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Taigu Yiyin
Music Bequeathed from Antiquity
By Xie Lin1 and Huang Shida2
1511 / 1515
Xie Lin himself?3                    
Two editions of this Taigu Yiyin have survived:

  1. Xie Lin Taigu Yiyin (1511)
  2. Huang Shida Taigu Yiyin (1515)

The former has 36 melodies, latter adds two more; otherwise they are almost identical. Of these 38 melodies, only nine seem related (and these often distantly) to ones published earlier; some of these titles are also partly or completely different.4

Like Zheyin Shizi Qinpu, this handbook consists of pieces with lyrics. However, the pieces in 1511 seem more genuinely to represent a sung tradition, as is discussed in the Zha Fuxi introduction. And whereas no earlier source for the Zheyin lyrics has been found (the suspicion is that they were added because of a theory that qin music should be sung, but that most of the idiom is in fact purely instrumental), most lyrics here can be found in classical sources.

One way of categorizing the melodies is by length: there are 18 short songs consisting of only one section, with 16 having lyrics also found in the Yuefu Shiji (YFSJ); the 20 longer pieces are almost all divided into unnumbered sections, the sections indicated only by large circles. This is discussed further on the commentary page.

The lyrics themselves include two from Shi Jing and at least 20 from the Song dynasty edition of Yuefu Shiji; 16 are among the 20 pieces having only 1 section, including all ten "qin pieces" of the Tang poet Han Yu.5

This pairing of melodies with classical lyrics recalls descriptions of the work of the Song/Yuan dynasty qin player Yu Yan, but I have not heard that anyone has found specific connections.

For further information about Taigu Yiyin see:

(Caution: much of the commentary and many of the translations are incomplete and/or unpolished)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 謝琳 Xie Lin 36661.xxx
From 黃山 Huangshan. Xie Lin had the nickname 雪峰 Xuefeng. See Zha Fuxi's preface and the the commentary by He Xu.

2. 黃士達 Huang Shida 48904.xxx
From 豸山 Zhishan (37338.xxx ?). No information on him outside his tablature.

3. From page 3 of Xie Lin Taigu Yiyin

4. Melodies in Taigu Yiyin related to ones published earlier
The nine that are musically related are:

Unrelated melodically are these related titles:

Although this 1511 handbook was published later than the 1425 and 1491 handbooks, it is not certain that the song versions of these melodies date later than the instrumental versions. On the other hand, many of these seem to have the characteristic that most of the 1491 melodies have of seeming to be instrumental melodies to which lyrics have been added.

5. Yuefu Shiji lyrics
Search the ToC for YFSJ.

6. My online recordings
In many of my recordings for a few notes have been added at the beginning of the melody - often a copy of the last phrase or closing harmonics; this is to accompany the cover page of the video.

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