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Xu Hong
- Qin Shi Xu #144
徐谼 1
琴史續 #144 2

Xu Hong (Xu Qingshan, 1580 - 1650) was one of the founders of the Yushan School, also called the Shu (for Changshu) School and so there is detailed information about him in Qinshi Chubian Chapter 7 A2, which concerns that school. His original name was Xu Shangying but he is perhaps best known as Xu Qingshan, Qingshan being his style name. Perhaps there was an earlier handbook of his music, originally known as Qingshan Qinpu,3 but if so it did not survive and what we have for this instead is only the Dahuange Qinpu,4 published in 1673, after his death, by one of his students (Table of Contents). Because of this, the original dates of the different tablatures in this handbook are uncertain. In addition to 32 melodies it includes the famous essay Xishan Qin Kuang.5 The original text of this essay is in the appendix below.

Xishan Qin Kuang does not seem to be mentioned in Xu's Qinshi Xu biography; Xishan literally means "streams and rivers", the sort of place one might play the qin rather than any specific place. The essay describes 24 "touches" to use when playing the qin. Such descriptions were not new to the qin. For example, the 11th century essay Qin Jian by Cui Zundu has something like this. The Lengxian Qinsheng 16 Fa by Leng Qian (ca. 1310 - ca. 1371) does as well, but it may in fact date later than its official attribution.

There have been a number of modern commentaries on these articles.6 There does seem to be some disagreement about which article was more popular and/or influential. For example, Watt suggests the Xu Hong essay became more influential because of the importance of the Yu Shan School (which has been said to have emphasized individual notes over melody), but Van Gulik suggests that in the long run the essay by Leng Qian was more highly respected, perhaps in the belief that it was earier. In general there seems to be agreement that this or these essays led to important changes in qin playing style. For example, when Van Gulik seems to accept the belief that qin music emphasizes individual notes over melody he may be referring to the influence of these essays. However, this emphasis on individual notes is different from my own understanding of the music, which is based on my reconstructions of hundreds of melodies as published in the Ming dynasty prior to the Yushan school: they seem to me very melodical, suggesting there need be no compromise between melody and individual tones.

The original essay about Xu Hong in Qin Shi Xu begins as follows:

Xu Hong, original name Shangying, other nickname Qingshan, was from Taicang (near Suzhou). Because of the financial hardships of famous families he was able to study qin from Yan Tianchi, Shi Jian....

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a
separate page)

1. Xu Hong 徐谼
Xu Hong is discussed in QSCB, Chapter 7a2 (p. 127); his style name was 青山 Qingshan; original name Xu Shangying 徐上瀛. Bio/1939 says only that he was a qin expert from 江蘇太倉 Taicang (near 崑山 Kunshan) who wrote 溪山琴況 Xishan Qin Kuang (see QQJC X/310-325 and the appendix below).
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2. 15 lines; reference: 蓴湖漫錄 Chunhu Manlu.
(Return)

3. Qingshan's Qin Handbook (青山琴譜 Qingshan Qinpu)
Xu Jian, QSCB Chapter 7 A2 mentions a 青山琴譜序 Preface Qingshan Qinpu by 陸符 Lu Fu, as though Qingshan Qinpu was a handbook title. However, there seems to be no further evidence of this and Lu Fu's preface, simply called "Preface", is in Dahuange Qinpu (next footnote; in QQJC X/310).
(Return)

4. 大還閣琴譜 Dahuange Qinpu (1673)
See QQJC X/316-331.
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5. Qin Matters of Hills and Streams (溪山琴況 Xishan Qin Kuang)
18426.=> 谿山 37064.6 : 谿與山 streams and hills. See QQJC X/310-325 and below.
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6. Analyses of (Xishan) Qin Kuang
Van Gulik, Lore, p.107, footnote 28, calls the essay "Ch'in-huang". He did not give references as to why he considered Lengxian Qinsheng 16 Fa more highly respected.

Qin Kuang is also discussed in QSCB, VII.C.
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Appendix
Xu Hong, Qin Matters from Hills and Streams (徐谼 Xu Hong, 谿山琴況 Xishan Qin Kuang)

As revised by Xia Pu? This explanation of 24 touches has been translated into French by George Goormaghtigh (in his L’art du Qin. Deux textes d’esthétique musicale chinoise, Bruxelles, Institut belge des Hautes études chinoises, 1990) and into English by Dr. TSE Chun Yan and Dr. LAM Shui Fong ("The Xishan Treatise on the Aesthetics of Qin Music", in Renditions, Spring 2015.) Although this work is only briefly mentioned in Qinshu Cunmu, which devoted much more space to Leng Qian's 16 Rules, some people have argued that last line of the latter is proof that it could not have been written by Leng Qian. The complete original text of Xishan Qin Kuang, as included in Dahuange Qinpu (QQJC X/316-331) and Siku Quanshu Cunmu Congshu, is as follows:

  1. 一曰「和」
    稽古至聖心通造化,德協神人,理一身之性情,以理天下人之性情,于是制之為琴。其所首重者,和也。和之始,先以正調品弦、循徽葉聲,辨之在指,審之在聽,此所謂以和感,以和應也。和也者,其眾音之款會,而優柔平中之橐答乎?論和以散和為上,按和為次。散和者,不按而調,右指控弦,迭為賓主,剛柔相劑,損益相加,是為至和。按和者,左按右撫,以九應律,以十應呂,而音乃和于徽矣。設按有不齊,徽有不準,得和之似,而非真和,必以泛音辨之。如泛尚未和,則又用按復調。一按一泛,互相參究,而弦始有真和。吾復求其所以和者三,曰弦與指合,指與音合,音與意合,而和至矣。夫弦有性,欲順而忌逆,淺實而忌虛。若綽者注之,上者下之,則不順;按未重,動未堅,則不實。故指下過弦,慎勿松起;弦上遞指,尤欲無跡。往來動宕,恰如膠漆,則弦與指和矣。音有律,或在徽,或不在徽,固有分數以定位。若混而不明,和于何出?篇中有度,句中有候,字中有肯,音理甚微。若紊而無序,和又何生?究心于此者,細辨其吟猱以葉之,綽注以適之,輕重緩急以節之,務令宛轉成韻,曲得其情,則指與音和矣。音從意轉,意先乎音,音隨乎意,將眾妙歸焉。故欲用其意,必先練其音;練其音,而後能洽其意。如右之撫也,弦欲重而不虐,輕而不鄙,疾而不促,緩而不弛;左之按弦也,若吟若猱,圓而無礙(吟猱欲恰好,而中無阻滯),以綽以注,定而可伸(言綽注甫定,而或再引伸)。紆回曲折,疏而實密,抑揚起伏,斷而復聯,此皆以音之精義而應乎意之深微也。其有得之弦外者,與山相映發,而巍巍影現;與水相涵濡,而洋洋徜恍。暑可變也,虛堂疑雪;寒可回也,草閣流春。其無盡藏,不可思議,則音與意合,莫知其然而然矣。要之,神閑氣靜,藹然醉心,太和鼓鬯(暢?),心手自知,未可一二而為言也。太音希聲,古道難復,不以性情中和相遇,而以為是技也,斯愈久而愈失其傳矣。

  2. 一曰「靜」
    撫琴卜靜處亦何難?獨難于運指之靜。然指動而求聲惡乎得靜?余則曰,政在聲中求靜耳。聲厲則知指躁,聲粗則知指濁,聲希則知指靜,此審音之道也。蓋靜由中出,聲自心生,苟心有雜擾,手指物撓,以之撫琴,安能得靜?惟涵養之士,澹泊寧靜,心無塵翳,指有余閑,與論希聲之理,悠然可得矣。所謂希者,至靜之極,通乎杳渺,出有入無,而游神于羲皇之上者也。約其下指工夫,一在調氣,一在練指。調氣則神自靜,練指則音自靜。如熱妙香者,含其煙而吐霧;滌界茗者,蕩其濁而瀉清。取靜音者亦然,雪其躁氣,釋其競心,指下掃盡炎囂,弦上恰存貞潔,故雖急而不亂,多而不繁,淵深在中,清光發外,有道之士當自得之。

  3. 一曰「清」
    語云「彈琴不清,不如彈箏」,言失雅也。故清者,大雅之原本,而為聲音之主宰。地而不僻則不清,琴不實則不清,弦不潔則不清,心不靜則不清,氣不肅則不清﹕皆清之至要者也,而指上之清尤為最。指求其勁,按求其實,則清音始出;手不下徽,彈不柔懦,則清音並發;而又挑必甲尖,弦必懸落,則清音益妙。兩手如鸞鳳和鳴,不染纖毫濁氣;厝指如敲金戛石,傍弦絕無客聲﹕此則練其清骨,以超乎諸音之上矣。究夫曲調之清,則最忌連連彈去,亟亟求完,但欲熱鬧娛耳,不知意趣何在,斯則流于濁矣。故欲得其清調者,必以貞、靜、宏、遠為度,然後按以氣候,從容宛轉。候宜逗留,則將少息以俟之;候宜緊促,則用疾急以迎之。是以節奏有遲速之辨,吟猱有緩急之別,章句必欲分明,聲調愈欲疏越,皆是一度一候,以全其終曲之雅趣。試一聽之,則澄然秋潭,皎然寒月,湱然山濤,幽然谷應,始知弦上有此一種情況,真令人心骨俱冷,體氣欲仙矣。

  4. 一曰「遠」。
    遠與遲似,而實與遲異,遲以氣用,遠以神行。故氣有候,而神無候。會遠于候之中,則氣為之使;達遠于候之外,則神為之君。至于神游氣化,而意之所之玄之又玄。時為岑寂也,若游峨嵋之雪;時為流逝也,若在洞庭之波。倏緩倏速,莫不有遠之微致。蓋音至于遠,境入希夷,非知音未易知,而中獨有悠悠不已之志。吾故曰﹕「求之弦中如不足,得之弦外則有余也。」

  5. 一曰「古」
    《樂志》曰﹕「琴有正聲,有間聲。其聲正直和雅,合于律呂,謂之正聲,此雅、頌之音,古樂之作也;其聲間雜繁促,不協律呂,謂之間聲,此鄭衛之音,俗樂之作也。雅、頌之音理而民正,鄭衛之曲動而心淫。然則如之何而可就正乎?必也黃鐘以生之,中正以平之,確乎鄭衛不能入也。」按此論,則琴固有時古之辨矣!大都聲爭而媚耳者,吾知其時也;音澹而會心者,吾知其古也。而音出于聲,聲先敗,則不可復求于音。故媚耳之聲,不特為其疾速也,為其遠于大雅也;會心之音,非獨為其延緩也,為其淪于俗響也。俗響不入,淵乎大雅,則其聲不爭,而音自古矣。然粗率疑于古樸,疏慵疑于沖澹,似超于時,而實病于古。病于古與病于時者奚以異?必融其粗率,振其疏慵,而後下指不落時調,其為音也,寬裕溫厖,不事小巧,而古雅自見。一室之中,宛在深山邃谷,老木寒泉,風聲?令人有遺世獨立之思,此能進于古者矣。

  6. 一曰「澹」
    弦索之行于世也,其聲艷而可悅也。獨琴之為器,焚香靜對,不入歌舞場中;琴之為音,孤高岑寂,不雜絲竹伴內。清泉白石,皓月疏風,修修自得,使聽之者游思縹緲。娛樂之心不知何去,斯之謂澹。舍艷而相遇于澹者,世之高人韻士也。而澹固未易言也,?邪而存正,黜俗而歸雅,舍媚而還淳,不著意于澹而澹之妙自臻。夫琴之元音本自澹也,制之為操,其文情沖乎澹也。吾調之以澹,合乎古人,不必諧于眾也。每山居深靜,林木扶蘇,清風入弦,絕去炎囂,虛徐其韻,所出皆至音,所得皆真趣,不禁怡然吟賞,喟然云﹕「吾愛此情,不求不競;吾愛此味,如雪如冰;吾愛此響,松之風而竹之雨,澗之滴而波之濤也。有寤寐于澹之中而已矣。」

  7. 一曰「恬」
    諸聲澹則無味,琴聲澹則益有味。味者何?恬是已。味從氣出,故恬也。夫恬不易生,澹不易到,唯操至妙來則可澹,澹至妙來則生恬,恬至妙來則愈澹而不厭。故于興到而不自縱,氣到而不自豪,情到而不自擾,意到而不自濃。及睨其下指也,具見君子之質,沖然有德之養,絕無雄競柔媚態。不味而味,則為水中之乳泉;不馥而馥,則為蕊中之蘭止。吾于此參之,恬味得矣。

  8. 一曰「逸」
    先正云﹕「以無累之神合有道之器,非有逸致者則不能也。」第其人必具超逸之品,故自發超逸之音。本從性天流出,而亦陶冶可到。如道人彈琴,琴不清亦清。朱紫陽日﹕「古樂雖不可得而見,但誠實人彈琴,便雍容平淡。」故當先養其琴度,而次養其手指,則形神並潔,逸氣漸來,臨緩則將舒緩而多韻,處急則猶運急而不乖,有一種安閑自如之景象,盡是瀟灑不群之天趣。所以得之心而應之手,聽其音而得其人,此逸之所征也。

  9. 一曰「雅」
    古人之于詩則曰「風」、「雅」,于琴則曰「大雅」。自古音淪沒,即有繼空谷之響,未免郢人寡和,則且苦思求售,去故謀新,遂以弦上作琵琶聲,此以雅音而翻為俗調也。惟真雅者不然,修其清靜貞正,而藉琴以明心見性,遇不遇,聽之也,而在我足以自況。斯真大雅之歸也。然琴中雅俗之辨爭在纖微?喜工柔媚則俗,落指重濁則俗,性好炎鬧則俗,指拘局促則俗,取音粗 則俗,入弦倉卒則俗,指法不式則俗,氣質浮躁則俗,種種俗態未易枚舉,但能體認得「靜」、「遠」、「澹」、「逸」四字,有正始風,斯俗情悉去,臻于大雅矣。

  10. 一曰「麗」
    麗者,美也,于清靜中發為美音。麗從古澹出,非從妖冶出也。若音韻不雅,指法不雋,徒以繁聲促調觸人之耳,而不能感人之心,此媚也,非麗也。譬諸西子,天下之至美,而具有冰雪之姿,豈效顰者可與同日語哉!美與媚判若秦越,而辨在深微,審音者當自知之。

  11. 一曰「亮」
    音漸入妙,必有次第。左右手指既造就清實,出有金石聲,然後可擬一「亮」字。故清後取亮,亮發清中,猶夫水之至清者,得日而益明也。唯在沈細之際而更發其光明,即游神于無聲之表,其音亦悠悠而自存也,故曰亮。至于弦聲斷而意不斷,此政無聲之妙,亮又不足以盡之。

  12. 一曰「采」
    音得清與亮,既雲妙矣,而未發其采,猶不足表其豐神也。故清以生亮,亮以生采,若越清亮而即欲求采,先後之功舛矣。蓋指下之有神氣,如古玩之有寶色,商彝、周鼎自有暗然之光,不可掩抑,豈易致哉?經幾鍛煉,始融其粗跡,露其光芒。不究心音義,而求精神發現,不可得也。

  13. 一曰「潔」(missing from 1673!)
    貝經云﹕「若無妙指,不能發妙音。」而坡仙亦云﹕「若言聲在指頭上,何不于君指上聽?」未始是指,未始非指,不即不離,要言妙道,固在指也。修指之道由于嚴淨,而後進于玄微。指嚴淨則邪滓不容留,雜亂不容間,無聲不滌,無彈不磨,而只以清虛為體,素質為用。習琴學者,其初唯恐其取音之不多,漸漸陶熔,又恐其取音之過多。從有而無,因多而寡,一塵不染,一滓弗留,止于至潔之地,此為嚴淨之究竟也。指既修潔,則取音愈希;音愈希則意趣愈永。吾故曰﹕「欲修妙音者,本于指;欲修指者,必先本于潔也。」

  14. 一曰「潤」   凡弦上之取音惟貴中和,而中和之妙用全于溫潤呈之。若手指任其浮躁,則繁響必雜,上下往來音節俱不成其美矣。故欲使弦上無殺聲,其在指下求潤乎?蓋潤者,純也,澤也,所以發純粹光澤之氣也。左芟其荊棘,右熔其暴甲,兩手應弦,自臻純粹。而又務求上下往來之法,則潤音漸漸而來。故其弦若滋,溫兮如玉,泠泠然滿弦皆生氣氤?,無毗陽毗陰偏至之失,而後知潤之之為妙,所以達其中和也。古人有以名其琴者,曰「雲和」,曰「泠泉」,亦潤之意乎?

  15. 一曰「圓」
    五音活溌之趣半在吟猱,而吟猱之妙處全在圓滿。宛轉動蕩無滯無礙,不少不多,以至恰好,謂之圓。吟猱之巨細緩急俱有圓音,不足則音虧缺,太過則音支離,皆為不美。故琴之妙在取音,取音宛轉則情聯,圓滿則意吐,其趣如水之興瀾,其體如珠之走盤,其聲如哦詠之有韻,斯可以名其圓矣。抑又論之,不獨吟猱貴圓,而一彈一按一轉一折之間亦自有圓音在焉。如一彈而獲中和之用,一按而湊妙合這機,一轉而函無痕之趣,一折而應起伏之微,于是欲輕而得其所以輕,欲重而得其所以重,天然之妙猶若水滴荷心,不能定擬。神哉圓乎!

  16. 一曰「堅」
    古語云「按弦如入木」,形其堅而實也。大指堅易,名指堅難。若使中指幫名指,食指幫大指,外雖似堅,實膠而不靈。堅之本全憑筋力,必一指卓然立于弦中,重如山岳,動如風發,清響如擊金石,而始至音出焉,至音出,則堅實之功到矣。然左指用堅,右指亦必欲清勁,乃能得金石之聲。否則撫弦柔懦,聲出委靡,則堅亦渾渾無取。故知堅以勁合,而後成其妙也。況不用幫而參差其指,行合古式,既得體勢之美,不爽文質之宜,是當循循練之,以至用力不覺,則其然亦不可窺也。

  17. 一曰「宏」
    調無大度則不得古,故宏音先之。蓋琴為清廟、明堂之器,聲調寧不欲廓然曠遠哉?然曠遠之音落落難聽,遂流為江湖習派,因致古調漸違,琴風愈澆矣。若余所受則不然﹕其始作也,當拓其沖和閑雅之度,而猱、綽之用必極其宏大。蓋宏大則音老,音老則入古也。至使指下寬裕純樸,鼓蕩弦中,縱指自如,而音意欣暢疏越,皆自宏大中流出。但宏大而遺細小則其情未至,細小而失宏大則其意不舒,理固相因,不可偏廢。然必胸次磊落,而後合乎古調。彼局曲拘攣者未易語此。

  18. 一曰「細」
    音有細緲處,乃在節奏間。始而起調先應和緩,轉而游衍漸欲入微,妙在絲毫之際,意存幽邃之中。指既縝密,音若繭抽,令人可會而不可即,此指下之細也。至章句轉折時,尤不可草草放過,定將一段情緒緩緩拈出,字字模神,方知琴音中有無限滋味,玩之不竭,此終曲之細也。
    昌黎詩「昵昵兒女語,恩恩相爾汝。劃然變軒昂,勇士赴敵場,其宏細互用之意歟?往往見初入手者一理琴弦便忙忙不定,如一聲中欲其少停一息而不可得,一句中欲其委婉一音而亦不能。此以知節奏之妙未易輕論也。蓋運指之細在慮周,全篇之細在神遠,斯得細之大旨者矣。

  19. 一曰「溜」
    溜者,滑也,左指治澀之法也。音在緩急,指欲隨應,敬非握其滑機,則不能成其妙。若按弦虛浮,指必柔懦,勢難于滑;或著重滯,指復阻礙,尤難于滑。然則何法以得之?惟是指節煉至堅實,極其靈活,動必神速。不但急中賴其滑機,而緩中亦欲藏其滑機也。故吟、猱、綽、注之間當若泉之滾滾,而往來上下之際更如風之發發。
    劉隨州詩云「溜溜青絲上,靜聽松風寒」,其斯之謂乎?然指法之欲溜,全在筋力運使。筋力既到,而用之吟猱則音圓,用之綽注上下則音應,用之遲速跌宕則音活。自此精進,則能變化莫測,安往而不得其妙哉!

  20. 一曰「健」(written: 彳建)
    琴尚沖和大雅,操慢音者得其似而未真,愚故提一健字,為導滯之(破乏)。乃于從容閒雅中剛健其指,而右則發清冽之響,左則練活溌之音,斯為善也。請以健指復明之。右指靠弦則音鈍而木,故日「指必甲尖,弦必懸落」,非藏健于清也耶?左指不勁則音膠而格,故日「響如金石,動如風發」,非運健于堅也耶?要知健處即指之靈處,而沖和之調無疏慵之病矣,氣之在弦,不有不期去而自去者哉。

  21. 一曰「輕」
    不輕不重者,中和之者也。趣調當以中和為主,而輕重特損益之,其趣自生也。蓋音之取輕屬于幽情,歸乎玄理,而體曲之意,悉曲之情,有不其輕而自輕者。第音之輕處最難,工夫未到則浮而不實,晦而不明,雖輕亦未合。惟輕之中不爽清實,而一絲一忽指到音綻,更飄搖鮮朗,如落花流水,幽趣無限。乃有一節一句之輕,有間雜高下之輕,種種意趣皆貴清實中得之耳。要知輕不浮,輕中之中和也;重不殺,重中之中和也。故輕重者,中和之變音;而所以輕重者,中和之正音也。

  22. 一曰「重」
    諸音之輕者業屬乎情,而諸音之重者乃由乎氣。情至而輕,氣至而重性固然也。第指有重、輕則聲有高下,而幽微之後理宜發揚,?指勢太猛則露殺伐之響,氣盈胸臆則出剛暴之聲,惟練指養氣之士則撫下當求重抵輕出之法,弦上自有高朗純粹之音,宣揚和暢,疏越神情,而後知用重之妙,非浮躁乖戻者之所比也。故古人撫琴則日「彈欲斷弦,按如入木」,此專言其用力也,但妙在用力不覺耳。夫彈琴至于力,又至于不覺,則指下雖重如擊石,而毫無剛暴殺伐之疚,所以為重歟!及其鼓宮叩角,輕重間出,則岱岳江河,吾不知其變化也。

  23. 一曰「遲」
    古人以琴能涵養情性,為其有太和之之氣,故名其聲日「希聲」。未按弦時,當先肅其氣,澄其心,緩其度,遠其神,從萬籟俱寂中冷然音生,疏台寥廓,若太古,優游弦上,節其氣候,候至而下,以葉厥律者,此希聲之始作也;或章句舒徐,或緩急相間,或斷而復續,或幽而致遠,因候制宜,調古聲澹,漸入淵原,而心志悠然不已者,此希聲之引伸也;復探其遲趣,乃若山靜秋鳴,月高林表,松風遠拂,石澗流寒,而日不知?,夕不覺曙者,此希聲之寓境也。
    嚴天池詩「幾回拈出《陽春》調,月滿西樓下指遲」,其于「遲」意大有得也。若不知「氣候」兩字,指一入弦惟知忙忙連下,?欲放慢則竟然無味矣。深于氣候,則遲速俱得,不遲不速亦得,豈獨一遲盡其妙耶!

  24. 一曰「速」
    指法有重則有輕,如天地之有陰陽也;有遲則有速,如四時之有寒暑也。蓋遲為速之綱,速為遲之紀,嘗相間錯而不離。故句中有遲速之節,段中有遲速之分,則皆藉一速以接其遲不候也。然琴操之大體固貴乎遲﹕疏疏澹澹,其音得中正和平者,是為正音,《陽春》、《佩蘭》之曲是也;忽然變急,其音又系最精最妙者,是為奇音,《雉朝飛》、《烏夜啼》之操是也。所謂正音備而奇音不可偏廢,此之為速。擬之于似速而實非速,欲遲而不得遲者,殆相徑庭也。然吾之論速者二﹕有小速,有大速。小速微快,要以緊緊,使指不傷速中之雅度,而恰有行雲流水之趣;大速貴急,務令急而不亂,依然安閑之氣象,而能瀉出崩崖飛瀑之聲。是故速以意用,更以意神。小速之意趣,大速之意奇。若遲而無速,則以何聲為結構?速無大小,則亦不見其靈機。故成連之教伯牙于蓬萊山中,群峰互峙,海水崩折,林木幽冥,百鳥哀號,日﹕「先生將移我情矣!」後子期聽其音,遂得其情于山水。噫!精于其道者自有神而明之之妙,不待縷悉,可以按節而求也。

 
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