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- Qin Shi #14
箕子 1
琴史 #14 2

In addition to the qin melodies here associated with Jizi, the melody Si Gui Yin has also been attributed to him, but without further explanation.

Jizi (Viscount of Ji), like Weizi (Viscount of Wei), was a relative the last ruler of the Yin (i.e., Shang) dynasty, Zhou Xin.4 Zhou Xin is always portrayed as corrupt and depraved. Zhou Xin's music is said to have been equally depraved,5 as was his concubine, named Daji.6

The account in Shi Ji, Annal 3, says briefly that in protest against Zhou Xin the Viscount of Ji acted crazily and was thrown in prison.7

Shi Ji, Annal 38,8 gives more detail, suggesting (as here) that he had criticized the corruption directly. Tradition says he then played Jizi's Melody9 on the qin as a lament. No melody of this title survives in old tablature.

Yuefu Shiji, Folio 57, #12 (p. 830) has a "Jizi Cao, also called Intonation of Jizi,"10 with prefaces and lyrics as follows.

史記 Shi Ji (Annal 38 [p.1609]) says,


Gujin Yuelu says,

During the time of Zhou Xin, Jizi acted as though he was drunk....

Qin Ji says,

Jizi Yin was created by the Viscount of Ji himself.

(Lyrics by) Viscount Ji of Yin


Shi Ji, Annal 38 (pp. 1620/1), also says he also wrote a Sprouting Wheat Ears Lyrics; it then quotes them.11

The original biography in Qin Shi is as follows.

Jizi was a relative of Zhou Xin, the last Yin emperor. The Records of the Grand Historian say, .... (Mentions Jizi Cao.)

Incomplete. 12

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 箕子 Jizi references
26722.3 箕子 Jizi

2. 10 lines

4. 紂辛 Zhou Xin (12th c. BCE)
Zhou Xin (Wiki), the last ruler of the 殷 Yin (商 Shang) dynasty, is famous for his debauchery and corruption. He is often called simply Zhou, not to be confused with the 周 Zhou of Zhou dynasty. Zhou Xin's biography is in Chapter 3 (Yin dynasty) of the Shi Ji (GSR, I, pp. 49 - 52). The Yin dynasty is said to have had seven capital cities, the major one being 殷 Yin itself, now a World Heritage Site called The Ruins of Yin (殷墟 Yin Xu; see Wiki).

On the advice of 崇侯虎 Marquis Hu of Chong (8330.52; mentioned also by Mozi, see Mozi Bei Ge), Zhou Xin imprisoned the virtuous Lord of the West (Wen Wang; see Juyou Cao). Honorable advisers subsequently left him, including his relatives Jizi and Weizi as well as Lü Shang (see Shi Xian). In the end Zhou Xin was defeated by Wu Wang, leading to the establishment of the Zhou dynasty.

5. Corrupt music of Zhou Xin
The corrupt music of Zhou Xin is often mentioned, including in the biographies of Shi Kuang, Shi Yan and King Zhuang of Chu. The Music Annals of the Shi Ji compare this music to the correct music of emperor Shun; see under Nan Xun Ge.

6. Da Ji 妲己
Also called Su Daji 蘇妲己, she was a concubine of Zhou Xin who is said to have encouraged his debauchery. In the novel 封神演義 Feng Shen Yanyi she tries to seduce 伯邑考 Bo Yi Kao (also written Bo Yikao and Boyi Kao; son of 姬昌 Ji Chang, i.e., Wen Wang) by having him teach her to play qin.

7. Shi Ji, Chapter #3 (Knechtges, I, p.51), has only a brief account. Details are in Chapter 38.

8. To my knowledge Shi Ji Chapter 38 is not yet translated. See Chinese edition p.1609.

9. 箕子操 Jizi Cao (Jizi's Melody)
26722.4 箕子操 quotes YFSJ and Shi Ji, Annal 38. Qin Shi mentions the melody but does not include the lyrics. Qin Cao has only the unrelated 箕山操 Mount Ji Melody.

10. 箕子吟 Jizi Yin. 26722.xxx.

11. Sprouting Wheat Ears Song (麥秀歌 Mai Xiu Ge)
48695.34 麥秀歌 Mai Xiu Ge says it is also called Mourning Yin Melody, then quotes the Shi Ji (pp. 1620/1) passage, including the lyrics.

Mourning Yin melody (傷殷操 Shang Yin Cao)
1083.71 傷殷操 Shang Yin Cao also says it is the same as Mai Xiu Ge, but it attributes it to

12. Not yet.


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