T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
Qin bios 首頁
Xu Li
- Qin Shi Xu #18
徐理 1
琴史續 #18 2

Xu Li was from Nanxi in Fujian province, hence his "qin system" is sometimes called "Nanxi Qin Tong".4

According to Xu Jian's History, Chapter 6a3, at least three works can be attributed to Xu Li:

  1. Zhong Lü (Bell Pitches)5
  2. Qin Tong (Qin Rules), 1 folio;6 apparently published together with a
    Wai Pian (Extra Publication), 1 folio;
  3. Aoyin Yupu (Mysterious Sounds Jade Handbook).7

In addition, Rao Zongyi, Section 7 mentions:

Lü Jian (Inspection of Tones)8

In QSCM, Chapter 6c5 Xu Jian discusses what Qinlü Fawei had to say about Xu Li's writings. And in Chapter 6a3 he says that Xu Li's Qin Tong so influenced Wang Zhi that he named his qin handbook Xilutang Qintong.

Further regarding Qin Tong, it is said that the beginning of Xilutang Qintong quotes either extensively or completely Xu Li's Qin Tong. However, the text there is rather different from other texts describing Xu Li's writing (e.g., in Qinlü Fawei). And whereas Xilutang Qintong does have numerous references to a Qin Tong, I have not yet found in it any direct mention of the name Xu Li.9

Two excerpts of the Qin Tong are copied in QSCM, #112.10

The original essay in Qin Shi Xu begins as follows:

Xu Li was from Nanxi. He was fond of qin from youth. He studied the essentials of musical sound and mathematics, then after 20 years he put this information into a book called 鐘律 Zhong Lü. In 1255 he presented this to the Lizong emperor (r. 1225 - 1265), attaining favor.11 Then 50 years later he devoted himself to making this work for the qin, writing Qin Tong in one folio....

More to be added.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Xu Li 徐理 (from 南溪 Nanxi in Fujian, hence Nanxi was a nickname)
Xu Li seems to have been quite a well known music expert in the 13th century: see See Xu Jian, Outline History, 6a3 And Rao Zongyi, Section 7. In addition to the discussion of his system in Qinlü Fawei he is also mentioned by Zhang Yan (詞源), Yuan Jue (琴述) and Yu Yan.

10363.369 and Bio/1936 both refer only to a different person named Xu Li (a Ming dynasty military official from Henan who died in 1406).

2. 5 lines; sources given are 鐵琴銅劍樓書目 Tieqintongjianlou Shumu and 追古篇 Zhui Gu Pian.

4. Nanxi Qin System (南溪琴統 Nanxi Qin Tong)
See QSCB, 6a3 as well as Qin Rules (or Qin System), below.

5. Bell Tones (鐘律 Zhong Lü); also called 鐘律書 Zhonglü Shu (Belltones Book)
The comment in the Qinshi Xu biography that Xu Li worked on this for over 20 years (see also Xu Jian) suggests this was his major work, but I have not yet found further information about it.

6. Qin Rules, 1 folio (琴統一卷 Qin Tong, yi juan)
Inspired the title of Xilutang Qintong?
    Extra Publication, 1 folio (外篇一卷 Wai Pian, yi juan)
Listed together with Qin Tong in
Qinshu Cunmu #112.

7. Mysterious Sounds Jade Handbook (奧音玉譜 Aoyin Yupu)
Discussed by Chen Minzi in Qinlü Fawei?

8. Inspection of Tones (律鑒 Lü Jian)
Rao is quoting 袁桷 Yuan Jue.

9. See the beginning of the Xilutang Qintong Table of Contents

10. In Qinshu Cunmu the source for these two excerpts (copied here more accurately than elsewhere?) is given only as 舊鈔本 "an old handcopied volume". The first can be compared to QQJC III/9; they are very much the same except for several lines in the middle. The second, 外篇敘 Wai Pian Xu, can be compared to QQJC III/25 Wai Pian Xu.

11. 得叨恩科給年五十後一意治琴... (?) En ke refers to a special civil service examination.

Return to QSCB, or to the Guqin ToC.