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Song Taizong
- Qin Shi #138
宋太宗 1
琴史 #138 2

Song Taizong, the second emperor of the Song dynasty, was Zhao Kuangyi (939 - 997), younger brother of Zhao Kuangyin (927 - 976), the first emperor. Taizong's activities related to the qin are discussed in Xu Jian's Qinshi Chubian, Chapter 6/A5.

Song Taizong at one time ordered creation of a nine-string qin. Chapter 6/A1 of Xu Jian's history relates this story, which culminated in Zhu Wenji4 showing Taizong that the seven string qin could do everything the nine-string qin could do.5

The Qin Shi essay starts by mentioning the brilliance of Taizong in war and peace, then his research into correct musical tones. It then discusses his decision to improve the qin by adding two strings and also to make a 5-string ruan. It mentions his collecting qin melodies and ruan melodies into handbooks, plus lyrics. The following titles are then mentioned:

  1. 琴譜 Qin Notation, two folios
  2. 九絃琴譜 9-string Qin Notation, 20 folios
  3. 五經阮譜 5-Classic Ruan Notation (should be 五絃 5-string?), 17 folios

Qinshu Cunmu gives some details of two of these works:

  1. 太宗九弦琴譜二十卷 Taizong Jiuxian Qinpu, 20 Juan
    Taizong's Nine-String Qin Tablature, 20 Folios; QSCM Folio 3/1
  2. 琴譜二卷 Qin Pu, 2 Juan
    Qin Handbook, Two Folios; QSCM Folio 3/2)

None of these sources seems to mention the names of any of the melodies and there is no particular reason to think any have survived. Thus, the 9-string melodies one can find extant in the 1618 handbook Lixing Yuanya are almost certainly spurious.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Song Taizong 宋太宗
趙匡儀 Zhao Kuangyi (939 - 997; 38015.209) reigned 976-998; his younger brother 趙匡胤 Zhao Kuangyin (927 - 976) had reigned as 太祖 Taizu 960-976.

2. 13 lines

4. Zhu Wenji 朱文濟
Qin Shi #142 tells of Zhu Wenji and the 9-string qin (see also the next footnote).

5. Extant melodies for 9-string qin
The only ones I have found so far are the 5 examples in the 1618 handbook Lixing Yuanya (QQJC, VIII/318-332). These were presumably made up during the Ming dynasty, quite like by the compiler of that handbook himself. All melodies in that handbook have lyrics.

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