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Youshengshe Qinpu
Friends in Sound Society Qin Handbook 1
ca. 1650
Handwritten tablature 2      
This handbook was apparently a group effort of the Hangzhou "Friends in Sound Society", esp. 鄭方 Zheng Fang (鄭正叔 Zheng Zhengshu).3 In this it should be compared with Chenbentang Qinpu (1663-5).

Youshengshe Qinpu originally had 37 melodies but in the surviving version 11 of these are missing. At least four of the melodies are new and seven have lyrics.

At front is a Preface to the Assembled Tablature of Melodious Valley (韻谷彙譜叙 Yungu Huipu Xu) by Zheng Fang. In three paragraphs, it begins by quoting Yan Cheng. This is followed by a melody list with a title that apparently says these are the pieces by Yan Cheng that have been revised by Zheng Fang; it does not seem to reflect the contents of this handbook.

After this is a list of the contents of the first folio and the 11 pieces of that folio; then a table of contents for the second folio and 15 of the 26 pieces listed for that folio. The handbook closes with an afterword.

Most pieces in the handbook are ascribed as the tablature of a particular master. This includes:

There are also indications of who may have done revisions to a tablature.

Almost every melody has a note at the end saying how many "聲 sounds" it had; for songs this number coincides with the number of words, not notes.

There were at least six new melodies:

Six melodies have afterwords:

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Youshengshe Qinpu 友聲社琴譜) (QQJC XI/139-207)
The QQJC edition of Youshengshe Qinpu was found in the Zhongshan University Library, Guangzhou. Some pages were apparently lost or scattered; the remaining pages had to be re-organized to form the present edition.

2. Handwritten tablature
This is the opening section of a melody called 木蘭詞 Mulan Ci that survives only from this handbook (QQJJ XI/191)

3. Zheng Zhengshu 鄭正叔 (style name of 鄭方 Zheng Fang)
40513.xxx Zheng Zhengshu, previously mentioned here under Pingsha Luoyan, was from 虎林 Hulin, near Hangzhou. There is no mention of him in Qinshi Xu, but he was a well-known qin player straddling the Ming and Qing dynasties. He was from 虎林 Hulin (33474.88, near Hangzhou) and associated with qin players in 西泠 Xiling, also in Hangzhou, around West Lake. In addition to 友聲社琴譜 Yousheng She Qinpu (his preface is at XI/141), he is also connected to the early Qing dynasty handbook 臣卉堂琴譜 Chenbentang Qinpu (1663-5; his preface is at XI/77). Wu Zhao's commentary on Youshengshe Qinpu says it was 鄭正叔先生校訂刪選嚴譜目 revised by Mr. Zheng Zhengshu from tablature by Yan (Yan Cheng).

Although Zheng is popularly associated with the melody Pingsha Luoyan, but the early history of that melody seems somewhat convoluted. Thus, it is not included in the existing versions of the handbooks connected to him, Youshengshe Qinpu and Chenbentang Qinpu and he is first credited with a printed version in the two handbooks dated 1677/82. He is next credited with a version in 1709, where it is called "Ping Sha Luo Yan", but the version there is more like 1634 than 1677.

Zheng Zhengshu, also mentioned under Song Yu Bei Qiu. However, once again there is no mention of this melody in the present handbook or Chenbentang Qinpu.

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