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Yixuan Qinjing
Qin Classic of Yixuan   1
Late Ming
Comments by Zhang Yixuan 2        
Yixuan Qinjing has 32 melodies in 2 folios.3 None of these 32 titles is new; one has lyrics. The "Yixuan" in the title refers to a nickname of the compiler, Zhang Yiheng of Jinan (Shandong).4

This is perhaps the correct title of a handbook listed in both the Yuguzhai Examination of Qin Handbooks and the Qianqingtang Shumu as "Zhang Yifu Xixuan Qinjing, 2 folios";5 in this case the characters "Xi" and "Xuan" refer to two legendary emperors, "Xi" referring to Fu Xi and "Xuan" referring to Xuan Yuan. If indeed these are the same handbook it is not clear why there is this discrepancy.

According to the commentary by Zha Fuxi (dated 1962) in Qinqu Jicheng, there is no reliable information on the actual date of publication for this handbook. The undated opening comments by Zhang Yiheng consist of phrases copied from older sources, so they do not shed any light on the book itself. The assumption that it was produced at the end of the Ming dynasty is thus based largely on such matters as paper size, ink color, engraving method and publication style. There is no preface or afterword, and the method of writing the tablature is not distinctive enough to help determine the origin of the melodies. Further research is thus needed to determine the year of publication and sources of the tablature.

With regard to this, it might be noted that the method of indicating finger positions in all the melodies seems to follow the old system.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Yixuan Qinjing 義軒琴經 (QQJC IX/405-454)
29142.xxx. The copy used in QQJC was then in the 文化部,文學藝術研究院,音樂研究所 Music Research Bureau of the Academy of Literature and Arts within the Cultural Bureau. In this edition four melodies are completely missing, another four are partially missing.

2. Image: Opening comments of Zhang Yiheng
This image is copied from QQJC IX/410 (4th page; see more).

3. Table of Contents
See image of the original.

4. 張一亨 Zhang Yiheng
張一亨 Zhang Yiheng 10026.xxx. The nickname 義軒 Yixuan is used at the end of the 雜說 General Statement on page 4 of the handbook. At the beginning of the tablature section the following is written:

濟南張一亨仲春甫定 First draft by Zhang Yiheng, style name Zhongchun, of Jinan
鄴郡鍾英師期甫校 Revisions by recent apprentice Zhong Ying of Ye district

(Perhaps 鄴郡 is the 鄴縣 Ye county in the region of 臨淄 Linzi, about 100 km east of Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Zha Fuxi's comments mention nothing of this name.)

Regarding the possibility of 羲軒 Xixuan instead of 義軒 Yixuan Yixuan, see next footnote.

5. 張益孚羲軒琴經二卷 Zhang Yifu Xixuan Qinjing, 2 folios
Both the Yuguzhai Examination of Qin Handbooks and the Qianqingtang Shumu list this handbook. The possibility that this may refer to the present Yixuan Qinjing is based largely on the similarity of the names combined with the assumption that the compilers of the two lists had not seen the original, which clearly uses "Yixuan" but which was apparently not commonly circulated. "羲軒 Xixuan" (29180.17), which looks very similar to "義軒 Yixuan", refers to the two legendary emperors 伏羲 Fu Xi and 軒轅 Xuan Yuan)

Return to the annotated handbook list or to the Guqin ToC.