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|Qin Bios||Recording of Wuling Chun 首頁|
Proper name Qi Huizhen 1; also a qin melody 2
|Sketch of Wuling Chun by Wu Wei 3|
As for the woman called Wuling Chun, about all we know about her comes from a 15th century essay by the famous contemporary Nanjing literatus and painter, Xu Lin.6 The essay begins as follows (see original):
The courtesan 齊慧真 Qi Huizhen was nicknamed Wuling Chun. From youth she enjoyed reading books, and was able to give "short intonations" of both 5 and 7 character jueju (regulated verse). From playing qin she was able to write down the melodies,7 and when meeting guests she would not use the guzheng or pipa to gain appreciation. Guests particularly acclaimed her singing. She could sing a great many stanzas of Song dynasty poems and be awarded.... (translation incomplete.)
Xu Lin's essay went on to say that Qi Huizhen, who lived in the Jiangnan area, had a love affair with a Mr. Fu for five years, but then he was exiled for some offense. She spent a great deal of money in an effort to save him, but when this failed she became depressed and died.
Wu Wei based the painting above on this essay. He reflected the praise for her artistic skills by depicting her with qin, books, calligraphy brush and ink stone.8
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
Wuling Chun (武陵春)
武陵春 16623.255 mentions only the opera (which tells a story most famously associated with Tao Yuanming) and cipai of this name; as for the qin melody of that name see below. There seems to be no other information about a lady named either Wuling Chun or Qi Huizhen (齊慧真 49553.xxx), apparently her original name. There seems to be no surviving poetry or music attributed to her, and there is no further information about her lover, 傅生 Mr. Fu.
Essay about Wuling Chun written by
The original essay is as follows:
The above was included in an online article in .pdf format found by searching for "武陵已矣". The same file also quoted another essay saying her name might actually have been 齊景雲 Qi Jingyun.
2. The qin melody 武陵春 Wuling Chun
Zha Guide (37/---/533) includes in this entry two occurrences of this title:
|The qin song 武陵春 Wuling Chun from 1687||Wuling Chun 1687 tablature|
武陵春錄音 Wuling Chun recording with Li Qingzhao lyrics
(compare 1687 lyrics)
As can be seen above, the 1687 Wuling Chun lyrics have the pattern (7+5) x 4. In contrast, the best known example of a Wuling Chun poem, by the famous lady poet 李清照 Li Qingzhao (1084 - ca.1151), adds an extra character at the end, making the last line 7+6. (The required extra note in the last phrase can be seen in red in the expanded image from at right.)
Her lyrics are as follows (transcription 看五線譜 and recording 聽錄音):
In spite of the similarity of names, there is no reason to think there is any connection between either of these melodies and the lady nicknamed Wuling Chun. On the other hand, one might speculate that perhaps she took, or was given, her nickname because of the association of Wuling Chun (as a ci pattern) with Li Qingzhao.
Sketch of Wuling Chun by Wu Wei (1459－1508) 吳偉武陵春圖
See whole image. The original is in the Palace Museum, Beijing; there are many online copies. The inscription on the full painting is as follows:
I do not know who was the Dong Jing Retired Scholar (洞涇居士 Dongjing Jushi 17777.xxx; likewise for 洞淫居士 Dongyin Jushi) who 頓書 dashed this off. This is followed by seals with the name of Wu Wei.
Peach Blossom Spring Tale 桃花源記 Taohua Yuan Ji
See under Spring Dawn at Peach Blossom Spring>.
Other meanings for "Wuling Chun"
For example, it was also the name of a type of wine.
Xu Lin 徐霖 (1462-1538)
Was able to write down melodies (自能譜調 zi neng pu diao)
It is not clear from the essay above the actual meaning of 譜調 pu diao (36833.xxx; also see the definition of pu). Literally it seems to suggest that she could transcribe what she or others played on the qin, but it could also mean that she composed melodies (without necessarily writing them down), could write down her own original melodies, or perhaps even that she could play from tablature, without having a teacher.
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