Ju Yin references
山居吟 8043.219 山居 gives four classical references:

  1. 戰國策,韓策 Zhan Guo Ce (Wiki), Han Ce (CTP):
    韓地險惡山居.... (dangerous mountain abode, as in Shi Ji 70, 張儀 Zhang Yi biography 2293)
  2. 史記,滑稽,優孟傳 Shi Ji, Huaji (CTP 7), Biography of You Meng:
    山居耕田苦...(beginning of a song about the difficulty of farming in the hills)
  3. 管子,輕重丁 Guanzi (Wiki), Qingzhongding IV/3 (CTP)
    南方之萌者,山居谷處.... (descriptive of ordinary people living in mountains)
  4. 淮南子,泰族訓 Huainanzi 20, Taizu Xun (CTP 4)
    山居木棲,巢枝穴藏....(Exalted Lineage 20.6: "mountains for residing, trees for perching...")

None of these seems particularly relevant to the theme here. The earliest relevant references in ZWDCD seem to be to the Rhapsodies on Mountain Life (8043.221 山居賦 Shan Ju Fu: 文章偏名。南朝宋謝靈運選) by Xie Lingyun.

謝靈運 Xie Lingyun (385–433; Wiki)
Xie Lingyun (Wade-Giles Hsieh Ling-yün), known as the first great Chinese nature poet or (more literally) "rivers and mountains poet", is still honored today for his poetry on the joys of nature. The reference for comments above is to the translation of his poems by David Hinton, The Mountain Poems of Hsieh Ling-yün, New Directions, 2001. (Hinton uses Wade-Giles, changed here to fit with the rest of the page). Xie's poetry is also translated in J. D. Frodsham, The Murmuring Stream: The Life and Works of the Chinese Nature Poet Hsieh Ling-yun (385–433), Duke of K’ang-Lo. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 1967.

2. Zhi mode (徵調 zhi diao
For further information on zhi mode see Shenpin Zhi Yi and Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.

3. Kuian Qinpu illustration (QQJC XI/50)
There is no inscription.

4. Tracing Shan Ju Yin
The chart below, based largely on Zha Guide 6/58/86, lists 49 surviving versions in 46 handbooks (1663-5 and 1670 have multiple versions).

5. 毛敏仲

6. The same is true of Yu Hui Tushan,

7. Recordings of Shan Ju Yin
See the silk string contents. There are also a number of metal string recordings by Mei Yueqiang, Gong Yi and others. I have not seen yet their source.

8. Original preface
For the original text see 山居吟.

9. Original section titles
1. 伴泉石 ; 2. 廬天地 ; 3. 臥姻霞 ; 4. 友風雨 .
(From Zheyin Shizi Qinpu, which expanded what is here the third section into two separate sections.)

Appendix: Chart Tracing 山居吟 Shanju Yin
Further comment
above; based mainly on Zha Fuxi's Guide, 6/58/86.

    (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/150)
3 sections; 徵調 zhi mode; attributed to Mao Minzhong
  2.  浙音釋字琴譜
      (<1491; I/216)
4T (splits in two 1425 Section 3); 徵調 zhi mode; lyrics (begin "飲泉憩石臥烟霞....")
virtually same preface as 1425, but melody has some significant differences
  4. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/161)
3; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; precedes Qiao Ge;
No afterword, suggesting it was considered a prelude for Qiao Ge, using the latter's afterword as its own.
  3. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/253)
3; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; no commentary
first two sections closer to 1491 than 1425
  5. 步虛僊琴譜
      (1556; III/289)
3; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; no commentary
  6. 太音傳習
      (1552; IV/120)
3; 徵調 zhi mode; attributed to Mao Minzhong
  7. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/373)
3; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; short commentary makes no attribution;
  8. 龍湖琴譜
      (1571; 琴府/259)
4T; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; commentary makes no attribution;
lyrics like 1491 but music quite different (though still related)
    . 新刊正文對音捷要
      (1573; #51)
Same as 1585?
  9. 五音琴譜
      (1579; IV/233)
5; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; no commentary
10. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/450)
4T; grouped with 徵調; attributed to Mao Minzhong
lyrics like 1491; music again related but quite different
11. 玉梧琴譜
      (1589; VI/49)
3; grouped under 徵調 zhi mode; attribution to Mao Minzhong
12 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589; VII/103)
3T; 徵音; lyrics, different from earlier, but attribution still to Mao Minzhong
lyrics beginm "山中山中有佳景...."
13. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/511)
3; grouped with 徵調 but no commentary
14. 文會堂琴譜
      (1596; VI/242)
4; "樵歌之引 Prelude to Song of the Woodcutter"; no other comment but grouped with 徵調
compare 1491;
15. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/368)
3; grouped under 徵 zhi mode; attributed to Mao Minzhong
16. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/406)
4; no comments but grouped under 徵 zhi mode
17. 松絃館琴譜
      (1614; VIII/138)
1 section: the multiple sections of earlier versions seem combined into 1; "徵"
18. 樂仙琴譜
      (1623; VIII/418)
4; 徵音; attributed to Mao Minzhong
19. 古音正宗
      (1634; IX/342)
5; 徵音; no further comment; more differences towards end
20. 義軒琴經
      (late Ming; IX/437)
3; mode not indicated and no other commentary
21. 徽言秘旨
      (1647; X/162)
3; 徵音; no other comment
22. 徽言秘旨訂
      (1692; fac/_)
; presumed identical to 1647
23. 愧庵琴譜
      (1660; XI/51)
1; 徵音; no other comment; seems to be same as 1614
illustration at top is from p. 52
24. 臣奔堂琴譜
 #1 (1663/5; XI/107)
4; 徵調; no other comment
24. 臣奔堂琴譜
 #2 (1663/5; XI/108)
4+1;徵音; no other comment
24. 臣奔堂琴譜
 #3 (1663/5; XI/123)
山居引 Shanju Yin (different yin);
3; 羽調 yu mode; unrelated melody; lyrics
25. 琴苑新傳全編
 #1 (1670; XI/382)
3; 徵調; preface attributes Mao Minzhong
25. 琴苑新傳全編
 #2 (1670; XI/520)
4; 徵調; attributed to Mao Minzhong
"音研本 yin yan volume"
26. 大還閣琴譜
      (1673; X/401)
4; 徵音; no other comment
27. 澄鑒堂琴譜
      (1689; XIV/287)
3; 徵音; no other comment
28. 德音堂琴譜
      (1691; XII/564)
4+1; 徵音; no other comment
29. 琴譜析微
      (1692; XIII/102)
4; 徵音; no other comment
30. 誠一堂琴譜
      (1705; XIII/389)
4; 徵音
31. 五知齋琴譜
      (1722; XIV/510)
3; 徵音; attributed to "毛子 Master Mao"
32. 臥雲樓琴譜
      (1722; XV/81)
4; 徵音; no other comment
33. 琴學練要
      (1739; XVIII/149)
4T#1; 商音; attributed to Mao Minzhong
(治心齋琴譜); grouped under 中呂均 zhonglü jun
34. 蘭田館琴譜
      (1755; XVI/253)
5; 徵音
35. 琴香堂琴譜
      (1760; XVII/113)
3; 徵音
36. 自遠堂琴譜
      (1802; XVII/421)
3+1; 商音
37. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; XIX/319)
3; 徵音
38. 指法匯參確解
      (1821; XX/296)
4; 徵音
39. 鄰鶴齋琴譜
      (1830; XXI/39)
4; no mode indicated; no commentary
40. 二香琴譜
      (1833; XXIII/165)
3; 羽音
41. 琴譜正律
      (n.d.; XXIII/50)
3; 黃鐘調,羽音; attrib. Mao Minzhong
42. 蕉庵琴譜
      (1868; XXVI/71)
3; 商音; attrib. "毛子 Master Mao"
43. 天聞閣琴譜
#1   (1876; XXV/469)
4T+1; 羽音; "1739"
43. 天聞閣琴譜
#2   (1876; XXV/576)
4T+1; 蕤賓; attrib "Tang Yiming"
Seems musically related in spite of different tuning
44. 雙琴書屋琴譜集成
      (1884; XXVII/293)
3; 徵音; attributed to Mao Minzhong
"常熟派,得自歐陽鳳威處 Changshu School, obtained from Ouyang Fengwei's"
45. 枯木禪琴譜
      (1893; XXVIII/107)
3; 徵音; attrib. Mao Minzhong
46. 琴學初津
      (1894; XXVIII/380)
3; "黃仲調,羽音"; attrib. "毛子 Master Mao"

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