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Qin Shi (History of the Qin)
By Zhu Changwen (1041-1100)
Qin Shi, by Zhu Changwen, has six folios. The first five folios should have 146 biographical essays (in the modern edition three have been garbled into one: see contents outline3). Eleven of the entries concern women.4 In addition, the final folio has 11 theoretical and practical treatises.5
The biographical essays relate legends and biographies from the earliest days of the qin to the time of the author. They seem to be organized as much by source as by chronology. The standard format of the entries is that Zhu Changwen begins by quoting or paraphrasing existing written sources, then perhaps adds his own comments. He rarely indicates the source. Some of these quoted sources have been translated elsewhere.
Very little of this work has been translated anywhere, and most of my own translations here were done in rough form some years ago.6 Eventually each entry will have two sections, an opening explanation then, indented, a translation of the original Qin Shi article. The longer entries will be linked to separate entries.
(N.B. Shi Ji #67 [GSR VII p.63ff] discusses all of the following disciples of Confucius, but does not have the qin stories)
卷二 Folio 2
All of these say that when Hu Ba played the se, fish came to the surface of the water to listen, and when Bo Ya played the qin horses looked up from eating. The earliest story about Hu Ba playing the qin is apparently the one in the chapter Tang Wen (Questions of Tang) in the book of Liezi, which actually calls him 匏巴 Pao Ba, of whom 2582.5 says "古善琴之人，與瓠巴同 a good qin player of ancient times, same as Hu Ba" (however, it then mistakenly gives as its source 韓詩外傳，六 Hanshi Waizhuan 6, with the same quote about the se as above). Other stories about Hu Ba all come from later sources.
The text in 列子，湯問 Liezi, Tang Wen 10 is:
The entry for Hu Ba in Qin Shi is as follows:
Zhong Yi was a man of Chu who was imprisoned in Jin. (In 581 BCE) when the Marquis of Jin was visiting the military camp he saw Zhong Yi and asked what his clan was. Zhong Yi said he was a common singer. He took up his qin and played Southern Airs. The marquis said, "He is a gentleman." He then praised his work and his not forgetting his origins. His music had the old flavor of his region. So the marquis ordered him to be sent home. During times of disorder eminent people might work as ordinary musicians. If they are detained in a strong country they might survive.
In the olden days skill in the arts could be used to admonish (a superior.) Although this was the Warring States period, perhaps the custom was still the same. Marquis Wen could be like that. What a sage!
Zou Jizi at first used his qin playing to gain audience with the king, who enjoyed it and so installed him in the 右室 apartments to the right. A while later the king himself was playing qin when Zou, hearing it from the doorway, came into the room and said, Such good qin playing! The king angrily put away the qin, picked up his sword, and said, You just saw my form and didn't examine carefully. How can you know it was any good? Zou Jizi (then followed with a discourse on the relationship of qin and 志 will, which saved him.)
(The author, Zhu Changwen [?], comments:) .....
*** 韓娥 Han E (see Yongmen Zhou, line 1; also Sun Xi)
* 屠門高 Tumen Gao (7927.28/2xx) appended
Tumen Gao was a singer from 秦 Qin mentioned in Qin Cao. During the Qin period they took all the beautiful women and put them in the imperial household. There was great sadness so Tumen Gao wrote 琴引 Qin Yin (21570.12) as a protest against the situation. Although this is in Qin Cao (where it is #8 of the Nine 引 Preludes), it is not in Sima Qian's Shi Ji (#126) 滑稽傳 Biographies of Jesters, so it is not reliable.
* 聶政 Nie Zheng (29829.20) appended
Connected to Guangling San; see separate entry
* 離須 Li Xu appended
See separate entry
* （楚）明光 (Chu) Mingguang also appended
See separate entry
Now (#39 in) the Airs of the States (in the Shi Jing) has a Spring Waters poem with almost the same lyrics. Its preface says this is the story of a woman living at ther husband's home. He died and she wished to return home so she wrote these lyrics to express her feelings. (The introduction in) Qin Cao says 邵國 the Kingdom of Shao had forced her to be the wife of their king. When he died his son wanted to keep her as his own wife. She disagreed, dying instead. (Zhu Changwen adds that the two versions are different, but he did not have enough free time to reconcile the differences.)
Zhu Changwen adds some commentary and mentions Qin Cao.
卷三 Folio 3
Zhu Changwen's biography basically quotes a story set in 195 BCE, shortly before Liu Bang's death, taking it directly from Shi Ji Chapter #8 (see RGH I, p.81ff). The account of Liu Bang's drinking led to one of his nicknames, 高陽酒徒 the Drunkard from Gaoyang. It then comments briefly on several points, mentioning first the 筑 zhu, a 5-string zither plucked with a stick. (It is no longer played. See also another story about the zhu/qin.) The two melodies mentioned are The Great Wind Arises (大風起 Dafeng Qi; 5960.xxx, but it is in 僧 Seng's list of qin melodies, and 5960.786 大風歌 Dafeng Ge references the Shi Ji story) and The Great Sound Reaches the World (號令及天下 Haoling Ji Tianxia 33525.9xx).
He told the children all to practice this with him. The emperor then got up and began to dance. He was overcome with emotions, both sad and nostalgic, and his tears came flowing down. He then said to the 父兄 fathers and brothers of Pei, "Travellers think sadly of their old homes. Although I have made my capital on this side of the mountain pass, after my long life is over my spirit with happily think of Pei.
(End of quote from Shi Ji) The zhu resembles a qin, so later people transmitted it. The silk-string melody called A Great Wind Arises, is the same as The Great Sound Reaches the World. "Clouds flying by overhead" means "enriching the lives of the people." "Where will I get brave men to guard us in all directions" means that he was mourning the fact that all within the seas was not yet peaceful.
Wang Tong said, The Great Wind suggests that he was not going to forget about danger.
Yuandi succeeded Xiao Xuan. Virtuous, learned and talented, he was skilled in history, played the qin and se zithers and the dongxiao flute....
* 趙后 Empress Zhao (Zhao Feiyan; 1st c. BCE) appended
Empress Zhao, better known as 趙飛燕 Zhao Feiyan (Xu Jian discusses her together with Wang Zhengjun in Chapter 2.A. [p.13]), became the favorite consort of Han emperor Chengdi (r. 32 - 6 BCE, son of Yuandi and also called 孝成 Xiao Cheng), supplanting Ban Jieyu. The article in Qin Shi compares Zhao with two earlier concubines said to have brought disaster to their countries, 褒妲 Bao Da (35241.16, Giles: the efforts of 周幽王 King You of Zhou [r.781-770] to make her smile brought disaster) and 妲己 Da Ji (as concubine of 紂辛 Zhou Xin, the last Shang ruler, she encouraged his debauchery.) Zhao Feiyan is also discussed in Xu Jian, Chapter 2.A. (pp. 13-4), and she has an entry in the Lienü Zhuan. She is said to have had a qin named Feng Huang.
*** 馬明生 Maming Sheng (Mr. Horse-neigh)
Maming Sheng (compare 45550.308 馬明王 Silkworm Deity 蠶神); the one string qin (一絃琴 1.2507) is also discussed with Liu Bing and Shi Yan. QSDQ Folio 17, has several accounts of playing one-string qin, including a brief version of the present story. Qin illustration 31 in Taiyin Daquanji shows a qin named Four Peaks (四峰 Si Feng), saying it was made by Maming Sheng.
* 龍德 Long De (Qin Shi title was "趙定龍德")
Long De, from 梁國 the Liang kingdom, wrote 雅琴龍氏九十九篇 Elegant Qin of the Long Family, 99 Volumes (QSCM #6). Qin Shi quotes a comment about him from Liu Xiang without naming the source.
*** 揚雄 Yang Xiong (53 BCE-18 CE)
See his separate entry in Qin Shi Bu. He is mentioned only briefly in Qin Shi.
* 陳脩明 Chen Xiuming (42618.xxx) appended;
compare Chen Xiu
See separate details added after Cao Wenji.
阮咸 Ruan Xian (3rd c.)
See separate entry; nephew of Ruan Ji.
阮瞻 Ruan Zhan (ca. 281 - ca. 310)
See separate entry; son of Ruan Xian.
He would play the qin facing the wind. Listeners would cry until their clothing was damp. Students said he was good, but he said the best music was not that which made people 哀傷 very sad. The most important role of music is to 和 help people get along....
Zhang's own entry here has no direct reference to his playing the qin, but biography #87, Gu Rong, does. In addition the present biography, after quoting an exchange between Zhang and Gu Rong (see again #87), mentions the inspiration Zhang Han once took from autumn winds. The afterword to the melody Autumn Wind (Qiu Feng
* also 王僧祐 Wang Sengyou, style name 嗣宗 Sizong (21295.1654)
Wang Sengyou, Wang Wei's 姪 nephew, (was a high ranking military official) during the 南齊 Nan Qi period (479 - 502). He was good at Zhuangzi and Laozi and an excellent qin player. His cousin (the scholar-official) 王儉 Wang Jian (452 - 489) greatly respected him. Once Qi emperor Gaodi (r.479-483) ask Wang Jian why his cousin seemed to be a recluse from the government. Wang Jian replied that his cousin was not a braggart who said he was better than other people, but simply enjoyed relaxation; in addition he had many illnesses. Wang Ziliang (i.e., 竟陵[文宣]王蕭子良 Xiao Ziliang, Prince Wenxuan of Jingling in southern Hubei, 460 - 494; see also #109 below) heard he was a great qin player and tried to induce him into office, but he refused. (Yet) he died as 黃門侍郎 Huangmen Shilang (?).
* 韓皋 Han Gao, style name 仲聞 Zhongwen (746 - 824), his son
See separate entry
Gu Xuzhou was called the 江南道士 Jiangnan Daoist.
** 王氏女 Woman of the Wang family (see main entry title)
The woman of the Wang family was an 兄女 older sister of 王淹 Wang Ye of 琅邪 Langye (Shandong?). When not yet 15 years old she was suddenly able to play Guangling San. It hadn't come out of the ground or come down from the heavens. It was as if it had been preserved by a spiritual master. 顧況為之記且曰 Seeing the circumstances it was written down. It was also said, All the music loving officials welcomed it. Guangling San is a model melody. Its meaning was that in the empty silence there is a spiritual investigating official. 其妙有以授王女 Its beauty was given to the Wang lady. Don't you think that this is really the case?
* 賀祐存 He Youcun (?; also called 夷 Yi) appended
He Youcun was good at qin. During the 宣宗 Xuanzong period (847 - 860) he played the qin for the emperor. The account concerns this.
卷五 Folio 5
先祖尚書公 My Late Grandfather (see 朱長文 Zhu Changwen) the Esteemed Minister (this is the original Qin Shi title; xianzu can mean simply "ancestor" as well as "late grandfather"; shangshu was a high official position; gong is an honorific) avoided using his given name, 億 Yi; his style name was 延年 Yannian. He was from 越州剡縣 Shan (or Yan) district of Yuezhou (south of 紹興 Shaoxing in Zhejiang). When young he had elegant interests, especially deep regarding the qin.... (Details.) He had a qin named 玉磬 Yu Qing from #126 Cui Xuanliang....
** 趙裔 Zhao Yi (see main entry title)
Most information on Zhao Yi is related together with that of Zhu Wenji. Compare Bio/1642, a noted painter of the Later Liang dynasty (907 - 923).
卷六 Folio 6 (Theory)
Qin History (Qin Shi 琴史)
21570.17/2. According to an article by Rao Zongyi Qin Shi was completed 1085 but not published until 1233. My edition is 揚州詩局重刊 a Yangzhou reprint photocopied from The Chinese Library, Taipei. It is also included in Siku Quanshu, Vol. 839.
Zhu Changwen 朱長文 (1041 - 1100)
In addition to his Qinshi Xu biography see the discussion of Qin Shi in QSCB, Chapter 6c1.
Contents Outline for Qin Shi
Qin Shi has no general Table of Contents, instead having one for each folio. Here there are a total of 146 biographical entries followed by 11 essays on musical theory, as follows:
In addition, the titles of some entries indicate they concern two (in one case three) people. Most of these are indicated by appending a name, as in the following nine entries (marked here by *): 48, 50, 51 (two names appended), 60, 69, 78, 98, 123 and 134. These are presumably the "nine in attachments" mentioned in the Qinshi Xu entry for Zhu Changwen (q.v.).
In addition, two entries have two names in the actual title itself (marked here by **): 131 and 142. And at least three more could have appended one or two names but for some reason did not (marked here by ***): 41, 63, 70, and 82 (two additional).
Note that in the actual text of the modern published edition there is some missing material in Folio 4, entries #120 - 122, cutting off the end of 120 (Fang Gong), all of 121 (Zhang Gao) and the beginning of 122 (Li Mian), resulting in only 47 entries for that folio. I have here re-separated them, providing the missing material from the same entries in Qinshu Daquan, Folio 15, Entry 17,
Entry 20, then
Entry 18. Thus the 146 numbered biographical essays here correspond with the listing in the Qin Shi Table of Contents.
The following are about women qin players (also: mother of #135).
#52-57, #60 A & B, #71, #78 A & B, #97, #131 A & B.
These I have not carefully examined.
My comments on this are in Qin History, Footnote 1.
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