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12. Cranes Cry from the Nine Marshbanks
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
He Ming Jiugao
This title survives in nine handbooks, from the He Ming Jiugao that is #31 in Zhu Quan's Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425) to the one in Qin Shu Daquan (1590).5 All melodies are related. Only Shen Qi Mi Pu, Taigu Yiyin (1511) and Taiyin Buyi (1557) have commentary. The latter says that Zhu Quan "amended Cranes Calling from Nine Marshbanks to illustrate the beauty of qin sounds."
Taigu Yiyin indicates section breaks in this melody only through the use of circles in the tablature. These are unnumbered and irregular in length. The lyrics are thematically similar but completely different from those in Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539), the only other surviving version with lyrics.
Original preface (Preliminary translation)6
As for the melody Nine Marshbanks, it comes from the (Book of) Poetry. Its words are lofty, its music is joyful. The (famous) lines, "Cranes Cry from the Nine Marshbanks and their voices are heard in Heaven," say that (these cries) do not stop there in the wilderness. Nevertheless, cry out and it doesn't come, give a long call and it hastens down, roaming in the hidden feelings of midnight. Its movement is rhythmic, its call is controlled. White clothing (feathers?) mix with black, jerking about or standing still in the clear wind under a white moon: all from this the melody describes it. How can such cracked and withered sounds be like this?
Music and Lyrics: Nine sections (Preliminary translation)
Lyrical phrases, irregular in length, continue throughout without repeat 7
Alas! There is a crane, a crane standing in a dip between banks, calling for its colleagues;
calling colleagues, calling colleagues, again calling colleagues.
Preening snowy feathers, thinking it wants to ascend into the mist.
Stopping, deathly cold bones stand as a clear symbol.
Body clean and no dust and clamor.
Whirling leisurely high in the distant autumn sky.
The top cinnabar sand seems newly roasted.
Clothing, dark clothing, put on frosty feathers,
often with the leader together going all around.
Feast at the jade pond, dance enjoying the divine immortal's laughter.
a long life without age, fluttering together then suddenly coming here,
so that towards people wander the edge of the pond.
Silver flowers of one color, and it is hard to have worries.
Spreading and flying together before the wind, fluttering straight upwards in one move.
Whirling in distant snow flakes, entering the cloudy mist.
One sound clearly crying out, penetrating the nine heavens.
One sound clearly crying out, moreover moving the heavenly immortals.
The birds go to the head, the birds become immortals,
settling all the species first years.
In one move traversing the nine heavens,
the natural substances are not accidental,
not so accidental, increasing essential spirit, again essential spirit.
Laugh at supernatural powers, again supernatural powers.
Turning over in the mind and asking life's sad clarity.
Heavenly immortals' jade talismans, how can they be used lightly?
Alas, the cranes call from the nine marshbanks,
crying brightly, the sounds heard in heaven.
Crying, crying, brightly, brightly, the sounds heard in heaven.
Crying brightly, the sounds heard while roaming the four seas.
Again returning to heaven, returning to heaven,
returning to heaven, again returning to heaven.
Alas, cranes call from the nine marshbanks,
crying brightly, the sounds heard in the wilderness.
Crying, crying, brightly, brightly, the sounds heard in the wilderness.
Crying brightly, the sounds are heard, crying, crying, "li", "li".
Cranes, cranes, wandering the four seas.
Returning, again returning to heaven,
returning to heaven, returning to heaven, again returning to heaven.
Forever they accompany the immortals' 1,000-year lives.
Mornings wander the southern depths, wander the southern depths.
Evenings stand on hoary wu trees, (stand on hoary wu trees.)
Wander among the Eight Caves, in greeting dance and flutter,
in greeting dance with palace immortals.
Soar in the clouds, soar in the wind, soar 10,000 li, soar and soar.
Soar, soar 8,000 feet in height;
so high, so high, again so high,
a long time following the celestial path and coming down to Penglai.
Dance in the clear wind, roost in a hoary pine,
look at the bright moon, call to the layered cliffs.
Think of the heavenly pool, recall the moon goddess,
gather on the clear jade terrace, together gather on the clear jade terrace.
Raise feathers up to the clear vastness, and visit the third terrace.
Distant soaring, crossing the Great Void's clarity.
The nine mists are resplendent, in a gentle breeze they fly high;
the nine mists are pure, twittering "li, li", in a high voice they call.
Whirling and whirling, spinning and spinning,
spinning and whirling for nine revolutions around the heavenly palace.
Holding the basic nature's true essence,
clasping spiritual transformation and longevity.
A splendid silk cap of cinnabar, twirling feathers and wings flapping lightly.
The arranged clouds secrete and pour out red nectar,
offered to the goddess of heaven in a visit to the jade emperor.
Flying and flying, soaring and soaring,
ride the hazy colored clouds, mount the smoky brightness.
I come to masters cultivating themselves vastness;
forever wandering in the autumn sky.
Cranes, immortal cranes, I am about to, like the masters, come to a stop.
Pass through Penglai, go out through the Hole in the Sky,
then the Mysterious Orchards and as far as the Blue Fields.
I am about to, like the Masters, develop feathers and ascend into heaven.
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
He Ming Jiugao 鶴鳴九皋
48157.155-59 has various He Ming... references, but none to He Ming Jiu Gao. 173.389 jiu gao refers to the Shi Jing passage, but has nothing about music or qin.
2. Tuning and mode
Taigu Yiyin does not group melodies by tuning or mode.
4. Cranes Cry from the Nine Marshbanks ("鶴鳴于九皋，聲聞于天" Mao #184)0
This begins the second of the two verses. The first verse begins, "Cranes cry from the nine marshbanks, their voices are heard in the wilderness...."
5. Tracing He Ming Jiu Gao
See chart based on Zha Fuxi's Guide (5/51/72).
6. Original preface
Original Chinese not yet online.
7. Original lyrics
One section division is added here (section 9). The original lyrics are as follows:
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