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- Qin Shi #37
琴史 #37 2
Rong Qiqi and his 雙月琴式 double moon qin 3
It is mainly through the many retellings of the story of the Three Pleasures of Rong Qiqi that he became an exemplar for living naturally and spontaneously. He thus seems to have been a role model centuries later for the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. Illustrations often showed him together with them.
Qin illustration 13 in Taiyin Daquanji says it is Rong Qiqi's Double Moon (雙月 Shuangye) qin.
The entry for Rong Qiqi in Qin Shi is as as follows (the credit to Liezi is not in Qin Shi):6
Confucius said, "Wow! How carefree."
(Confucius) listened further to (Rong Qiqi's) qin and discussed happiness with him for three days.
The emotions of his harmonizing sounds were like this. The common feelings of everyone take what they have within for unhappiness and outside for happiness, so if they are poor they think about wealth, if not respected they think of respect, while alive they fear death. And so in their nature they long for the appearance of wealth, and in their environment they desire fame and profit, with the ones unable to turn themselves around all like this. Happy people such as Qiqi, they are unable not to be happy. And so Daoists happily consider Qiqi such a person, and this should be sufficient to admonish people who are always covetous.
The translation is tentative in a number of places.
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
榮啟期 Rong Qiqi
Sources as well as Qin Shi include:
列子天瑞 Liezi, Heaven's Gifts; a shorter version of the story here.
十二國史 Shi'er Guo Shi, quoted in 琴書大全 Qinshu Daquan, Folio 16, #9.
Audrey Spiro, Contemplating the Ancients. Numerous entries.
2. 12 lines (Return)
|3. 榮啟期圖 Rong Qiqi images||A brick rubbing|
As for the image above, Rong Qiqi with his double moon qin, it comes from a collection of images called 宋人畫歷代琴式圖. The title there is "雙月琴式 The style of a double moon qin". The inscription then says, "榮啟期作琴腰間為二小月形。有深實之聲。 Rong Qiqi made a qin that had at its waist the shape of two small moons. It had a true sound that was deep and solid." There is also an image of a Rong Qiqi's double moon qin
amongst these qin styles, with the same commentary, but instead of having two round areas near the bottom of the qin it has one there and an opposite indentation near the top.
Three Pleasures (三樂 San Le)
10.1682 mentions the Three Pleasures (aka Three Joys) of three ancients:
San Le as melody title
(including 三樂圖 San Le Tu,
三樂譜 San Le Pu,
三樂操 San Le Cao)
The titles San Le Tu (Schemata for Three Pleasures) and San Le Pu (Tablature for Three Pleasures) seem to refer to the same story. The title seems to have been quite common, but there is no information on how many versions might have existed in the past, and it is not on Zha Guide's active list. An entry in Qinshu Daquan Section 11 ascribes the melody to Rong Qiqi and gives a similar account to here, while its Section 13 (#14) lists San Le amongst shang mode melodies. Qinshu Cunmu #2 三樂圖 San Le Tu traces the many occurences of the title. There is also mention of a Three Pleasures Song (三樂歌 San Le Ge) in a poem by Yelü Chucai.
Original Qin Shi text for #37 Rong Qiqi
The original text is as follows. The passage from Liezi is not cited, and a few words are change.
Return to QSCB, or to the Guqin ToC.