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Confucius and the Qin  /  Confucius  /  The melody Xing Tan 聽錄音 Listen to my recording  /   網站目錄
Illustrations for Xing Tan
(Also: Apricot Tree Forum/Pavilion; Gingko Tree Forum/Pavilion1)
杏壇圖
曲阜﹕杏壇閣     Apricot Tree Pavilion, Qufu      

Tradition says Confucius taught his students at the "Xing Tan" in his home town of Qufu, Shandong province. Since ancient times "Xing Tan Pavilions" have been erected there in the Confucian temple. Illustrations often show him playing the qin as he teaches under a tree. The inscription with the illustration below ends with Confucius reciting a poem that provides lyrics for the version of the melody Xing Tan in Xilutang Qintong, 1525:2

Summer goes, winter comes, spring turns to fall;
Stars and sun set in the west, water flows eastward.
Generals fighting on horseback: now where are they?
Wild grass blocks out the flowers, covering the earth in gloom.

These same lyrics also appear in other qin melodies.

Confucius teaches at the Apricot Tree Forum: Woodblock print
      (compare painting by Bai Yunli)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to Art Illustrating Guqin Melodies

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 杏壇 Xing Tan
Regarding "杏 xing", the identity of this tree is not completely clear. As for "壇 tan" it seems variously to be translated as "forum", suggesting a meeting place, and "pavilion", suggesting a physical structure. The formal name used above, 杏壇閣 Xing Tan Ge clarifies that the image shows a structure.
(Return)

2. In Chinese (Section 10 only): 歌詞(第十段)

暑往寒來,春復秋;
夕陽西下,水東流。
將軍戰馬,今何在?
野草閑花,滿地愁。
(Return)

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