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TGYY  ToC / Trace / Evening Talk by a Snowy Window 聽錄音 Listen to my recording  / 首頁 首頁
36. Evening Talk by a Guest's Window
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
客窗夜話 1
Ke Chuang Yehua
  A Ming dynasty image3 of Liu Ji4        
Xie Lin Taigu Yiyin ends with a section called "Newly added".
5 This is followed by what appear at first glance to be four melodies, the first of which is named Kechuang Yehua. What makes it clear that this is all one melody in four sections are the instructions written in the margins (see Sections 7, 9 and 10 below, under music and lyrics) to repeat certain lyrics. In addition, all later versions have this material clearly written as one melody, and the above instructions make it quite straighforward to divide the 1511 version into the ten sections of most later versions.6

The 1511 version has no commentary, hence no attribution. From its second occurrence, though, its lyrics and sometimes music are commonly connected with Liu Ji (1311-1375), a well-known poet and essayist who became an early advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), helping him establish the Ming dynasty in 1368. Unfortunately, an actual connection between the song and Liu Ji is difficult to confirm. At a minimumn the variety of lyrics and their similarity to sanqu suggests perhaps they were by someone imagining they were Liu Ji rather than by Liu Ji himself (further comment).

Around the same time there appeared another melody associated with a conversation between an advisor and ruler (or aspirant): Evening Talk by a Snowy Window (Xue Chuang Yehua) was sometimes associated with Zhao Pu and Zhao Kuangyin, first emperor of the Song dynasty. There is no apparent music or textual connection between the two pieces.

Perhaps because of Liu Ji's connection with Zhu Yuanzhang, Kechuang Yehua appears in many more Ming dynasty handbooks than does Xuechuang Yehua: while the latter survives in seven handbooks from 1539 to 1596, the former survives in at least 24 handbooks betweeen 1511 and 1899, with 17 of these 24 appearing during the Ming dynasty.7 The later Ming dynasty versions tend to write the piece in 10 sections: seven original, three repeated (not always the same three).

Until its first Qing dynasty publication, in 1670, all versions were related and all but one had lyrics (1579); the many differences between them, both in the music and lyrics, provide further evidence of the melody's apparent popularity, suggesting it was actively played, not simply copied down out of respect. However, from 1670 until 1899 it was in only six more handbooks, the only major one (1876) being a copy of 1670. Since then there seem to have beens several attempts to revive it.8

As mentioned, this piece is commonly attributed to Liu Ji. Sometimes the attribution specifies the lyrics; but even versions without lyrics attribute him. The persistence of these lyrics in all their variety is quite remarkable, especially considering the fact that the versions I have examined all seem primarily instrumental melodies.9

Liu Ji, who had served as an official under the Yuan dynasty, was already a well-known poet and essayist when he became a military strategist for Zhu Yuanzhang. Then, in spite of having played an important role in helping Zhu establish the Ming dynasty, and in spite of always having been a loyal advisor, Liu Ji in 1375 either left office or was dismissed after being slandered; he died soon after this.

Later, and particularly during the Qing dynasty, Liu Ji's reputation gained considerably in prominence, and he became legendary for his sage advice and ability to predict the future.10 In this context it is rather puzzling that after the Ming dynasty the qin melody associated with him declined so much in popularity, almost disappearing from the repertoire.

Although the lyrics are often attributed to Liu Ji, their variety alone make specific attribution problematic. In addition, they seem "rather generic" and reminiscent of "the themes and styles of Yuan dynasty sanqu songs".11

 
Original preface

None here.12

 
Music and lyrics13
The melody has lyrics throughout, the setting being largely syllabic, with the lines of the poem irregular in length. It is divided into four titled sections, but the third is clearly subdivided into five parts and there are three repeats (indicated by naming the characters of their opening and closing lyrics), making 11 sections in all. Such a division makes it similar to most later versions, which also add a harmonic coda. Although most versions have lyrics, the melody seems essentially instrumental to me, hence the tempo of my recording. Working on the melody with a singer would likely lead to many changes in note values.

The complete lyrics are as follows (thanks to 陳美琪 Tan Bee Kee for assistance with the translation of Section 1). Regarding punctuation, ,, or ,。 in the Chinese text and ,... for the Romanization mean that a musical phrase is repeated without indication of whether the lyrics (usually just three characters/syllables) are also to be repeated. Note that although the pairing is largely syllabic, following an established formula, there are many exceptions here (mainly syllables sung on slides).

Timings below are from my 錄音 recording, which follows note for note the 1511 Kechuang Yehua tablature, but with the addition of the harmonic prelude and a harmonic closing from 1585.

    00.00   (Harmonics from the closing)
                (On the recording I play the harmonic closing of the 1585 edition as a prelude.)

    嘆人生能幾何。
    Tan ren sheng neng ji he.
    One sighs that human life has so much of this.

  1. 00.12   客窗夜話 Evening Talk by a Guest's Window
                (1585: 羈情旅思 Restrain feelings, arrange thoughts)

    情旅思,故國他鄉。        久相別,嘆那參商。
    Ji qing lü si, gu guo ta xiang. Jiu xiang bie, tan na Shen Shang
    Restraining feelings, wandering thoughts, the old home country vs elsewhere, we have been separated so long, sighing, like Orion and Antares.

    忽相見,喜也非常。對此燈光,兩訴衷腸。
    Hu xiang jian, xi ye fei chang. Dui ci deng guang, liang su zhong chang.
    A sudden meeting, and joy, too, is overwhelming. By the light from a lamp we two express our feelings.

    世態多有炎涼,客路何苦風霜,風霜,風霜利名韁。
    Shi tai duo you yan liang, ge lu he ku feng shuang, feng shuang feng shuang li ming jiang.
    Often the rich are fawned upon and the poor shunned, the guest's road has such bitter winds and frost, bitterness, bitterness, tied down by wealth and fame.

    吳楚東南望,看那江山雄壯。
    Wu Chu dong nan wang, kan na jiang shan xiong zhuang.
    Looking southeast towards Wu and Chu, seeing the majesty of their rivers, mountains,

    心腹話連床,百年詩酒疏狂。
    Xin fu hua lian chuang, bai nian shi jiu shu kuang.
    Confidential words spoken at bedside, with cenuries of poems and wine unrestrained.

    (These lyrics and their music are also used for Section 8 and Section 11)

  2. 00.55   感古慨今 Grateful to old; regret new
                (1585: same title)

    今古呵,嘆英雄,誰是英雄?
    Jin gu a, tan ying xiong, shei shi ying xiong?
    Now olden days, ah; mourn heroes: who are the heroes?

    記禮夫,與漁翁,南陽東海,一舉成空。
    Ji nong fu, yu yu weng, nan yang dong hai, yi ju cheng kong.
    Tell of the farmer, bring up the old fisherman, south seas and eastern oceans: they come up then become nothing.

    思憶臥龍,霸業也,,于今皆已成空。
    Si yi wo long, ba ye ye,..., yu jin jie yi cheng kong, cheng kong.
    Recall the Sleeping Dragon (Zhuge Liang), he was mighty, but as of today he has
    become nothing.

    成空,成空,盡成空。
    Cheng kong, cheng kong, jin cheng kong
    Became nothing, became nothing, completely become nothing.

  3. 01.30   吟詩酌酒 Humming a poem and pouring out wine
                (1585: same title)

    珠璣也,音律呵,病有詩魔,
    Tuo zhu ji ye, yin lü a, bing you shi mo.
    Spit out pearls, regulated music notes, disease has poetry deliriums.

    六呂詩翁,雅音韻也難和,。
    Liu lü shi weng, ya yin yun ye nan he, ...
    Six tones of the poetry elder, elegant sounds hard to harmonize.

    金叵羅,,梨花竹葉,香味更酡。
    Jin po luo, ..., li hua zhu ye, xiang wei geng tuo.
    Golden wine vessels, with pear blossom and bamboo leaves, from the fragrance flavors more flushed.

    鼻有蟲魔,高陽輩如何?李、杜如何?
    Bi you
    chong mo, Gao yang bei ru he? Li, Du ru he?
    (Thus) is the nose intoxicated (?). So how about Gaoyang (Liu Bang?)? How about Li Bai and Du Fu? (?)

    如何,如何,更如何?
    Ru he ru he geng ru he?
    How? How? Even more how?

    日空過,鬢婆娑。容顏呵,漸消磨,
    Ri kong guo, bin po suo. Rong yan a, jian xiao mo,
    The sun in the sky passes by, side hair in spirals. Appearance colored, we gradually ooze away.

    消磨,消磨,漸消磨。
    Xiao mo, xiao mo, jian xiao mo.
    Ooze away, ooze away, gradually ooze away.

  4. 02.14   No title
                (1585: 時世問答 Discussing timely topics)

    謝眺也,,卜宅東山,其樂待如何?
    Xie Tiao ye, ..., bu zhai dong shan, qi le dai ru he?
    Xie Tiao, he had divination done at Dongshan, but his luck treated him how?

    蓴鱸張翰憶江東。
    Chun lu Zhang Han yi jiang dong.
    Songjiang river perch made
    Zhang Han think of East of the River.

    賈誼也,,屈於長沙,其忠待如何?
    Jia Yi ye, ..., qu yu Chang Sha, qi zhong dai ru he?
    Jia Yi, like Qu Yuan at Changsha: how did their loyalty treat them?

    徒爾奔波。
    Tu er ben bo.
    Banished like vagabonds.

  5. 02.40   No title (comment on starting motif)
                (1585: 問答輕聲 Quiet Conversation)

    隱顯也皆前定,興亡也皆前定。
    Yin xian ye jie qian ding, xing wang ye jie qian ding.
    Hidden or glorified, it is all pre-ordained, flourishing or perishing is all pre-ordained.

    富貴也皆前定,貧踐也皆前定。
    Fu gui ye jie qian ding, pin jian ye jie qian ding.
    Riches and wealth are all pre-ordained, poverty and worthlessness are all pre-ordained.

    成也敗也誰人証,遙看錢塘月;
    Cheng ye bai ye shei ren zheng? yao kan Qian Tang yue,
    Achievement and failure: who can prove them? Or from a distance look at the Qiantang (River, which flows through Hangzhou) moon.

    慨我詩人興,圓也一般明。
    Kai wo shi ren xing, yuan ye yi ban ming.
    The sighs of our poets rise up, it is round with its standard brightness.

    缺也一般明,。
    Que ye yi ban ming, .....
    (The moon) is not yet full, but it has its usual brightness.

    月圓月缺千故明。
    Yue yuan yue que qian gu ming.
    Moon round or moon partial, throughout the ages it shines.

    (These lyrics and their music are also used for Section 10)

  6. 03.15   No title
                (1585: 抵掌一嘯 Clapping and Singing)

    天涯呵,海角呵,離別呵,歡會呵。
    Tian ya a, hai jiao a; li bie a, huan hui a.
    Heaven's shore, ah; sea's edges, ah; departure, ah; happy to meet, ah.

    膠漆呵,金蘭呵,陳雷呵,神交心契呵。
    Jiao qi a, jin lan a; chen lei a, shen jiao xin qi a.
    Glue and varnish, ah; golden balustrades, ah; extended thunder, ah; spiritual accord with close friends, ah.

    人生歡會少別離多,
    Ren sheng huan hui shao bie li duo.
    In live we regret being together seldom, apart often.

    花落花開可奈何?
    Hua luo, hua kai, ke nai he?
    Flowers fall, flowers open, what can we do?

  7. 03.50   No title
                1585 combined this with its Section 6.
    14
                The lyrics here resemble those of a published Yuan sanqu)

    懶雲窩,,醒時詩酒,醉時唱個太平歌。
    Lan yun wo, ..., xing shi shi jiu, zui shi chang ge Tai Ping Ge
    In our idle cloud nest, with sobriety comes poetry and wine, then when drunk we sing a Great Peace Song.

    儘快樂,,人生富貴,猶如那個花開落。
    Jin kuai le,..., ren sheng fu gui, you ru na ge hua kai luo.
    Exhausting pleasure, fortune and wealth in life: how they compare with the opening and decaying of flowers.

    人生歡會少別離多,
    Ren sheng huan hui shao bie li duo,
    We regret that in life we are together seldom, apart often.

    花落花開可奈何?
    Hua luo hua kai ke nai he?
    Flowers fall, flowers bud, but what can we do about it?

  8. 04.23   No title (says to repeat Section 1)
                (1585 Section 7: 清談良夜 Clear talk on a comfortable evening)

    「按羈情疏狂止」"Follow 'Restrain feelings' to 'unrestrained', then stop"

  9. 05.06   千里一方 A thousand li in one direction (This is the fourth section title in 1511.)
                (1585 第八段 Section 8 has this title and similar music)

    北鎮沙陀,千里雲合。
    Bei zhen Sha tuo, qian li yun he.
    North district's Shatuo, for a thousand li the clouds gather.

    接黃河,,溜滾金波,只俺羲皇人快樂,
    Jie Huang He, ..., liu gun jin po. Zhi an Xi huang ren kuai le,
    Encountering the Yellow River, it flows tumbling with golden ripples, just the great Xi (
    Fuxi?) emperor and people are happy.

    快樂,快樂,閑快樂。
    Kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Happy, happy, relaxed and happy.

    懶雲窩,,日月如梭,不知隨時過活。快樂,快樂,快樂,閑跨樂。
    Lan yun wo, ..., ri yue ru suo, bu zhi sui shi guo huo kuai le, kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Lazy cloud nest, sun and moon like a shuttle, not knowing about time while going through life, so happy, happy, happy relaxed and happy.

    儘快樂,,世態參破。只俺羲皇人快樂,
    Jin kuai le, ..., shi tai can po, zhi an Xi huang ren kuai le,
    Exhaustively happy, worldly ways broken connection, just the great Xi emperor (Fuxi) and people are happy.

    快樂,快樂,閑快樂。
    Kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Happy, happy, relaxed and happy.

  10. 06.03   No title (the text here means repeat Section 5)
                (1585 第九段:半夜十年 Section 9: A decade of midnights)

    「按隱顯而故明止」 "Follow from 'Hidden glory' to 'old fame' then stop"

  11. 06.39   No title (the text here means repeat Section 1)
                (1585 第十段:神交心契 Section 10: Spiritual accord with close friends;
                in 1585 this section is a repeat of Sections 6 and 7)

    「復按羈情疏狂止」 "From 'Restrain feelings' to 'unrestrained' then stop"

    07.21   (Not in 1511)
                1585: 泛音 Harmonic coda; compare that of the previous melody in 1511,
    Gu Qiu Feng)

    淡交人易,義合古難,        嘆人生能幾何。
    Tan jiao ren yi, yi he gu nan, tan ren sheng neng ji he.
    Bland connections with others is easy, the righteousness of old is difficult;
                one sighs that human life has so much of this.

    End:   07.42

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Ke Chuang Yehua 客窗夜話
7293.xxx; 5890.228 yehua has quotes from Li Bai and Su Shi.
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2. Tuning and mode
Taigu Yiyin does not group melodies by tuning or mode; later it was grouped with shang mode melodies.
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3. 劉基像 Ming dynasty image of Liu Ji  
The image above is from the Ming dynasty 三才圖會 Sancai Tuhui; at right is a less clear copy of the same image from 2270.745. Online one can also find images of a Liu Ji temple and grave near Wenzhou. The inscription on the image says 誠意伯劉公 Master Liu the Sincere Elder (see next footnote).
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4. Liu Ji (劉基; 1311 - 1375; further details)
2270.745 劉基字伯溫 Liu Ji, style name Bowen, nickname 郁離子 Youlizi, posthumous name 文成 Wencheng; Collection of the Sincere Elder (誠意伯集 Chengyi Bo Ji 36363.66) seems to be a name later given to a collection of his essays. He was a noted essayist and poet as well as an early advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty. He was born in 青田 Qingtian (upriver from Wenzhou in modern Zhejiang province); near here, in re-named Wencheng county, are a temple and grave dedicated to him.

Liu Ji wrote an essay about a man named Gong Zhichao making a qin with a wonderful sound, but no one appreciating it until it was buried for a while, so people thought it was old. The original text is included in his separate bio notes.)
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5. Newly Added
新增
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6. Ten section version of Kechuang Yehua
Most later versions of this melody have nine or ten sections. The following are the ten titles from the 1585 version of this melody. In my transcription of the 1511 Taigu Yiyin version I re-numbered its four sections into 10 sections, adding the titles below at the relevant points in the notation. This can be seen clearly under Music and Lyrics above: the 1511 section titles are the same as the titles of 1585 sections 1, 2, 3 and 8; the music also corresponds.

1585 客窗夜話 Kechuang Yehua (QQJC IV/361)

  1. 羈情放思 Restrain feelings and arrange thoughts (1511: 客窗夜話 Evening Talk by a Guest's Window (harmonics)
  2. 慨古傷今 Sigh for the old; grieved by the new (1511: 感古慨今 Grateful to old; regret new
  3. 題詩酌酒 Dash off a poem and pour wine (1511: 吟詩酌酒 Hum a poem and pour wine
  4. (時世問答 Discussing timely topics; 1511 no title)
  5. (問答輕聲 Quiet conversation; 1511 no title)
  6. (抵掌一嘯 Clapping and singing; 1511 no title)
    (See separate comment on these lyrics for the second half of this section)
  7. (清談良夜 Light talk on a pleasant evening [harmonics; 1511: Repeat music and lyrics of section 1])
  8. 千里一方 One thousand li in one direction (1511: same; music/lyrics similar)
  9. (半夜十年 Half a night, 10 years [like section 5; 1511: repeat music and lyrics of section 5])
  10. (神父心契 [like sections 6 and 7; 1511: repeat music and lyrics of section 1 [harmonics])
    (Coda [harmonics; 1511: none, but I add them from Gu Qiu Feng, as in several later handbooks])
    (Return)

7. Tracing Ke Chuang Yehua
Zha's Guide 14/153/286 has 24 entries from 1511 to 1899; to this should be added a few more, such as the one in 1961, and also 客窗新語 Kechuang Xinyu (only in 1609) as it has basically the same music, though with new lyrics. This list now has 26, as follows (note that, although both this melody and Xuechuang Yehua are grouped with shang mode melodies, they are never placed next to each other):

  1. Taigu Yiyin (1511); I/318; 4 sections but should be 7, with 3 repeated: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 5, 1
  2. Faming Qinpu (1530); I/375; 9 sections [its #4 has 2 sections]; lyrics; attributes Liu Bowen
  3. Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539); II/105; 9 sections [omits first repat of #1]; lyrics
  4. Qinpu Zhengchuan (1561); II/486; 7 sections (combines 4 and 5; repeats at end as 1511); not in Wugang Qinpu; lyrics
  5. Wuyin Qinpu (1579); IV/208; no lyrics, no commentary; 7 sections untitled, none repeated, otherwise music quite similar to others
  6. Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585); IV/361; 10 sections titled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 5, 6]; lyrics
  7. Yuwu Qinpu (1589); VI/37; 10 sections; lyrics
  8. Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (Taigu Yiyin; 1589); VII/73; lyrics
  9. Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (1609; not 1589); VII/190; called 客窗新語 Kechuang Xinyu but still related; new lyrics
  10. Qinshu Daquan (1590); V/492; 10; interlineal comments; lyrics
  11. Wenhuitang Qinpu (1596); VII/205; 10; lyrics
  12. Luqi Xinsheng (1597); VII/14; 11; lyrics
  13. Zangchunwu Qinpu (1602); VI/344; 10; lyrics; copy of 1589
  14. Yangchuntang Qinpu (1611); VII/457; 8 (omits 2 repeated at end; titled); lyrics
  15. Qin Shi (1611); VIII/23; 11; lyrics; copy of 1597
  16. Lixing Yuanya (1618); 10; lyrics VIII/203
  17. Lexian Qinpu (1623); VIII/365; 10; lyrics
  18. Yixuan Qinjing (1623); IX/408; 10; lyrics
  19. Qinyuan Xinchuan Quanbian (1670); XI/356; 8+coda; first one without lyrics. A comment says "revised": this handbook mostly consists of pieces said to have been copied from earlier sources: is this an earlier version simply copied without the lyrics? It says "Taigu Yiyin", but is not copied from 1511 or 1589
  20. Fanshi Qin Se Hebi (1691); XIII/6; 9; lyrics; gongche as well as se tablature
  21. Lixuezhai Qinpu (1730); XVIII/15; 10; lyrics; "revised"
  22. Yiluxuan Qinpu (1802) XIX/147 (1802); 9 (does not repeat last two sections); no lyrics; "Taigu Yiyin" but is not copied from 1511 or 1589
  23. Tianwen'ge Qinpu (1876); XXV/367; 8; no lyrics; "Qinyuan" (but omits coda)
  24. Xishaoge Qin Se Hepu (1890); XXVI/445; 9+1; no lyrics
  25. Mingshengge Qinpu (1899); 9 sections including coda; apparently no lyrics but not in QQJC
  26. Yan Yi Xi Qin Zhai Qinpu (1961); 9+1; no lyrics; begins with four double stops but still related to 1511; afterword begins by mentioning a poem by Li Shangyin; it also mentions 1730 version, but they are different

Based on my musical reconstruction ("dapu") of the earliest surviving version, as well as my casual examination of the differing versions and their differing lyrics, it is apparent that a fuller examination would make a very interesting research topic. Its popularity in the Ming dynasty is presumably related to the significance of Liu Ji, but it is puzzling that, while this melody appeared so often in the Ming dynasty, the lyrics were continuously revised (all the original lyrics are linked from below). Also of note is its absence from Xlutang Qintong, the most complete of the mid-Ming handbooks.

As soon as the Ming dynasty ended this melody quickly lost favor. The first one published after the end of the Ming dynasty (#19 Qinyuan Xinchuan Quanbian; 1670) is also the first one without lyrics. To my ears the melody should have been able to survive quite well without the lyrics: it can be quite lovely and in fact seems to me more by nature an instrumental melody than it is a song. In 1579 it was included in a handbook that had no lyrics for any of its melodies, but after this no significant handbook seems to have treated it as a purely instrumental melody. Note that #22 also says "Taigu Yiyin" (the significance of this is not clear) and #23 is a copy of 1670; #20 and #24 are duets with se zither, an archaic instrument then played basically for ritual reasons.
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8. Reviving Kechuang Yehua
Examples include:

  1. A version of the melody published in the 1961 Yan Yi Xi Qin Zhai Qinpu (it is related to the present melody but I am not clear about its origins).
  2. A reconstruction by 高培芬 Gao Peifen, a Zhucheng school player who is a music professor at 山東師範大學 Shandong Normal University. She apparently used the tablature included in 琴譜合璧大全, one of the versions of the 1585 handbook discussed further above. (Youku.)
  3. A recording (and presumably reconstruction) by 裴金寶 Pei Jinbao on Tudou; the tablature he used is quite similar to 1511 but I do not know from which handbook it comes.

My own reconstruction of the earliest version (discussed here) tries to take into account the original lyrics; they could be sung to it, though it would be easier if I played at a slower tempo. I am not sure about those listed here.
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9. Qin song?
Although the melody seems predominantly instrumental, there are no techniques such as gunfu or changsuo to designate clearly an instrumental origin (as with Shuangqing Zhuan). As for changes in the lyrics over time, the footnote below has links to a relevant .pdf file.
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10. Popularity of Liu Ji
Liu Ji apparently gained in popularity during the late Qing dynasty due largely to manufactured stories of his sage advice and ability to predict the future. As described in Hok-Lam Chan, Legends of the Building of Old Beijing, pp. 138-155, the stories first grew up around his home region near Wenzhou in southern Zhejiang province with the aim of promoting the status of his descendants.

In the 19th century the most famous manifestation of Liu Ji's popularity was the Flatbread Song Complete Text (燒餅歌全文 Shaobing Ge Quanwen), a set of predictions ascribed to him but probably written in the 19th century (see also Bernhard Führer, "Die Projektion der Zukunft in die Vergangenheit: Ein Versuch über Die Ballade vom angebissenen Shaobing [Shaobing-ge]"; in Hammer and Führer [eds.], Tradition und Moderne: Religion, Philosophie und Literatur in China, Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 1997; pp. 113-142).

According to the account in Shaobing Ge, one day when he came to have a snack with Liu Ji, the Ming emperor asked his advisor to make predictions about the future. Although the context in Evening Talk by a Guest's Window is also sometimes said to be a conversation between Liu Ji and the emperor, there does not seem to be any connection between its lyrics and the text of Shaobing Ge (which in any case, as mentioned above, was written much later).
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11. Style of the Kechuang Yehua lyrics: Yuan sanqu?
Dr. Tian Yuan Tan 陳靝沅 Tian Yuan Tan at SOAS in London very kindly sent me the following comment regarding these lyrics:

"My impression is that the Kechuang Yehua lyrics are rather generic and they remind me of the themes and styles of Yuan dynasty sanqu songs. Hence it might be difficult to make a case for or against Liu Ji's authorship of the lyrics based on stylistic features alone. For instance, these lines in the seventh section of the lyrics (translated)

懶雲窩,醒時詩酒,醉時唱個太平歌。
儘快樂,人生富貴,猶如那個花開落。
人生歡會少別離多,
花落花開可奈何?

closely resemble the following Yuan sanqu:

"懶雲窩,醒時詩酒醉時歌。
瑤琴不理拋書卧,儘自磨陀。
想人生待則麽?富貴比花開落,日月似攛梭過。
呵呵笑我,我笑呵呵。
(Source: 全元散曲 Quan Yuan Sanqu, p.339)

"I usually study sanqu only as literary texts because we have very little information on how these songs were sung or performed in the Yuan and the Ming. It would be very refreshing indeed to find out how these lyrics were put to melody."

Quite a number of such texts were set to qin melodies during the Ming dynasty. The standard method of pairing lyrics and music (details) was often criticized as musically uninteresting, perhaps because they were not sung (or perhaps could not be sung) according to the established traditional singing styles. In this connection it is interesting to hear similar criticisms of the songs from modern practicioners of such traditional song forms as 南音 nanyin.
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12. Original Preface
Although there is none in 1511, the Zha Guide [397] 153 includes the text for one afterword and seven prefaces, beginning with the one in 1585, which credits Liu Ji.
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13. Music and lyrics
Comments on the lyrics and music:

For a more detailed examination of the lyrics the attached .pdf (1.4MB) shows the lyrics from all the surviving versions, copied from the Zha Guide pp. [810-834] 286-310. As can be seen, there is considerable variety, even where the attribution remains with Liu Ji. One reason for the variety is filler words (e.g., 的, 那) used to make the lyrics fit an idea of how they should be paired with the music (details). Another might be that the original version was corrupt (e.g., from someone trying to write down something heard but not seen), and so later people were continuously trying to guess the original.

The present 1511 edition has only four unnumbered section titles, but it seems to divide the piece into 10 or 11 sections; the additional titles here all come from 1585. The original 1511 section titles are the ones here numbered 1, 2, 3 and 8. As can be seen, the lyrics (and melodies) for sections 7, 9 and 10 come from sections 1, 5 and 1 respectively.
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14. Section 7
1511 has a circle here indicating a new section, and others, such as 1596, also have this as a separate section;
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