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- Qin Shi #2
琴史 #2 2
Shrine honoring Shun in Jiuyi Shan 3
Shun has a number of associations with the qin (as well as at least one with the se5). As his entry below indicates, he is said to have created two qin songs. Since Shun is said to have played a five-string qin these melodies all use only five strings.6
In addition, the commentary on at least four other melodies connects them with Shun. These use the standard seven strings:
Passages in Qinshu Daquan connected to Shun include the following.
Folio 16, #4 has the account in the Book of Rites of him playing the five-string qin
Folio 16, #14 has two stories from Mencius of Shun playing the qin, including the one,
referred to here, of him playing the qin on a couch after his parents had tried to kill him.
Qin illustration 4 in Taiyin Daquanji claims to be a depiction of his 虞舜 Yu Shun qin, quoting Qin Qing Ying (by Yang Xiong). It adds the stories that he played the five string qin and the world was well ordered, and that Wen Wang added two strings.9 Illustration 5 is his Music Official's (伶官 Ling Guan) qin.
Mencius said, Shun had a qin by his bed even through the difficulties with (his father) Gusou and (his brother) Xiang; in this way he could continue to play and sing, and not be troubled in his mind, and his filial nature would continue to improve. An old tradition says that the melody Si Qin Cao concerns this.
When the time came for him to be emperor he played the five-string qin and accompanied himself by singing Nanfeng Ge, and as a result the world was well-regulated. The words of this song are as follows,
At that time a harmonious spirit filled heaven and earth, and covered its plants and animals. Thus (Shang) Shu (The Venerated Documents) said, Panpipes Play Shao Nine Times, and Phoenixes Attend.) This is the greatest extreme of harmony.
Shun or Yu Shun 舜、虞舜
31025/5 舜 Shun says to see 33531.126 虞舜 Yu Shun, which has an illustration. He is often called simply "Yu", so don't confuse this 虞 Yu with 禹 Yu. Another name is the praise name 重華 Chonghua. Anne Birrell, Chinese Mythology, discusses him in detail, translating his name as Hibiscus.
|3. Shrine to Emperor Shun in Jiuyi/Cangwu
|Shun plays the qin
The Hunan memorial is featured here because it connects Shun to the stories of him playing the qin as well as to the story of his two concubines. As for the image above, it was downloaded in 2010 from a website called Changing Trip; the image at right is from the same area; see further at Nanfeng Ge. They are both part of the Emperor Shun Memorial Scenic Area (舜帝陵景區 Shundiling Jingqu) in the 九嶷山 Jiuyi Mountains of 湖南 Hunan province; the Jiuyi region is also called 蒼梧 Cangwu (see Cangwu Yuan). As of 2017 it could be located on Google maps by searching for "九嶷山舜帝陵景區" or "Jiuyishan Shun Dynasty Tomb", which showed it a few miles southwest of the intersection of highways G55 and G76, giving as its address "281 Country Rd, Ningyuan Xian, Yongzhou Shi, Hunan Sheng, China". Google maps shows the trip from Guangzhou as being just under five hours either by the G107 expressway to the G55 then west on the G76 and south on County Road 58, or on the G55 all the way to the G76. Another way might be via the train from 廣州 Guangzhou to 郴州市 Chenzhou then perhaps a bus towards 寧遠縣 Ningyuan. This seems to make it the closest place to Hong Kong having a direct thematic relationship with an existing guqin melody.
Labels near the tomb on Google maps include "九嶷山瑤族鄉 Jiuyishanyaozuxiang", apparently marking this as the center of a Jiuyi Mountain Ethnic Yao Region, and 九嶷山國家森林公園 Jiuyishan National Forest Park. Northeast of here, on the other side of Chenzhou, is a 炎帝陵景区 Emperor Yan Memorial Scenic Area with a shrine dedicated toYan Di (Emperor Yan, a.k.a. Shen Nong). A five hour drive east from Jiuyishan takes one to the 梅關古道景區 Meiguan Ancient Post Road Scenic Area (Wikipedia: Mei Pass) on the Guangdong/Jiangxi border.
Xiaoshao Jiucheng, Fenghuang Laiyi:
Panpipes Play Shao Nine Times, and Phoenixes Attend
This phrase is first mentioned in Shang Shu, where it might also be translated, "When all nine parts of Xiaoshao have been completed, the male and female phoenix arrive appropriately." As a qin melody it survives first from Qinpu Zhengchuan (1547), which has the first of five qin pu with this title. See Zha Guide 18/177/-- . Alternate titles used for it are:
中文大辭典 references for 簫韶九成 Xiaoshao Jiucheng mostly quote the full title:
Shi Ji says that when Music Master 夔 Kui played music for Shun to honor Yu, (GSR I, p.35) "the deceased ancestors all arrived (to enjoy the sacrifices), the lords all yielded to each other, the birds and beasts all began to soar and dance." And when he played Xiaoshao Jiucheng, Fenghuang Laiyi, the beasts danced and the officials were all in harmony. Because of this Shun wrote a song. Shi Ji adds lyrics he and others wrote and sang for this.
However, neither the surviving qin melody nor the YFSJ entry mention Shun or these lyrics. They all refer to a later event, in which Cheng Wang celebrates his success with this melody and some new lyrics. The YFSJ entry also does not mention the Qin Cao reference to Yi Feng, although it also says it is by Cheng Wang and it includes the same lyrics, plus an extra line.
The YFSJ entry for "Shenfeng Cao, also called Fenghuang Laiyi" is as follows.
Qin Ji says, "Fenghuang Laiyi" was written by Cheng Wang."
Kui was the music master of Shun. James Legge, The Chinese Classics, Vol.III. The Shoo King (bi-lingual; SMC Taipei reprint, pp. 47-8) first translates a passage mentioning Kui as follows:
Legge then adds the following comment:
The Qin Shi biography of 帝舜 Emperor Shun is as follows: