T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
Preface to Zheyin Shizi Qinpu
Qin Handbook of Music of the Zhe(jiang School) Elucidated through Lyrics1

by Zha Fuxi,2 Qinqu Jicheng, Second Series, Vol.1, pp. vi-vii;
Beijing, Zhonghua Shuju Chuban Faxing, 1981 (printed in Shanghai)

This handbook is in the ancient Tian Yi Ge (Heaven First Pavilion) of the Fan family in Ningbo.3 The Tian Yi Ge Book Catalogue mistakenly calls it Qu Xian's Shen Qi Mi Pu (hereafter SQMP).4

Printed in the Ming dynasty, only two folios survive. The first folio had 66 (double) pages, but is missing 1 to 4 and 15 to 21. The last folio goes from pages 67 to 143 (but ends in the middle of a piece). Because the first folio is missing the first page, we have no way of knowing its (opening?) hangkuan.5 However, the final folio's hangkuan says in the first column, "Zheyin Shizi Qinpu, Final Folio", and in the next column "Edited and interpreted by Nanchang Banze Antiquarian Gong Jing, a Confucian devotee,"6 so we know this book's original title is Zheyin Shizi Qinpu (hereafter ZYSZQP). Altogether it preserves 40 pieces, four of them incomplete.7 Although this book has the hangkuan of Antiquarian Gong, he is only the book's "editor/interpreter”.8 Because the introductory explanations to several of the qin (seven string zither) pieces in this book refer to Zhu Quan as Zu Wang (royal ancestor), we have concluded that this book was printed before the fourth year of the Hung Chi era (1488 - 1492) by Zhu Dianpei, the Ning Kang prince.9 In this book Gong Jing takes all (sic.) the pieces of the SQMP and several other qin pieces and composes (or compiles) lyrics by a method of one character for one note.10 (This technique) is an obstacle which makes (the pieces) difficult to sing. But one can conclude that the original tablatures included here of several qin pieces not found in the SQMP are tablatures transmitted from the Song and Yuan dynasties.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 17881.xxx; 17881.17 is 浙派 "Zhe pai", Zhejiang art style
釋字 shizi 41025.xxx

2. 查阜西 Zha Fuxi; edited by 吳鉊 Wu Zhao.

3. 天一閣 Tian Yi Ge
A famous book collection started by the scholar 范欽 Fan Qin during the Ming dynasty Jiaqing era (1522/67). See further details.

4. 神奇秘譜 14779.924 "The Emaciated Immortal's Handbook of Strange and Marvelous Secrets" was compiled by "Ningxian Prince" Zhu Quan, 16th son of the founder of the Ming dynasty, and first published in 1425.

5. 行款 hang kuan "Column-items". Dictionary says "layout", but here it must refer to content.

6. 南昌板澤稽古生龔經效孔編釋; 28248.80 編釋 bianshi.

7. This is discussed in detail in Introduction to Zheyin Shizi Qinpu.

8. All pieces are prefaced with an introduction attributed to one 希仙 Xi Xian, presumably the style name of Zhu Dianpei. Tong Kin-Woon suggests translating Xi Xian as "Soundless Immortal", the reference being to Laozi, Chapter 11, which says of the Tao: "One looks but is unable to see it, so it is called 'formless'; one listens but is unable to hear it, so it is called 'soundless'; one grasps but is unable to hold it, so it is called 'intangible'. These three, being unresolvable, are mixed together as one." (老子,十四﹕視之不見,名曰夷;聽之不聞,名曰希;搏之不得,名曰微。此三者不可致詰,故混而為一。 See also 9025.25 希夷﹕無聲曰希,無色曰夷;謂道之本體也。 "[Xi Yi]: 'without sound' is called xi; 'without appearance' is called yi; this is the basic nature of the Tao."

9. 朱奠培 Zhu Dianpei, grandson of Zhu Quan, so also living in Nanchang; no mention in 7432.82 or 14779, but see Mingshi (especially 12/117/3591, the main biography of Zhu Quan). Zhu Dianpei is said to have been an accomplished writer, but what evidence is there besides the texts in ZYSZQP?

10. Actually, one character for each right hand stroke plus one or more for certain left hand strokes, for example, two characters for each duiqi and one for taoqi.

Return to the Zheyin Shizi Qinpu index or to the Guqin ToC.