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Guqin Analysis 分析
Li Yuanqing; Zha Fuxi; Pu Xuezhai; Yang Yinliu; Guan Pinghu 1
Traditional analysis can be philosophical or cosmological as well as musical.
2 As for musical analysis, this requires musical examples and historical data, and for collection, preservation and descriptions of this we are most greatly indebted to the guqin work of 1956 led by Zha Fuxi. Regarding the photo at right, Zha Fuxi, Pu Xuezhai and Guan Pinghu were all qin players. Li Yuanqing was then Director of the Music Research Institute, while Yang Yinliu was probably the most important historian of Chinese music in general.

Articles in this section include

  1. Dapu: Bringing Old Music to Life
    - see also Bell Yung on Dapu
  2. Historically Informed Qin Performance
    - Requiring silk strings
  3. Qin Tunings, Some Theoretical Concepts
    - for practical details see Tuning a Qin
  4. Just Intonation Tuning?
  5. Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature
    - compare Mode and Structure in Jieshi Diao You Lan
  6. Rhythm in Early Ming Qin Tablature
  7. Rivers in Spring and Autumn (concerns music structures)
  8. Use of ornamentation in guqin play
    - Mostly concerns arguments about changes in the relative importance of the left and right hands
  9. Guqin improvisation
    - Ranging from personal interpretation to free improvisation
  10. "作 Zuo": Was qin music "composed" or ?created"?
    - To what extent can one call qin melodies "compositions" in the general Western sense?

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Li Yuanqing, Zha Fuxi, Pu Xuezhai, Yang Yinliu and Guan Pinghu (中文)
This photo, dated 1954, was copied from Zha Fuxi: Qinxue Wencui.
  Yang Yinliu playing qin        
楊蔭瀏 Yang Yinliu (1899–1984; Wiki; see also stevenjones.blog)
Yang Yinliu was a noted music historian. The following is an article by him about the qin (I do not know who translated it):

楊蔭瀏 Ernest Y.L. Yang. 2009. 《琴譜》 The chin music. 
"In Chinese and English, with transcriptions of qin music as played by 王燕卿 Wang Yanqing" (1867-1921; Meian School)

As a side note, Yang Yinliu's name was listed in a 1930s Chinese Protestant Church hymnal as "Ernest Yang". Thanks to Woo Shingkwan for sending me a pdf copy of two relevant pages, as well as the above reference. He was apparently 聖公會 an Anglican (see the Chinese Wiki). His arrangement of Yangguan Sandie as a church hymn is mentioned here.

李元慶 Li Yuanqing was apparently an administrator.

2. Differing types of analysis
Attitudes towards the qin can vary depending on the background. This is discussed in detail in an extended essay (in Chinese) by 劉承華 Liu Chenghua called 文人琴與藝人琴關係的歷史考察 (An historical examination of the relationship between scholars' qin and artists' qin).

It is interesting to consider such writings in terms of what today may be called "ecocriticism". One might say that most traditional Chinese analysis of guqin could qualify as ecocriticism. Instead of analyzing music in terms of its concrete musical structure, it discusses the music and its apparent structure in terms of how this fits into (and might also have effect on) the natural and social environment (as well as the organized efforts of people to bring order to those environments).

Note also that traditional introductions to qin might also be referred to as "ecocommentary". A good example of this is the story of Boya learning guqin from nature, as told in the introduction to an ancient version of the melody Shui Xian Cao (see also this related modern example).


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