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Waves Scouring the Sands
Subtitle: Yearning for the past (Huai Jiu);2 "Gong yin"3
浪淘沙 1
Lang Tao Sha  
Lang Tao Sha from 1676 qin (pdf)4  
There are only two settings for a qin melody of this title, the present one from Japan (repeated in several later Japanese handbooks) and a setting for one-string qin published only in 1618.5 The melodies of the two settings are unrelated except that both were set to a ci poem by the famous Song dynasty poet Ouyang Xiu.

Lang Tao Sha was a very popular ci pattern - or perhaps it would be better to say this is a very popular name for a ci pattern, as it has numerous differing forms. The present form also has numerous surviving well-known examples;6 each could presumably also be sung to the present mellody.

The syllabic pattern of this form of Lang Tao Sha is 5, 4; 7; 7, 4 repeated once.7 The melody is quite different between the two sections, but just as the lyrics of the two halves follow a similar pattern, the music for the two parts can easily follow the same rhythm.

Of Ouyang Xiu's poem Ronald C. Egan wrote,8

"I raise my cup to implore the east wind/Tarry with us a while longer". This line was borrowed almost entirely from another poem by the Tang poet Sikong Tu. It speaks of Ouyang's sadness over having to part too soon from his friend Mei Yaochen. Probably sent by a friend who will miss you!  

None in 1676. In 1618 it said only, "出古詞府 from the old Ci Collection". It is not clear whether this refers only to the lyrics are to (a form of) the melody as well.

Music9 and lyrics10 (Timings follow my recording [without voice]: 聽錄音 listen)
The setting is mostly syllabic,11 following the lyrics by Ouyang Xiu (some other possible lyrics are below).

00.00 (Opening, taken from the closing harmonics)
00.09 (Beginning)
Bǎ jiǔ zhù dōng fēng, qiě gòng cóng róng,
I raise my wine cup to implore the east wind: Tarry with us a while longer.

Chuí yáng zǐ mò luò chéng dōng.
Swaying willows color the lanes purple on the east side of Luoyang,

總是當時攜手處,                  游遍芳叢。
Zǒng shì dāng shí xié shǒu chù, yóu biàn fāng cóng.
Always the place where hand in hand, we go strolling amidst all the fragrance.

00.45 (Begin repeat of ci pattern; note modal change in this line)
Jù sàn kǔ cōng cōng, cǐ hèn wú qióng.
Our gathering ends, alas, so quickly, such regrets have no limit.

Jīn nián huā shèng qù nián hóng.
This year's flowers were more charming than last.

可惜明年花更好,                  知與誰同?
Kě xí míng nián huā gèng hǎo, zhī yǔ shuí tóng?
Perhaps next year the flowers will be even lovelier, but with whom will I then be?

01.27 (End)

The setting from 1676 has problematic notes paired to the words "從容" and "無窮" (position 6.0 on seventh string should probably be 6.4); these are mostly corrected by 1771 and 1898

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. References for Waves Scouring the Sands (浪淘沙 Lang Tao Sha)
Also translated at "Waves Washing the Sands". The original song is said to have been a "唐教坊 Tang Jiaofang tune", but there are at least four different variants based on phrase lengths. (During the Tang dynasty the Jiaofang" was a bureau responsible for court music.)

2. Subtitle: Yearning for the Past
懷舊 Huai Jiu

3. Gong mode (宮音 gong yin)
Mode in the short songs of the handbooks preserved in Japan seems to be rather different from that in earlier Ming handbooks (see, e.g., criteria discussed under Shenpin Gong Yi as well as Modality in early Ming qin tablature.

The tonal center for most of the melody seems to be the open 4th string. In my transcription I treat the relative tuning here as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2, transcribing 1 as C; the main tonal center is thus G, with the scale being G A Bb C D E. This works for the first half of the melody, but when the ci pattern is repeated (here) and F# is introduced as the tonal center seems to change to D. After this the tonal center changes back to G but the note F is also introduced. This I find interesting to hear but, together with the wide leaps that occur in the melody, rather difficult to sing.

4. Image: Setting for qin of the song 浪淘沙 Lang Tao Sha
Missing from the image is the last line (next page) saying, 東皋越杜多手校: 東皋越 Donggao = Toko Etsu; 杜多 duduo = monk (from dhuta [sanskrit]). This setting, discussed further below, is from Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu, published in Japan before 1676, probably having been brought there from China. The symbols by the Chinese characters tell Japanese how to pronounce the characters in Chinese. In these first two double lines the setting has one character for each qin note except for the slides on the fourth cluster of each line of tablature.

5. Tracing 浪淘沙 Lang Tao Sha
Zha Guide 32/--/471 lists two occurences of Lang Tao Sha, as follows:

  1. One in China: Lixing Yuanya (1618; VIII/342)
  2. One preserved in Japan in nearly identical versions beginning in the late 17th century
          Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu (XII/168; see the original)
          Toko Kinpu (XII/249
          also copied in XII/268

If there are any others in this pattern but with another title I have not yet found them.

6. Other lyrics following this pattern for Lang Tao Sha
Lang Tao Sha seems to take a number of different forms. Some examples that follow the current form include,

  1. 李煜 Li Yu (李後主 Li Houzhu), 937–978, Wiki; translation)

  2. 辛棄疾 Xin Qiji (1140-1207); translation

It does seem possible to sing these together with the 1676 melody above. See also in Yuefu Shiji

7. This ci pattern for 浪淘沙 Lang Tao Sha
Its standard 平仄 pingze pattern is as follows:


There is no information to suggest this pattern affects the music.

8. Quote
I am looking for the source of this quote.

司空圖 Sikong Tu (837 - 908)
A poem "Autumn Thoughts" by Sikong Tu was mentioned
here. The last line of his poem mentioned above has "I raise my cup to implore the east wind/Tarry with us a while longer" ("黃昏把酒祝東風,且從容。", no "共"):

酒泉子 (Jiu Quanzi, the name of another cipai)

I have not yet found a full translation.

9. Music
This melody seems difficult to sing for two reasons: it leaps around, requiring a singer without a very wide vocal range to make sudden adjustments. In addition, the modality is somewhat unusual. In particular, the line beginning the repeat of the ci pattern suddenly changes modality (further comment).

10. Lyrics
The literal translation above was helped by a more poetic one by Joseph Lee (Renditions 11/12, p.9, 2005?).

11. Syllabic setting
Following the common pairing practice in qin songs of one character for each right hand stroke but no characters for left hand slides or, in this case, left hand plucks. In execution here, however, for the rhythm of the lyrics in the second section to correspond with that of the first the characters 花 勝 in line 5 above must be shifted up.

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