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Autumn Moon at Jishan
Also called Autumn Moon over Streams and Mountains2
Jiao mode 5 6 1 2 3 5 63
箕山秋月 1
Jishan Qiu Yue
Jishan Qiu Yue illustration, from Kuian Qinpu 4
This melody, after its first publication in
1589, became quite popular, surviving in at least 27 handbooks through 1878, 17 using the present title and a further ten from 1602 to 1812 calling it Xi Shan Qiu Yue.5 It generally has 24 sections, and was thus sometimes said to be one of the "five great melodies".6

Regarding the source of the melody, the preface here originally attributed it to someone named Mao from Kuaiji,7 in 1609 changing this to say it was revised by Zhou Tong'an of Nanjing.8 The earliest version called Xi Shan Qiu Yue says it was created by (Shen) Taishao.9 The difference between the 1589 and 1609 attributions is puzzling. Versions in later handbooks do not seem to mention any of these names. I have not yet seen the title on any of the ancient melody lists.

As for the subject matter, the preface here and many of the later commentaries connect the melody to two ancient stories concerning Mount Ji (most likely near the Songshan range in Henan, but various other locations have also been suggested).

The first story tells of Emperor Yao visiting Xu You at Mount Ji. Noting Xu You's virtue Yao offers him his throne. This, however, causes Xu You such offense that he goes to the nearby stream to wash out his ears. The same story is connected to the melody Dunshi Cao, sometimes called Jishan Cao, but these melodies seem to be completely unrelated.

The related story adds that another recluse at that time, Chao Fu,10 was also so worthy that Yao tried to offer the throne to him as well. Declining this Chao Fu not only also washed out his ears but also, hearing that Xu You had washed out his own ears for the same reason upstream, refused to water his cattle in the stream.

The theme of the present melody, in particular as expressed through the alternate title, Autumn Evening by Streams and Mountains, as well as through the illustration above, seems to suggest two contemporary scholar recluses discussing such matters.11

In particular, note that the illustration above shows two scholars engaged in what is likely such a discussion. However, the melody is called Jishan Qiu Yue, and the prefatory essay by Hu Yaozuo12 mentions the old stories.

Original Preface13

Regarding this melody, it is my understanding that it was created by an heir of the retired gentleman Mao from Kuaiji imitating the noble and unsullied nature of Chao Fu and Xu You....

Translation incomplete. Note that the 1609 edition has exactly the same tablature but changes the opening of its preface to say that it was revised by the retired gentleman Zhou Tong'an from Jinling (Nanjing).

24 Sections

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Autumn Moon at Mount Ji (箕山秋月 Jishan Qiu Yue)
QQJC, VII/157. The alternate title 谿山秋月 Xi Shan Qiu Yue (Autumn Moon over Rivers and Mountains; see next) is not mentioned in 1589, nor is there any mention of 沈太韶 Shen Taishao.

2. Autumn Moon over Rivers and Mountains (谿山秋夜 Xi Shan Qiu Yue; also written 溪山秋夜)
The earliest version with this title attributes it to Shen Taishao.

3. 角音 Jue Yin
Same as 角調 jue diao. For further information on jue mode see Shenpin Jiao Yi and Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.

4. Kuian Qinpu illustration (1660; QQJC XI/25).
The illustration shows two scholars contemplating nature. Much of the inscription (expanded here at right) is unclear. Here is a preliminary attempt to figure it out (with special thanks to 孫小青 Sun Xiaoqing):

庚子秋夜於_ _ 先生雅操回作箕山秋月圖以呈大教_ _無_ _ _ _ _ _梅溪周鼐。
In the year gengzi (1660), on an autumn night, with Mr. _ _ there was some elegant playing (of qin). Upon returning, I drew this illustration of Autumn Moon at Jishan in order to present it to a great teacher..... By Zhou Nai of Meixi.

Perhaps the two people in the illustration are those mentioned in the inscription. Unfortunately the names are particularly difficult to read. There is mention of a 大教 great teacher. Could this refer to the qin master Wang Zhimin (王治民 Bio/xxx) of Suzhou, credited elsewhere in the handbook (e.g., XI/8, 38)? The name 周鼐 Zhou Nai at the end is a guess based on that name being mentioned by Zha Fuxi (ed. Wu Zhao) in his commentary to QQJC XI. 周鼐 Zhou Nai (Bio/1531), 字公調 style name Gongdiao, was a Qing dynasty landscape painter from 上元 Shangyuan (now part of Nanjing). There is a small river called 梅溪 Meixi in Jiangsu, but it is about 150km south of Nanjing.

5. Tracing related melodies on the theme of 箕山 Jishan and 谿山 (溪山) Xishan) (see appendix below)
溪 18426: same as 谿 (xi, qi or ji); 37064.8 谿山 streams and mountains. The appendix below is based on three Zha Guide entries:

箕山秋月 Jishan Qiu Yue  29/230/441: 17 from 1589 (here; revised 1609) to 1878
谿山秋月 Xishan Qiu Yue 28/224/--- : 10 additional entries from 1602 to 1812.
谿山夜月 Xishan Ye Yue   42/---/--- :   1 additional entry from 1876 Tianlaige Qinpu)

Unrelated titles are 箕山操 Jishan Cao (perhaps an old name for Dunshi Cao, but as it actually survives, in Japan, it is musically unrelated) and, of course, 岐山操 Qi Shan Cao.

6. Five Great Melodies 五大曲
1722 calls Jishan Qiu Yue one of Five Great (i.e., big) Melodies. The five are:

  1. Jishan Qiu Yue (see above)
  2. Dongtian (Chunxiao),
  3. Yuhua (Deng Xian,
  4. Qiu Hong and
  5. Hujia.

Compare Four Great Melodies.

7. Mao Jizu 毛繼祖
17141.xxx; 繼祖 jizu means "heirs". So the 1589 edition attribution "會稽處士毛繼祖...而作也" should perhaps be translated as "it was created by heirs of (or an heir of) the retired scholar Mao of Kuaiji.

8. Zhou Tong'an 周桐菴
The 1609 edition says it was 金陵處士周桐菴...而校也.... revised by Zhou Tong'an of Nanjing. Compare this name with Zhou Donggang.

9. 沈太韶 Shen Taishao
Details under Zangchunwu Qinpu as well as the entry for Yan Cheng in Qin Shi Xu

10. Chao Fu 巢父
Chao Fu 8893.3 陶唐高士,山居不出,年老以樹為巢...no reference given. A gentleman at the time of Emperor Yao (堯, here called 陶唐 Yaotang) who became a recluse, when old nesting in a tree.

11. Example to be added.

12. 胡堯佐 Hu Yaozuo; see XI/24ff.

13. Original preface
Chinese original not yet online. Note that,
    The 1589 edition begins: 按是曲,乃我明會稽處士毛繼祖,擬巢(父)、(許)由之高潔而作也....
    The 1609 edition begins: 按是曲,乃我明金陵處士周僮菴,擬巢(父)、(許)由之高潔而作也....
For the 1609 edition see facsimile Folio 4 and Zha Guide 230.

14. No section titles
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Chart Tracing Jishan Qiu Yue / Xishan Qiu Yue

The following is based mainly on Zha Guide:
    箕山秋月 Jishan Qiu Yue  29/230/441: 17 from 1589 (here; revised 1609) to 1878
    谿山秋月 Xishan Qiu Yue 28/224/--- : 10 additional entries from 1602 to 1812.
    谿山夜月 Xishan Ye Yue   42/---/--- :   1 additional entry from Tianlaige Qinpu (1876)

    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
1.a 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1589; VII/161)
箕山秋月; 24 Sections; 角音
1.b 真傳正宗琴譜
      (1609; Facs IV/39)
identical to previous, though see comment
  2. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/362)
溪山秋月;"太韶所作 by (Shen) Taishao"; 18; grouped with 角;
quite similar to previous, but combines sections
  3. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/391)
谿山秋月; 18 titled sections; grouped with 角
  4. 松絃館琴譜
      (1614; VIII/104)
谿山秋月; 角; 13 sections but similar to 1602: combines sections;
  5. 樂仙琴譜
      (1623; VIII/392)
箕山秋月; 24 sections; 角; very similar to 1589
  6. 陶氏琴譜
      (late Ming; IX/459)
箕山月; 宮音 gong mode; 5 sections; only version with lyrics;
Melodic connection Jishan Qiu Yue seems somewhat vague
  7. 徽言秘旨
      (1647; X/102)
角; 18; 谿山秋月
      (1692; facs)
identical to previous
  8. 愧菴琴譜
      (1660; XI/26)
箕山秋月; 24 titled; 商意; has illustration
  9. 臣奔堂琴譜
      (1663/5; XI/83)
溪山秋月; 18 sections
10. 臣奔堂琴譜
      (1663/5; XI/96)
谿山; 21 sections
11. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/366 & 492)
溪山秋月; 22 sections
24 sections 
12. 澄鑒堂琴譜
      (1689; XIV/233)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
13. 琴譜析微
      (1692; XIII/74)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
14. 蓼懷堂琴譜
      (1702; XIII/227)
箕山秋月; 18; 角
15. 誠一堂琴譜
      (1705; XIII/360)
角; 18; 谿山秋月
16. 五知齋琴譜
      (1722; XIV/471)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
17. 臥雲樓琴譜
      (1722; XV/53)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
18. 存古堂琴譜
      (1726; XV/247)
箕山秋月; 12; 角
19. 蘭田館琴譜
      (1755; XVI/222)
箕山秋月; 24; 角; "白下沈雲舜派傳"
20. 琴香堂琴譜
      (1760; XVII/56)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
21. 自遠堂琴譜
      (1802; XVII/462)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
22. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; XIX/156)
箕山秋月; 24; 角; "德耕堂譜"
23. 小蘭琴譜
      (1812; XIX/447)
角; 22;「箕山」but ToC /529 says 本名「溪山秋月」
24. 悟雪山房琴譜
      (1836; XXII/378)
箕山秋月; 24; 中呂均角音
25. 天籟閣琴譜
      (1876; XXI/133)
谿山夜月 Xishan Ye Yue; 角音 jue mode; 13 sections
Name is different but it is still related
26. 天籟閣琴譜
      (1876; XXI/139)
箕山秋月; 24; 角
27. 希韶閣琴譜
      (1878; XXVI/missing)
箕山秋月; 24; 角; "巢父許由作"; 熟派;
has commentary

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