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Zhuang Zhenfeng
- Qin Shi Xu #174 2
莊臻鳳 1
琴史續 #174

Zhuang Zhenfeng (ca. 1624 - after 1667), style name Die'an, was from Sanshan (modern Yangzhou). While still young he followed his father to Nanjing. Here apparently while in ill health the young man began his qin studies with a doctor from Changshou named Baiyun (White Cloud), who had specifically been brought to Nanjing to take care of him. Later Zhuang had another teacher from Changshou, this time the prominent master Xu Hong, one of the founders of the Yushan school.

Eventually Zhuang himself became a well-known qin master in Nanjing,4 but he did not limit himself to Yushan school melodies, which rarely included lyrics. In fact many of the melodies in his own handbook, Qinxue Xinsheng,5 have lyrics. Two people closely associated with him were also well-known for qin songs: his student Jiang Xingchou, who later went to Japan and became the monk Shin-Etsu,6 and the Min school player Cheng Xiong, whose Songfengge Qinpu emphasized qin songs.

Zhuang is also said to have been a skilled qin maker,7 but he is perhaps best known through his qin handbook Qinxue Xinsheng. Presumably Jiang Xingchou took a copy of it with him when he went to Japan, but it is not clear which of its melodies he may have played or taught.

Qinxue Xinsheng, originally published in 1664, has two folios, with 14 melodies in all. All but the third melody, the Buddhist chant Shitan Zhang, were his own compositions.8 The source of the (other) melodies he played and presumably taught is not known (further details of the handbook).

Melodies attributed to Zhuang that are also collected in other handbooks included:

Eight of the 14 melodies in Zhuang's handbook have lyrics but only one of these four melodies attributed to him does: Li Yun Chun Si.

After saying Zhuang was from Yangzhou, the biography here says Zhuang was a good qin player particularly friendly with and praised by Han Jiang, adding that he was good at selecting the right wood for making qins. The rest of it seems to be a quote from what it says is a preface by 毛稚黃 Mao Zhihuang, but I cannot find that preface in the QQJC copy of Qinxue Xinsheng. It seems to connect Zhuang and Han with Hangzhou, where Zhuang particularly enjoyed the scenery of West Lake.

Qin Xue Xinsheng includes an essay called 16 Qin Sound Methods of Diean (i.e., Zhuang Zhenfeng). Is this the original version of the Sixteen Rules for Qin Tones generally attributed to Leng Qian (ca. 1310 - ca. 1371)?


Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Zhuang Zhenfeng references
莊臻鳳 Bio/611 and Zha Fuxi's preface (XII/p.I) say 字蝶菴 style name Die'an, from 三山(金陵) Sanshan (Nanjing), but 琴史續 Qinshi Xu #174 says he was "揚州人 a man of Yangzhou". Xu Jian (p.153), who gives his dates as ca. 1624 - after 1667, also says he was from Yangzhou, but that when he was young he followed his father to Nanjing. (Note that his near contemporary Zhang Dai also had the nickname Die'an.)

26 lines (Return)

4. Although one might assume his teaching took place in Nanjing, I have not seen direct mention of this. He also often visited Hangzhou.

5. 琴學心聲諧譜 Qin Xue Xinsheng Xiepu (1664; XII/1-164)
By Zhuang Zhenfeng (莊臻鳳 Bio/611) of Nanjing (金陵), teacher of Shin-Etsu
Its 2 folios have 14 melodies; 8 have lyrics. All but the Buddhist chant Shitan Zhang were Zhuang's own compositions, appearing here for the first time, including the popular Wuye Wu Qiufeng. Van Gulik, Lore, p.231, mentions the presence of his handbook in Japan.

Qin Xue Xinsheng Table of Contents

  1. 太平奏 Taiping Zou (XII/65)
    10+1 sections; preface dated 1663;
    attributed revisions; lyrics (皇帝聖神,猶然齊袚深宮....); only here (5965.xxx)
  2. 禹鑿龍門 Yu Zuo Longmen (XII/70)
    12+1 sections; preface dated 1665; only here
  3. 釋談章 Shitan Zhang (XII/73)
    Buddhist chant (南無佛陀也....); earliest was
    1592; Zhuang Zhenfeng arranged the music; 10th of 51; attributed revisions
  4. 梨雲春思 Li Yun Chun Si: Pear-White Clouds, Spring Thoughts (15403.xxx; 33/255/491; XII/78)
    10+1 sections; lyrics; first of 6; preface dated 1665;
    further details below
  5. 瑤島問長生 Yaodao Wen Changsheng (XII/81)
    9+1 sections; lyrics (紅塵碧水....); only here and in
    ca. 1802
  6. 早朝吟 Zaozhao Yin (XII/84)
    3 sections; lyrics (銀燭朝天....); only here
  7. 空山磬 Kongshan Qing (XII/86)
    9 sections; first of four (others are
    1702, ca. 1802 and 1876)
  8. 修竹留風 Xiu Zhu Liu Feng (XII/89)
    16+1 sections; first of three (others are
    ca. 1802 [XIX/193] and 1876 [XXI/185; calls it 修竹流風)
  9. 臨河修禊 Lin He Xiuxi (XII/93)
    5 sections; lyrics (永和九年....) are the Lanting Xu by Wang Xizhi; no musical relation to Xiuxi Yin; only here
  10. 八公還童 Ba Gong Hai Tong (The 8 Dukes Still Appear Youthful; XII/96)
    10+1 sections; lyrics (遐哉穆滿....); only here and in ca. 1802
  11. 雲中笙鶴 Yunzhong Shenghe (XII/101)
    24+1 sections; only
    here and in ca. 1802; Huangzhong tuning; further details below
  12. 鈞天逸響 Jun Tian Yi Xiang (XII/107)
    10 sections; only here and in
    ca. 1802

    莊蝶菴琴學心聲跋 Epilogue by Zhuang Zhenfeng himself (XII/109)

    琴學心聲諧譜後序 Afterword to Qinxue Xinsheng Xiepu (1666; XII/110)

    琴學心聲跋 Epilogue to Qinxue Xinsheng (1664; XII/111)

    One appended folio

    范光文集古詩跋 Epilogue by Fan Guangwen about the old poems collected (1665; XII/1102)
    Shouldn't this be after p.164?

  13. 栩栩曲 Xuxu Qu (XII/113)
    10 sections; no preface; lyrics (栩栩者蝶耶,遽遽者睫耶。....) by 錢塘毛先舒稚黃氏譜詞; only here
    毛先舒 Mao Xianshu (1620 - 1688), style name 稚黃 Zhihuang, was a poet from 浙江仁和 Renhu in Zhejiang (
    Chinese Wiki)
  14. 梧葉舞秋風 Wuye Wu Qiufeng (XII/116)
    清宮音 qinggong mode (5 6 1 2 3 5 6); first of 23 (but no later one is a copy of this); preface dated 1670

6. The Qinshi Xu biography says he was good at selecting wood for qins; this suggests he also either made them or supervised their making.

7. New compositions by Zhuang Zhenfeng
The new melodies in Qinxue Xinsheng are generally marked "三山莊臻鳳蝶菴子製 Sanshan's Zhuang Zhenfeng, (style name) Die'an, made this himself."

8. Jiang Xingchou
He could have studied with Zhuang in either Nanjing or Hangzhou.

9. An Immortal Crane in the Clouds (雲中笙鶴 Yunzhong Sheng He) (XII/78)
This composition by Zhuang Zhenfeng, in Huangzhong mode (lowered first string, raised fifth; 1 3 5 6 1 2 3), survives only from here and >1802. However, a comment attached to the melody Hujia Shibapai as published in 1820 stated that it was one of four melodies using this tuning that was still extant (played?), the others being Yunzhong Shenghe, Da Ya and Qiu Yue Zhao Maoting.

笙鶴 26531.22 says 仙鶴名 the name of an immortal crane.

10. Pear-White Clouds, Spring Thoughts (梨雲春思 Li Yun Chun Si) (XII/78)
15403.xxx. The music for this melody, in 10+1 sections, had "莊臻鳳諧音 its sounds harmonized by Zhuang Zhenfeng", while "錢塘毛先舒稚黃氏校詞 the lyrics were revised by (氏 the family of?) Hangzhou's Mao Xianshu (style name) Zhihuang" (baike.com/wiki; 1620—1688); a postscript gives more details, suggesting Zhuang perhaps originally heard the melody from a friend and arranged it for qin. The lyrics begin, "輕暖破寒...." (more in this Japanese handbook).

Zha Guide 33/255/491 lists Li Yun Chun Si in five handbooks, as follows:

  1. Qinxue Xinsheng (1676; XII/78)
    Zha Guide says 原註:又名草堂闋 also called Caotang Que
  2. Yiluxuan Qinpu (1802; XIX/230)
    "from 1676"
  3. Erxiang Qinpu (1833; XXIII/151; this handbook also has Wuye Wu Qiufeng)
    Afterword says since 國初 there have been two composers 剡谿尹芝仙 Yin Ertao and Zhuang Zhenfeng, but whereas a number of Yin's pieces have been republished, not so with Zhuang.
  4. Tianwenge Qinpu (1876; XXV/369)
    Seems to be same; source is given as 梅華庵 1833
  5. Shuangqin Shuwu Qinpu Jicheng (1884; XXVII/345)
    Called simply 梨雲 Li Yun but Zhuang credited and the preface has something further on the transmission

Caotang Que (草堂闋 31629.173xxx; Grass Hall Stanzas) is mentioned in the preface to Li Yun Chun Si (see XII/77, first line on bottom). It is presumably for this reason that Zha Guide p.33 says Qinxue Xinsheng listed it as an alternate title.

Note that the Grass Hall Intonation (草堂吟 Caotang Yin) published in Japan has as its lyrics the first four verses from here; however, the music is different.

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