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Art Illustrating Guqin Melodies   /   Scenes Illustrating melodies from the Chu Ci 首頁 
Scenes from the Chu Ci poem Yuan You
(Travel Afar; the qin melody has the same title)
Illustrations by Bai Yunli
楚辭﹕遠遊圖
白雲立
Listen and view illustrations 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8    

According to translator David Hawkes, Yuan You is probably not by Qu Yuan; instead it is a "Taoist's answer to (Qu Yuan's) Li Sao". In Yuan You the narrator, as in Li Sao, travels the heavens visiting various deities or immortals. But instead of ending in despair he finds fulfillment through his arrival at the Source (Tai Chu).

The qin melody Yuan You is found only in the qin handbook Xilutang Qintong (1525 CE). It is preceded by an introductory melody called Chu Tai Yin (Dwell at the Source), referring to the final line of the poem (see Illustration 8). This in turn is preceded by a modal prelude showing characteristics of the 夷則調 yize mode, which uses the tuning 3 5 6 1 2 3 5 .

As is explained in Sources of the online Chu Ci Illustrations, the illustrations by Bai Yunli are based on earlier ones by Men Yingzhao (active during 1736-1795), in particular of the five he did for Yuan You (of lines 1-2, 108, 125-6, 145-6 and 161-2).

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