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17. (Title not yet translated)
角音 Jue mode: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 2
Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan
Bojie and Wuniang happy together3
Details of the opera story are easily available online in addition to the outline under Qin in Pipa Ji. The scene from which the present qin melody takes its lyrics occurs right after Cai Bojie has left his home in Chenliu to take part in the imperial examinations at the capital, Loyang. The scene consists largely of his wife Zhao Wuniang's lamenting her being separated from him, but her determination to take care of his aging parents.7
The whole scene has seven verses in all, but the qin version uses only the lyrics from four of the verses, #2 through #5.8 Verse two is said to use a melody called Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan; verses three to five are then said to use the same melody.9
The qin handbook's commentary with the qin melody does not mention the scene title, Strong Emotions in the Boudoir (Lin zhuan gan tan). Instead it uses as its overall title the predominant opera melody or melody type, Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan, given at the beginning of verse two in the opera text. Likewise verses 3, 4 and 5 of the opera text have no titles, instead identifying their melody as being "qian qiang": "the same as with the former verse".10
This may be the earliest known setting for qin of opera lyrics, but as yet there do not seem to be any studies of possible connections between the qin melody and the opera melody as ever known to have been performed.11 Some issues to consider have to do with marginal comments in the qin tablature and indications of repeated passages.12
The creator of the qin melody is not stated. It is generally presumed to be Zhang Tingyu, compiler of the handbook Lixing Yuanya, but it is not known to what extent his music might have been inspired by music originating in Pipa Ji, or indeed by any opera music from that time.13 The qin setting follows the tradition of having largely one note per syllable, something very rare in Chinese opera.14
Preface15 (QQJC VIII/238)
The preface in 1618 is as follows,
It ends with, "and so this was especially put into notation/the handbook", but there is no mention made of the actual music.
Music and lyrics 16
The source of the music is not given; for the source of the lyrics see above. Here the Chinese text is aligned to the translation by Jean Mulligan but her footnotes are omitted and romanization updated. Note that a comma followed by another punctuation mark with no text between means that the tablature called for repeating the phrase without specifying whether that meant repeating the text or just the music (this footnote shows that in all but the first case the text in these editions always writes out the lyrics again).
|Opening tablature and lyrics from 1618|
Tóng xīn dài wǎn chū.
Our love knot had just been tied.
Tàn "Yáng Guān" shēng duàn,
Alas, the sounds of "Yang Guan" died away,
And I saw you off from Nanpu.
Zǎo yǐ chéng jiān zǔ.
How long since we parted!
Mán luó jīn lèi zì, ,
Nothing left but tears which soak my jacket, !
Hé nà bǎo sè chén mái,
Our treasured (Mulligan: "qin and") se are covered with dust,
Jǐn bèi xiū pù.
Our embroidered coverlet I'm ashamed to unroll.
Jì mò qióng chuāng,
At lonely window,
Xiāo tiáo zhū hù,
By deserted door,
Kōng bǎ liú nián dù.
Year after year I'll pass in vain.
Qiè yì jūn qíng,
That the feelings between us
Yī dàn rú zhāo lù.
Suddenly became transitory as the morning dew.
Jūn xíng wàn lǐ tú,
The road you travel is a thousand miles.
Qiè xīn wàn bān kǔ.
My heart is filled with a thousand sorrows.
Jūn hái niàn qiè,
If you remember me,
Tiáo tiáo yuǎn yuǎn yě xū huí gù.
From far, far away, you'll long to come home.
Lǜ yún lǎn qù shū.
My black clouds of hair I'm reluctant to comb.
Nài huà méi rén yuǎn,
He who painted my eyebrows is far away.
Fù fěn láng qù,
My lover with powdered cheeks is gone.
Jìng luán xiū zì wǔ.
Like the phoenix, I blush (?) at my solitary form in the mirror.
Bǎ guī qī àn shù, ,
Secretly, I count the days till he returns, .
Zhǐ jiàn yàn yǎo yú chén,
Lost are the fish and goose that carry his letters,
Fèng zhī luán gū.
Each alone, phoenix husband, phoenix wife.
Lǜ biàn tīng zhōu,
Green covers our river island,
Yòu shēng fāng dù,
And the fragrant pollia tree blossoms once more.
Kōng zì sī qián shì.
In vain do I think of these former matters (Mulligan omitted this line)
Fāng cǎo xié yáng,
Fragrant grass in the light of the setting sun
Jiào wǒ wàng duàn Cháng'ān lù.
Leads my gaze toward the road to Chang'an.
Jūn shēn qǐ dàng zi,
How could you stay long a wanderer?
Qiè fēi dàng zi fù.
I am not meant to be a wanderer's wife.
Qí jiān jiù lǐ,
This situation I'm in -
Qiān qiān wàn wàn, yǒu shuí kān sù?
Out of millions of people, is there not one in whom I can confide?
Táng qián wèn jiù gū.
Toward his parents' room to ask what they need.
Pà shí quē xū jìn,
If they're short of food, I must offer more;
Yī zhàn xū bǔ,
Torn clothes I must mend,
Yào xíng shí xū yǔ fú.
Feeble limbs I'll support.
Nài xī shān mù jǐng, ,
Alas, the sun has set over western hills, .
Jiào wǒ qiàn zhe shéi rén,
And whom can I hire
Chuán yǔ wǒ de er fū.
To carry word to my husband?
Nǐ shēn shang qīng yún,
You may ascend to the high clouds;
Zhǐ pà qīn guī huáng tǔ,
I only fear your parents are returning to the yellow earth.
Wǒ lín bié (shí), yě céng duō zhǔ fù.
As you left, how I entreated you!
Nà xiē ge yì zī zī,
Are you really such a dedicated scholar?
Zhǐ pà shí li hóng lóu,
I only fear that in ten miles of red pavilions,
Tān liàn zhe tā rén háo fù.
Power and wealth you'll covet.
(Zhàngfū), nǐ suīrán wàngle nú,
(Husband), though you may forget me,
Yě xū niàn fùmǔ.
Surely your parents will stay in your thoughts.
Wú rén shuō yǔ,
There's no one to whom I can speak of this -
Zhè qī qī lěng lěng, zěn shēng gū fù?
This cold, cold loneliness - how can I bear it?
Fēn fēn dōu shì cái jùn tú.
So many talented young gentlemen!
Shǎo shénme jìng fēn luán fèng,
So many mirrors broken as pledges by loving couples!
Dōu yào bǎng dēng lóng hǔ,
They all seek to climb high on the examination list;
Piān shì tā jiāng nú wù.
But it is he alone who does me wrong.
Yě bù suǒ qì gǔ, ,
Still I mustn't be bitter, . (Here "再作 repeat" is written in the lyrics column.)
Jì shòu tuō le dàng fán,
Since he entrusted me with the family altars,
Yǒu shén tuī cí?
How can I shirk my duty?
Suǒ xìng zuò gè xiào fù xián qī,
Why not become a filial daughter-in-law and virtuous wife,
Yě luò dé míng biāo qīng shǐ(,)
And have my name recorded in history (?)
Bù wǎng shòu le xiē xián qī chǔ.
Then my loneliness won't be in vain.
Ǎn zhèlǐ zì zhī wú,
I'll carry on here as best I can,
Xiū dé wū le tā de míng er,
So his reputation won't be harmed,
Zuǒ yòu yǔ tā xiāng huí hù.
I'll cover up for him somehow.
Nǐ biàn zuò yāo jīn yī zǐ,
When you have donned golden belt and purple robes,
Xū jì dé jīng chāi yǔ qún bù. (tablature has "jīng chāi"?)
Remember my thorn hairpin and cotton skirt.
Yī chǎng chóu xù,
My depression's a skein -
Duī duī jī jī, sòng yù nán fù.
Such tangled piles, even Song Yu could never describe.
(The scene then ends with two 7+7 couplets, but these were not included in the qin melody.)
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
Illustrious Meeting with/of Superiors? (風雲會四朝元 Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan;
Understanding the background of this qin melody begins with learning how it fits into the play Pipa Ji by Gao Ming. For this I have relied so far largely on two sources:
Regarding the title Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan, many opera libretti include this as the name of an opera melody or melody type, but as yet I have not found any descriptions of what it is, its origins, how many variations there might be/have been, and so forth. References include:
This plus the fact that the table of contents in Lixing Yuanya gave only "Si Chao Yuan" as the title may signifies that here Si Chao Yuan is simply short for Fengyun Hui Sichao Yuan, but this does not show the connection, if any, between Fengyun Hui Sichao Yuan and the drama called Fengyun Hui.
Jiao Mode (角音 Jiao Yin (5 6 1 2 3 5 6)
For more on jiao mode see Shenpin Jiao Yi of 1425; for mode in general see Modality in early Ming qin tablature.
蔡伯喈 Cai Bojie and 趙五娘 Zhao Wuniang
Image copied from 張國標 Zhang Guobiao, ed., 徽派版畫藝術 Art of Woodcut of the Huizhou School, 安徽省美術出版社 Anhui Publishing House, 1995, p.227. The original woodblock is from a woodblock edition of Pipa Ji; the commentary does not actually identify the scene but it seems to be by the Cai family garden.
Trace Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan
Zha Guide lists Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan only in this one handbook, Li Xing Yuan Ya (1618).
Scene 8 or 9
The online CText edition has this as Scene 9, but in the translation by Jean Mulligan it is Scene 8.
Strong Emotions in the Boudoir (臨妝感歎 Lín zhuāng gǎn tàn)
Mulligan's version does not have section titles; the Ctext version adds them without saying from where they came. In any case, the fact that the qin melody title comes from an opera melody title rather than this opera story title, whenever it was added, might suggest that the qin melody was intended to have a connection to the opera melody (or melody type). If so, the comments in the next footnote suggest that the melody must have been quite flexible (i.e., a melody type rather than a fixed melody).
The inequality with regard to roles expected of the husband and wife has received much modern commentary. I have not yet seen contemporary commentary.
Relationship of the lyrics to the scene in Pipa Ji
The lyrics are verses 2 to 5 (of seven) from Scene 9 (of 42) of Pipa Ji; they are copied here from the CText edition. Verse 1 has a different melody; all scenes end with two verses that are each 7+7 couplets.
Same melody as previous verse (前腔 qian qiang)
The precise meaning or usage of this is unclear. The four verses are of unequal length and the qin melody seems different (though perhaps related) for each section. Perhaps relationships will reveal themselves after the qin melody has been reconstructed.
Scene title: 臨妝感歎 Lin zhuan gan tan. Overall title: 風雲會四朝元 Feng Yun Hui Si Chao Yuan. Qian qiang: 前腔.
Earliest use of opera lyrics for qin melodies
This does not include ancient song lyrics that might have been adapted into both qin melodies and opera lyrics, with no information as yet to show any connections between the latter two. See, for example, a song such as Yan Yi Ge.
Marginal comments presumably are related to the pronunciation or inflection of the characters just to their left, six in all, but it is not clear why these six characters were selected out. The six comments and the related characters are, in order:
Is the music from or influenced by the opera tradition?
Perhaps reconstructing the melody will help answer this question. However, it may also require a deeper understanding than is currently possible of the connections between its sources in 南戲 Nanxi and 傳奇 Chuanqi as well as its development into and within 崑曲 kunqu (see further under Qin in Pipa Ji).
Note for note setting
More under Poetry and Song
Not yet translated (Oh, the joys of trying to understand classical opera writings!)
Music and Lyrics
There are a few differences between the qin melody lyrics and the lyrics as included in CText Scene 9 (of 42). The latter is as follows (n.b., the first scene has divisions here to show it has three sections, one using the tune Po qichen, one in gufeng form, one perhaps in prose):
Together with translation above.
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