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Zangchunwu Qinpu
Zangchunwu Qin Handbook 1
藏春塢琴譜
1602  

This handbook has 65 melodies in six folios. However, 51 of these 65 are in fact identical to their versions in Yuwu Qinpu, a handbook compiled by Zhang Jinchao, a eunuch apparently in Beijing.3 Of the remaining 14, several are attributed to the well-known qin master Shen Taishao.4

Zangchunwu Qinpu was compiled by Hao Ning5 (a student of Shen Taishao) and other eunuchs at the court in Nanjing; Zangchunwu was a walled village near that city.6 At the front there are prefaces by Li Dai7 and Dong Futing8 dated 1602.

At the end are afterwords by Yan Cheng9 (1602; not a eunuch, his music is compiled in Songxian Guan Qinpu, 1614) and Hao Ning again (undated).

The first three folios of this handbook have essays; folios 4 to 6 have the 65 melodies, three with lyrics. The melodies are said to have been collected by Hao Ning, Yan Cheng and Wang Ding'an.10

Of the 14 melodies here that, as already mentioned, were not in Yuwu Qinpu, three (or four) appear here for the first time. The other 10 are versions of melodies found in other handbooks.11

Zangchunwu Qinpu attributes all four of its new titles to Shen Taishao (see below), as follows:

  1. 和氣吟 He Qi Yin (VI/301)
    Guide 28/223/-- : only here; prelude to Dongtian Chun Xiao;
    Extensive commentary in front of He Qi Yin attributes both to 沈太韶 Shen Taishao
  2. 洞天春曉 Dongtian Chun Xiao (VI/302)
    Guide 28/223/-- : first of 28 to 1946 (in 1602 the commentary is combined with that of He Qi Yin)
  3. 溪山秋月 (or 谿山秋月) Xishan Qiu Yue (VI/362); see the earlier 箕山秋月 Jishan Qiu Yue (VII/163)
    Guide 28/224/-- Xishan Qiu Yue: 1602 has the first of 9 to 1812, attributed (as here) to Shen Taishao;
    Guide 29/230/441 箕山秋月 Jishan Qiu Yue, 17 entries from 1589 to 1878, is basically the same melody,
        but the attributions are different (compare, e.g., 1589 vs 1609); see also combined tracing
  4. 鳳翔霄漢 Feng Xiang Xiao Han (VI/406)
    Guide 28/225/431: first of 6 to 1878; none has commentary. The six are:
    1. 1602 (VI/406; 18 sections, titled; attributed to Shen Taishao)
    2. 1802 (XVII/442; almost same as 1602 but without section titles)
    3. >1802 (18; "德耕堂譜"; XIX/321)
    4. 1875 (1; lyrics 鳳兮鳳兮,所遇甚稀....; short: unrelated? XXVI/254)
    5. 1876 (XXV/495; = 1802)
    6. 1878 (18; XXVI/missing).

In spite of this, later handbooks rarely mention Shen Taishao; for this reason one must consider the possibiity that the attributions to Shen given with the commentary here (see above) mean not that he created the melodies but rather that either he created these particular versions of existing melodies, and/or that he was the first to have them written them down.

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 藏春塢琴譜 Zangchunwu Qinpu
Included in QQJC, Volume VI
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3. 張近朝 Zhang Jinchao
There seems to be no mention of him or of 玉梧 Yuwu (apparently his nickname) anywhere in Zangchunwu Qinpu.
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4. Shen Taishao 沈太韶
Shen Taishao (Bio/xxx), original name 沈音 Shen Yin (or 諱音 taboo name Yin), according to commentary here in Zangchunwu Qinpu (1602; VI/292) was from 越 Yue (Zhejiang). He is discussed together with his student Yan Cheng in QSCB, 7a2 (p. 126), as well as with the Yan Cheng entry in Qinshi Xu (see Shen Taishao).

The Qinshi Xu entry mentions Shen only in connection with Yan Cheng, but he was also teacher of the court eunuch Hao Ning (below) and others. The biographical note on Shen is at the end of the Qinshi Xu Yan Cheng entry, so presumably it also draws on Chunhu Manlu. It begins by saying Yan Cheng met Shen Taishao in 京師 the capital (Beijing, where he was teaching court eunuchs such as Hao Ning). It continues:

沈為當時琴師之冠。氣調與琴川諸士合而博雅過之....
Shen was the best qin master at that time. His temperament (氣調 6/1035: 氣概) compared to that of the gentlemen of the Qinchuan school was compatible but perhaps even more elegant.... Yan Cheng thus used the strength of Shen to compensate for the flaws of Qinchuan, while using the strengths of Qinchuan to compensate for the flaws of Shen. Moreover, all the fellow members of the Qinchuan association became close friends of Shen. At that time his Way with the qin was greatly praised for the beauty of its rare sounds and tranquil flavor, and so it was the most praised anywhere."

Zangchunwu Qinpu adds (the complete original Chinese is under Dongtian Chunxiao) that

沈子,越人也。諱音,號太韶....
Master Shen was from Yue, restricted name Yin, nickname Taishao. From a very young age loved the music of the ancient rulers; whenever he encountered beautiful scenery he would take his qin and wander into its forests, springs, green pines and tall bamboo...."

The Zangchunwu Qinpu commentary (above) goes on to attribute to Shen (versions of?) four melodies :

  1. He Qi Yin,
  2. Dongtian Chun Xiao,
  3. Xi Shan Qiu Yue, and
  4. Feng Xiang Xiao Han.

Working in the court Shen would perhaps have had access to old qin tablature, but to my knowledge no one has ever suggested any of these melodies came from such a source. On the other hand, Xi Shan Qiu Yue is very closely related to the Jishan Qiu Yue first published in 1589 and considered by some to be an ancient melody. If this is in fact the case, then perhaps some of the other "creations" by Shen are also in fact revisions of earlier melodies.

QSCB, Chapter 7a2 (p. 126) also discusses Shen together with Yan Cheng, but does not add anything to what is here.
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5. Hao Ning 郝寧
40293.xxx; Bio/xxx. Under the title to the first melody (perhaps connected to commentary written after the gong modal prelude, mostly concerning several songs attributed to Shen Taishao) he calls himself 中州窺玄子 "A Henan Inquirer into Mysteries", while he signs his afterword "御用監左少監鄴郡郝寧 Left Vice Director of the Directorate for Imperial Accouterments Hao Ning of Yejun". His directorate was "responsible for preparing fine wood and ivory objects for the Emperor's use and for presenting memorials for imperial attention that were submitted by the officialdom" (Hucker). Yejun was in northern Henan.

In addition the preface by Li Dai refers to Hao Ning as 定安王常侍小川郝 while the afterword by Yan Cheng refers to him as 常侍定安王之小川郝公, i.e., he was either from or nicknamed Xiaochuan and was an Attendant-in-ordinary for the Prince of Ding'An (? NFI). Li Dai says he studied qin for over 20 years.
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6. 藏春塢 Zangchunwu
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7. 李戴 Li Dai
Bio/943: From Henan; 進士 jinshi degree in 1568
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8. 董復亭 Dong Futing
See QQJC, VII/287: he signs his comment with "鹿董復亭書於燕市之白雪館 Dong Futing of Lu wrote this in the White Snow Hall in Yan (Beijing)". 48561 鹿 lu (usual meaning "deer") gives this as a surname but not a place name; there is no Bio with a name beginning Lu Dong. Fu was written 彳憂; 亭 also written with an old form. 復亭 10422.60 gives this as a nickname for several people in Qing dynasty, none surnamed Dong.
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9. 嚴澂 Yan Cheng
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10. 王定安 Wang Ding'an
Bio/xxx
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11. Zha Fuxi's Preface says there are 66 melodies, but this is a mistake. And his Guide lists seven titles as new compositions, but at least three of these are not new:

  1. 赤壁賦 Chibi Fu (VI/425)
    This version of the Qian Chibi Fu published in 1539 is in fact copied from Yuwu Qinpu.
  2. 神品慢角意 Shenpin Manjiao Yi (VI/???; only in ToC)
    Only in Table of Contents; probably was a version of Shenpin Biyu Yi
  3. 神遊八極 Shen You Baji (VI/431)
    This is a version of Baji You

The other four are the melodies attributed to Shen Taishao, one of which (溪山秋月 Qishan Qiu Yue; VI/354) had been published earlier under a different title.
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Return to the annotated handbook list or to the Guqin ToC.