T of C
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40. Woodcutter's Song
- Zhi mode:2 standard tuning: 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
Qiao Ge illustration from Kuian Qinpu 3
Attribution is commonly made to Mao Minzhong,5 no other handbooks sharing the attribution in Xilutang Qintong (1525), which has a very similar melody, to Zhu Maichen,6 a woodcutter of the Han dynasty who eventually became an official; there the preface says he wrote it to express his confidence in spite of difficulties
Perhaps the most famous woodcutter was Zhong Ziqi, who was able to understand the music of Bo Ya (see Gao Shan and Liu Shui. Fisherman and woodcutters have been idealized in Taoist thought as uneducated people with special knowledge, and they sometimes represent a life free from the cares of official work.
Wu Wenguang has recorded his reconstruction from SQMP. Other recordings include those by Liu Jingshao (Jiao An Qinpu), Liu Shaochun ("typical Guangling school style"; implies a development from Jiao An Qinpu), Lin Youren (as previous), and Mei Yueqiang (same). These are very different, but a relationship can still be found.
The Emaciated Immortal says
this piece was written because, when Yuan soldiers entered Lin An (Hangzhou), Mao Minzhong thought the times were not appropriate for himself. Wishing to imitate the deeds of former worthies, who went into hiding in the cliffs and valleys, he ran off into seclusion and did not accept public office. So he wrote this tune to attract like-minded people to go into seclusion with him. He himself felt no unhappiness about fleeing from society.
(00.00) 01. Happy to flee society
(01.13) 02. Looking down, aloof from worldly matters
(01.41) 03. Nestling in the distant cloudy mountain peaks
(02.26) 04. Entering the forest carrying an axe
(02.53) 05. Enjoying the Dao through books9
(03.53) 06. Shaking out one's clothing on the high ridges 10
(04.42) 07. A long howl echoes in the valley
(05.19) 08. Praising the (helpful) winds of Mr. Zheng 11
(06.04) 09. A long howl out into the open air
(06.23) 10. Old age from being near an old pine tree
(06.40) 11. Dancing drunkenly down the mountain.
(07.29) --- harmonics
(07.43) --- (End -- but usual indication not given)
Return to the Shen Qi Mi Pu ToC or to the Guqin ToC.
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
Qiao Ge references
15945.54 樵歌 mentions poems by Du Fu; an alternate title occasionally mentioned is Gui Qiao (歸樵)
Zhi mode (徵調 zhi diao)
Standard tuning can also be considered as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6. For more information on this mode see Shenpin Zhi Yi. For modes in general see Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.
Kuian Qinpu illustration (QQJC XI/37)
The inscription on the right side of the illustration is not very clear.
Tracing Qiao Ge
See Zha Guide 6/62/95. The Zheyin Shizi Qinpu version is somewhat different.
Zhu Maichen 朱買臣 (d. 116 BCE)
Zhu Maichen (14779.591 漢，會稽人，字翁子) was a Han dynasty woodcutter from Kuaiji whose wife left him because she couldn't stand the poverty. Through hard study (one story says he read books while carrying firewood to the market) he became provincial governor. His wife wanted him to take her back but he wouldn't, so she killed herself (by hanging or drowning). He then regretted that he had turned her away. This story is told in several operas including 爛柯山 Lan Ke Shan (an outline of a 昆曲 Kunqu performance calling it Rotten Helve Mountain may still be online) and 癡夢 Chi Meng (Idiot's Dream). After raising to high office Zhu Maichen became involved in some intrigue and was executed.
Zhu Maichen has also been connected to an opera called
Record of a Fisherman and Woodcutter.
See translation by Van Gulik in Lore, p. 92. For the original Chinese text see 樵歌.
For the original Chinese section titles see 樵歌.
Enjoying the Dao through books
Compare the music here with that of Section 5 ("Climbing a mountain, near a stream") of Qiu Feng.
Shaking out one's clothing on the high ridges (振衣仞崗 Zhen yi ren gang)
The Museum of History in Taipei has a painting by 張大千 Zhang Daqian called 振衣千仞崗 Zhen yi qianren gang, but 12407.xxx (zhen) & 384.xxx (ren is a measure of about 8 feet, so 千仞崗 would be an 8,000 foot ridge).
40513.80/2 鄭弘 Zheng Hong (see Hou Han Shu): a mountain recluse of the latter Han, etc. Cihai relates story that once while chopping wood Zheng found an arrow in the road. A stranger later came looking for it and Zheng gave it to him. The stranger then revealed himself to be an immortal and said he would grant Zheng a wish. Zheng wished (since the mountain was north of the village), that in the morning there be breezes from the south to help them on their way to chop, and that in the evening there be breezes from the north, to help them walk home. The wish was granted. (Van Gulik, op.cit. says the man was 鄭宏 40513.127, but it has nothing relevant)
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