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Chapter Six: Song and Yuan dynasties 1
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p. 117-8
第六章﹕宋,元
許健,琴史初編,第117-8頁

6.C. Qin Essays 2

4. Liu Ji,3 Qin Yi (Qin Critique) 4

琴論

劉籍,琴議

The Qin Critique by Liu Ji can be seen in the Taigu Yiyin from the Jiading years (1208 - 1224) of the Southern Song dynasty (q.v.). In Qin Critique he divides music into three processes: sheng (sound), yun (sonority) and yin (music).5

  1. (Sheng:) "Whatever is concordant when resonating is called 'sound'";
    This says that harmonious vibrations form musical tones.
  2. (Yun:) "If (these sounds) mix in an organized manner as they resonate it is called "sonority";
    This proposes that the relationship of musical tones working together in concert forms "sonority".
  3. (Yin:) "If while sonorous it forms wen (discourse), it is called "music".
    After this, it also follows that the changes of sonority organize to become music.

(Liu Ji) also discussed the relationships between zhi (aims), yan (statements), wen (discourse) and yin (music),6 saying,

  1. (Yan:) What people preserve of their aims is accumulated together and formed as "statements";
  2. (Wen:) The insufficiency of statements calls for "discourse";
  3. (Yin:) The inability of discourse to reach goals calls for "music".
  4. (Zhi:) The ultimate aim of statements, discourse and music is to reach one's goals, that is, express thoughts and feelings.

He pointed out the use of music arose as a way to express what could not be represented with language and literature: this is also very much correct.

Li Ji, after having analyzed the structure of music and use of music, and having gone on further to explore the reason that music was able to move people, discovered that,

"Although marvelous sounds and elegant sonorities were soon cast off into silence, their profound feelings flourished for a long time, and were often preserved with great fondness."

And why was it that after a performance of beautiful music had ended its profound and expansive mood could still remain in peoples' memories, not leaving them for a long time?

He believed that the artistic expression of music could be divided in three: de (conduct), jing (circumstance/imagination) and dao (path):7

First was Qin De (qin conduct), in other words, style and skill.

"Whenever the meaning of the music is profound and correct, and the fingers are used to make this clear, the movement is well-trained, selections are made without seeming to do so....the mixed sonorities are broken off, establishing sounds only elegant, this is conduct applied to the qin".

Second was Qin Jing (qin imagination), applying imaginative thought to form a creative concept.

When encountering something to be made into music, it takes imagination to form the melody. Rivers and mountains becoming dark or bright: controlling the setting moon using qin strings; wind in the pines soughing: experiencing a clear wind using the fingers. These are then the profundities of imagination.

Third was Qin Dao (qin path), thoughts and feelings, human nature.

Also, when sages and noble people are thwarted and lament the times they are in, hating these profound sorrows, they express this in sound. At first it is so impassioned that it brings joy to spiritual beings, high and low; in the end practicing (qin) conduct harmonizes it with elegant odes. This ensures that, after doing it 10,000 times, the same sounds bring realization. So this is the profundity of the qin path.

This sort of discourse by Liu Ji supplied a great deal of materials with regard to our country's traditional musical aesthetics,

 
(Continue with next, Chen Minzi, Qinlü Fawei

 
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chapter 6 covers these dynasties (dates, capital city [modern name]):

Northern Song (960-1126; Dongjing [Kaifeng])
Liao (907-1125; Dading Fu [Daning?])
Southern Song (1127-1280; Linan Fu [Hangzhou])
Jin (1115-1260; Zhongdu [Beijing])
Yuan (1206-1280-1368; Dadu [Beijing]) (Return)

2. When translating this essay I consulted a draft article by 袁中平 Yuan Jung-Ping entitled "The culture of the qin in Song times" (see quote below). He presented a revised version of the paper was at the 2001 annual conference of the New York Qin Society; that version of the paper is available online.
(Return)

3. Liu Ji 劉籍
Bio/xxx; no further information beyond what is with QSCM, 琴議 Qin Yi. It is suggested there that Liu Ji lived at the beginning of the northern Song dynasty, perhaps 10th c.
(Return)

4. Qin Critique (琴議 Qin Yi
This essay apparently can also be called 琴議篇 Qin Yi Pian (Qin critical essay). The original of all the quotes here can be found in an essay of this title (no author's name given) in Taiyin Daquanji Folio 4 (QQJC, I/73-4). The original text is as follows:

琴者禁也。禁邪歸正以和人心。始乎伏羲,成於文、武。形像天地,氣包陰陽。神思幽深,聲韻清越;雅而能暢,樂而不淫。扶正國風,翼贊王化。善聽者,知(人事)吉凶,休(各卜)國家存亡;善鼓者,變動陰陽,聚散鬼神。是以古人左琴右書,無故則不徹。琴之為義大矣哉。夫和而鳴者謂之聲,參敘相應謂之韻,韻而成文謂之音。夫人志于所守,蘊積于中而形于言,言不足謂之文,文不足謂之音。故音哀樂雅正剛柔怨怒,必在乎人,由乎國風,理國治家,化人成俗,政教興廢,道德盛衰。于是聽之則之音,其道深矣。夫人多聽聲而不聽音者,近而不知遠也。俗諺雲﹕不惜歌者苦,但傷知音稀。誠哉是言也。余早味幽隱,酷嗜絲桐,頗曾留意時屬絕絲而能之,雖奇聲雅韻寂然而廢,幽情遠興緬想常存。今者以其端味以傳同好。但跡形容,列之于後。夫聲雅正,用指分明,運動閑和,取舍無跡,氣格高峻,才思豐逸,美而不艷,哀而不傷,質而能文,辨而不詐,溫潤調暢,清迥幽奇,參韻曲折,立聲孤芳。此琴之德也。如遇物發聲,想像成曲,江山隱映,銜落月于弦中。松風颼颼,貫清風于指下。此則境之深矣。又若賢人烈士,失意傷時,結恨沉憂,寫于聲韻,始激切以暢鬼神,終練德而和雅頌。使千載之後,同聲見知。此乃琴道深矣。若夫徇時棄本,艷巧多端,實傷敗德也。夫琴之五音者,宮商角徵羽也。宮象君,其聲同,當與眾同心,故曰同也。商象臣,其聲行,君令臣行,故曰行也。角象民,其聲從,君令臣行民從,故曰從也。徵象事,其聲當,民從則事當,故曰當也。羽象物,其聲繁,民從事當則物有繁植,故曰繁也。是以舜作五弦之琴,鼓「南風」而天下大治,此之謂也。後文、武各加一弦,故六名文,七名武也。夫琴之聲弄,各有異端,不可雷同,總呼為弄,合節者為聲,不合節者為弄。音葉稱音,音繁曰樂。禽獸但知聲而不知音,常人但知音而不知樂。君子能知其樂者,明國之興衰,察人之哀樂。故哀心感者其聲焦以殺。樂心感者其聲舒以緩。喜心感者其聲發以散。怒心感者其聲麗以厲。敬心感者其聲和以柔。此非情也,感于物而動也。夫聞宮音者,使溫舒而廣大。聞商者,使人方正而好義。聞角者,使人惻隱而愛人。聞徵者,使人樂善而好施。聞羽者,使人齊整而好禮。(音釋﹕自「聞宮音」至「齊整而好禮」並出太史公萑書。太史公司馬談也。)是以舜操五弦之音,其辭曰﹕「南風之薰兮,可以解吾民之慍兮。南風之時兮,可以阜吾民之財兮。」聖人音妙深矣。故恁言以求意,在得意以求言,言窮而意遠也。
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5. Three processes: sound, sonority, music (三個程序﹕聲,韻,音 san'ge chengxu: sheng, yun, yin)
See in original text. 袁中平 Yuan Jung-Ping in an undated paper described these as follows.

Each of these levels distinguishes a more detailed and sophisticated organization compared to the previous level. Sheng) refers to any sound simply as sound, natural or manmade. On the qin the closest analogy might be said to be the notes taken at the level of sound. Yun is the detailed physical qualities of a sound, including its volume, pitch and duration. Finally, yin refers to the expression, the interpretation that a player adds to yun from his feelings and from the sum of his life experience. These three levels are conceptual ways of analyzing the structure of music. They are not distinct things that can be heard separately in music. When music is played, they occur together and are heard together as an undivided whole.
(Return)

6. 志,言,文,音 : see in original text.
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7. 德,境,道 : see in original text. The first, 德 de often means virtue, but here seems to refer more to required conduct. The second, jing, is generally defined as circumstances; Yuan Jung-Ping (op. cit.) translates it as "state of mind". The text also mentions 意境 yijing: creative concept, mood, frame of mind.
(Return)

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