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Bamboo Branch Lyrics 1
Yu mode (羽音 Yuyin) 2
Zhuzhi Ci  
  Zhuzhi Ci as preserved in Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu3          
Zhuzhi Ci (Bamboo Branch Lyrics) is a melody preserved only in Japan.4 As a song form the lyrics are said to come from a Tang dynasty folk tradition in Sichuan: the region of Chengdu, or along the Yangzi river. The earliest and best known writer in this form was 劉禹錫 Liu Yuxi (772-842). However, it is not clear how that might relate to either the present melody or its anonymous lyrics.

The opening four notes here are the same as those of Yi Wangsun except that in most editions of the Yi Wangsun the first two clusters are played in harmonics. The connection or comparison with Zhu Zhi Ci (other than that Yi Wangsun was also noted for using this form) is also interesting because of their relative structures. Zhu Zhi Ci has a paired 7+7 character couplets structure (7,7;7,7.) (絕句 jueju? 詞 ci? The structure of Yi Wangsun seems to be a variant on this structure (7, 7; 7+3, 7.5). In its reconstruction an effort was made to bring out that 3-character variant on the jueju form; the 3-character phrase is perceived not as a separate line but as an extension of the third line.

The tablature in the Zhengben is basically the same as here. One difference, also found in other melodies, is seen here on the characters "歌喉 ge hou": in Hewen the instructions are to play "挑剔 tiao ti" then "對起 duiqi", which is idiomatic, while Zhengben has only "剔 ti" then "對起 duiqi", which is not so much so. Then with "那 na" Hewen uses "夕" the ring finger to play the note in the 10th position, which is very natual, while TKKP awkwardly has the ring finger plays it at the 9th position.

Meanwhile, in her book of transcriptions Wang Di (#31, pp.98) omits the cluster indicating the third note after the harmonics sign, then seems to make up for this by changing some notes at the end. She also ignores the unattributed lyrics that accompany the Japanese edition, instead applying two sets of YFSJ Zhu Zhi Ci lyrics by Liu Yuxi. These are:

  1. 山上層層桃李花,雲間煙火是人家。銀釧金釵來負水,長刀短笠去燒畲。
  2. 楊柳青青江水平,聞郎江上唱歌聲。東邊日出西邊雨,道是無晴還有晴。

The second of these poems is sung on the accompanying CD.6

Although the Japanese setting does not use lyrics by Liu Yuxi, as in YFSJ they are also 7x4 and so could be used to sing the Liu Yuxi lyrics. The lyrics actually used in Japan, which are unattributed, are as follows:

非商非羽聲吾伊,     Fēi shāng fēi yǔ shēng wú yī,   (吾伊 is the sound of reading)
    Without (the notes) shang or yu the sound is like reading;

宛轉歌喉唱豔詞。     wǎn zhuǎn gē hóu chàng yàn cí.
    through the sinuous song line one sings beautiful lyrics.

斷腸那何人不識,     Duàn cháng nà hé rén bù shí,
    As for heartbreak, who does not know it?

一腔清韻有誰知。     yī qiāng qīng yùn yǒu shuí zhī.
    As for a clear melody, who does know it?

As yet I have not been able to find the source of these lyrics. The translation is tentative.

Original preface
None; says only "Qin Guan"

Melody and Lyrics (as yet no 聽錄音 audio recording; see transcription) 8

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Bamboo Branch Lhyrics (竹枝詞 Zhuzhi Ci) (XII/222; TKKP IV/45)
Zhuzhi ci were (ABC) "ancient folk love poems" or "classical poems on local themes". Although called a ci, Zhuzhi Ci and its form (7,7,7,7.) is evidently not a cipai.

26424.104 竹枝詞 references 劉禹錫 Liu Yuxi, but it has no mention of a cipai and does not quote any lyrics.

26424.103 竹枝 gives more detail, saying zhuzhi were poems in the Songs of Recent Times (近代曲辭 Jindai qu ci) section of Yuefu Shiji. Liu Yuxi lyrics of this title are indeed included in that section of Yuefu Shiji (see Folio 81).

2. Yu mode
The mode is not very focused, but with relative tuning 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 the melody ends on la (yu, 6).

3. Image: Zhuzhi Ci as preserved in Japan
From Meiwa edition, QQJC XII/255/6. See also Hewen (XII/215) and TKKP (IV/37) editions.

4. Tracing 竹枝詞 Zhuzhi Ci
Zha Guide 35/--/510: only surviving in Japan.

I am not clear if they are universally accepted either as 絕句 jueju or as 詞 ci. More under Poetry with lines of regular length

6. Recording based on Wang Di transcription


7. Preface

8. Melody
Recorded in the Studio for Seeking Solitude, January 2010

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