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TGYY  ToC / 1425 version     Trace all   /   Guqin and Orchids 首頁
13. Rippling Orchids Melody
- Standard tuning2 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
漪蘭操 1
Yilan Cao
  See full illustration                                
The yi of Yi Lan Cao here in Taigu Yiyin adds a water radical to the yi of Yi Lan in Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425), changing the meaning from "flourishing orchid" to "rippling orchid" (cao here means "melody").3 Nevertheless, the melody remains related to most of the "flourishing orchid" melodies.4 The Taigu Yiyin preface also uses the "rippling" character, but its lyrics use either the yi meaning flourishing or the you meaning secluded (as in You Lan5). I have not been able to determine the reason for this anomaly. According to the preface here the theme is the same as that of Yi Lan.

Like the Yi Lan in Shen Qi Mi Pu as well as numbers 14, 15 and perhaps 16 in Taigu Yiyin, this melody connects to an episode in the life of Confucius. And as with those, some biographies of Confucius provide an illustration.

Taigu Yiyin says, "Yilan was written by Confucius," but it does not mention the source of the lyrics. They can all be found in the Yuefu Shiji, Folio 58, #2 and #3. Folio 58 #2 begins by saying Yilan Cao is the same as Youlan Cao. It then has three prefaces, as follows.

Gujin Yuelu says, "Confucius was returning from Wei to Lu when he saw a fragrant orchid and created this song."

Qin Cao says, "(The first part of this quote is virtually the same as what is here paragraph one of the Taigu Yiyin preface. It then adds, ___ ".6)

Qin Ji says, "You Lan Cao was created by Confucius."

After this are the lyrics, the same as in Taigu Yiyin and in the same order. They are attributed, in order, to Confucius, Xin Deyuan, Han Yu (768-824; writing here in the voice of Confucius7), Bao Zhao (five short poems called You Lan), and Cui Tu (he also calls it You Lan). In Taigu Yiyin these lyrics are sung straight through, then repeated once; the final section then repeats a second time the first of the five poems.8

 
Original preface9 (First paragraph quotes Qin Cao)

Yi Lan was written by Confucius. Confucius made respectful visits to the feudal lords (of 70 kingdoms), but (did not gain any recognition, and) was unable to achieve rank. While returning from Wei (the last of the 70) to Lu (his home), in a secluded valley he came across a solitary (fragrant) orchid flourishing alone. Sighing deeply he said, 'An orchid is worthy of spreading its fragrance to a king, but now it blooms alone, alongside common grass. (This is like the sage who is living in an inappropriate time, and so hangs around with commoners.)' So he stopped his cart, took up his qin and played it.

As for making this melody, these were words from a really grievous period. Later wise men added their own sighs and beautified it.

 
Music and Lyrics10: Eleven sections
Setting follows the syllabic structure of the five poems; (6-10 repeat the lyrics of 1-5), as indicated11

1. Attrib. Confucius (4+4) x 6 The gentle valley breeze, causes darkness and rain
.... (Translation incomplete)

2. Xin Deyuan (5+5) x 4

3. Han Yu (4+4) x 8 (See Chinese and the Xilutang Qintong section titles)

The orchid is flourishing, its fragrance spreads.
If no one plucks one to wear it, how could that harm the orchid!
My coming back today, who caused it?
I have been traveling everywhere, for years on end
The luxuriance of the frost and snow (will bring) luxuriant crops (in spring)
If you are not sad I will not come to see you
Luxuriant crops (mean) a good harvest
Although a gentleman may be sad, he keeps proper conduct

4. Bao Zhao (5+5) x 10

5. Cui Tu (5+5) x 4

6. See #1

7. See #2

8. See #3

9. See #4

10. See #5

11. See #1 (no harmonics)

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a
separate page)

1. 漪蘭 18599.xx (Zha's Guide refers this to 猗蘭; neither 18599.0 yi (rippling) nor 漪瀾 yilan (rippling waves) suggests any connection, nor have I found any other source which uses this character in this connection. There is further commentary on 猗蘭 Yi Lan with

2. Taigu Yiyin does not name modes. However, the other related Yi Lan melodies are usually grouped with shang mode.
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3. 猗蘭 Yi Lan changes to 漪蘭 Yi Lan
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4. Tracing the Rippling/Flourishing Orchid melodies
This chart is based on Zha Guide 5/52/75.
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5. 幽蘭 You Lan; Zha's Guide, 19/181/--
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6. The Pingjin Guan Qin Cao also has the same beginning, then a still different ending (自傷不逢時,託辭於香蘭云). There are then more lyrics.
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7. The lyrics attributed to Confucius are paraphrased for the first verse of Yi Lan in Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu
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8. ???
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9. ???
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10. The original lyrics are as follows,

(一、六,十一) (These also in 1618 and Japan)
習習谷風,以陰以雨;
之子于歸,遠送于野。
何彼蒼天,不得其所;
逍遙九州,無所定處。
時人闇蔽,不知賢者;
年紀逝邁,一身將老。

(二、七)
奏事傳青閣,拂除乃陶嘉。
散條凝露彩,含芳映日華。
已知香若麝,無怨直如麻。
不學芙蓉草,空作眼中花。

(三、八)
蘭之猗猗,揚揚其香。
不採而佩,於蘭何傷?
今天之旋,其曷為然。
我行四方,以日以年。
雪霜貿貿,薺麥之茂。
子如不傷,我不爾覯。
薺麥之茂,薺麥之有。
君子之傷,君子之守。

(四、九,甲)
傾輝引暮色,孤景流恩顏。
梅歇春欲罷,期度往不還。
(四、九,乙)
簾委蘭蕙露,帳含桃李風。
攬帶昔何道,坐令芳節終。
(四、九,丙)
結佩徒分明,抱梁輒乖戾。
華落知不終,空愁坐相誤。
(四、九,丁)
眇眇蛸掛網,漠漠蠶弄絲。
空慚不自信,怯與君盡期。
(四、九,戊)
陳國鄭東門,古來共所知。
長袖暫徘徊,駟嗎臨路岐。

(五、十)
幽植眾能知,真芳只暗持。
自無君子佩,未是國香衰。
白露沾長草,青春每到遲。
不知當路草,芳馥欲何為?
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11. Repeated melodic phrases bring variety to the structure
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