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Rao Zongyi: An Historical Account of the Qin
  from the close of the Song to the Jin and Yuan Dynasties 1

2. Prevalent qin tablature after the Song court's move south 2 宋南渡後流行之琴譜  

Yuan Jue (1266-1377) wrote in Qin Shu (Qin Narration):

Since (the empire) moved (its base to Hangzhou,) south of the Yangzi, there have been two examinable types of tablature: gepu (inner chamber tablature) and Jiang-xi pu (River-west tablature). Gepu had begun gradually to be abandoned during the reign of Emperor Taizong (976-998); during the Huangyou era (1049-1054) it again was again included in the Imperial Archives. At the present times print illustrations that are excellent and comprehensive are all imperial archive volumes, all having passed through these Imperial Archives at one time; so gepu for qin have this significance. While gepu were prevalent, many other types of tablature existed. When the Da Sheng Yue Fu (Imperial Music Bureau) examined them, they valued gepu most highly, later not accepting other tablature, the studies of which eventually faded away. During the (Southern Song dynasty's) Shaoxing period (1131-1163), those without skill in inner chamber volumes (geben) could not attain from the Hanlin Academy Editorial Assistants (see qin daizhao) their personal transmission of the tradition.3 This was enchanting yet completely elegant, with no concepts of impending disaster, but the country inevitably became smaller and weaker within a little more than 100 years.

As for River-west tablature (Jiang-xi pu), it came from the inner chamber (ge) but added complexity. It had a rapid and intricate sound, and its playing styles were different in principle. The tragic solemnity of autumn winds at the Wu Gorges,4 and the fine beauty of orchid-covered banks of the Luo River,5 both veer toward serenity but are increasingly chaotic, desire order but are increasingly the opposite. Thus poets and upstanding men all admired (Jiang-xi pu) and claimed that no other forms were sufficient to be called "qin".

From this essay one can see that of prevalent qin tablature in the Southern Song dynasty, there was gepu and Jiang-xi pu; gepu was official tablature as identified by the Da Sheng Fu, while Jiang-xi pu was the so-called other tablature.

Emperor Taizong widely studied various arts; in the second year of the Zhidao era (996 CE), a nine-string qin was made. At the time, those who were qin daizhao were Zhu Wenji and Zhao Yi. Wenji was said to be the best qin player in the world. {See Mengxi Bu Bi Tan6.} He had a Qin Handbook of Miscellaneous Tunes (Qin Zadiao Pu) in 12 Folios. {See the Song Dynasty Annals.} Regarding the making of the nine-stringed qin, Zhao Yi approved of the addition while Zhao Wenji disapproved. When (the qin) was done, Taizong wrote lyric poems to be sung, made a Qin Handbook in two folios, and a Nine-stringed Qin Handbook in 20 Folios, all stored in the palace archives. {See Zhu Changwen's Qin Shi [under Zhu Wenji]}. The Bibliography Annals of the Song Dynasty History recorded a Qin Handbook in six folios by Taizong. This was actually tablature authorized by Taizong.

In the ninth month of the fourth year of Emperor Huizong's Chongning era (1105), new music that was completed had conferred upon it the name Great Splendor (Da Sheng; see again Da Sheng Yue Fu); an imperial bureau and office positions were established, all supervised by a director (si). {Li You, Records of the Song Dynasty [Song Chao Shishi], 14, containing an imperially-created Da Sheng Yue Ji [Music Collection].7} Regarding the Da Sheng Fu's role in the establishment of qin (rules or pitches), according to the Music Annals of the Song Dynasty History: "The Da Sheng Fu attempted to abolish the first, second, seventh, and ninth (strings from the nine-string qin) to keep only five strings, claiming that these are the five proper tones that are best used for the qin; (Folio 142) thus was the contemporary opinion of this new music. {Referring to the essay "Da Sheng Fu Kaolue", see the Periodical of Ci Studies [Ci Xue Jikan], second series, second issue.} Yet the seven- and nine-stringed qin could not, in the end, be abolished. Hence in the fourth month of the third year of the Southern-Song Qingyuan era (1197), when Jiang Baishi submitted his works regarding elegant music (yayue, music of the court), he brought forward A Discourse on Great Music (Da Yue Yi) and Archeological Depictions of Qin and Se (Qin Se Kaogu Tu) (see Qingyuan Huiyao and Baishi Xinian by Mr. Xia8), and these were still divided into sections for the five-, seven-, and nine-stringed qin, for each of which the tuning and modes are described with illustrations. {Collected Poetry of Baishi [Baishi Shi Ci Heji], first folio, Collected Matters Addendum [Jishi Buyi]} The content of gepu is no longer known, but according to the records of Yuan Jue, they were the same as the tablature of the Wanyan clan from the North (see next chapter), but the notes were more complicated and frequent, although the Jiang-xi pu was even more complicated and rapid. By the Shaoxing period (1131-1163) gepu was widely popular; chapter thirteen of the Catalogue of the Wenyuan Chamber (Wenyuan Ge Shumu) names a collection of ten volumes of Zhaoxing-era court tablature, which is missing. Also see the Catalogue of Luzhu Hall (Luzhutang Shumu). If this was actually tablature, the book survived until the Ming dynasty.

In some cases, gepu was taken from the common people. Zhu Quan's Shen Qi Mi Pu said that Guangling San had two tablature versions and he used the version as collected by the Sui-dynasty court. When the Sui dynasty ended, it was taken into the Tang court; when the Tang dynasty ended, it drifted to the common people for many years. Then during (Southern) Song Gaozong Emperor's Jianyan period (1127-1131), it again entered the imperial court. This is an example.

Addendum: Investigation of Mr. Shen's Book of the Qin (Shen Shi Qin Shu 9)

Regarding tablature other than gepu, according to the General Catalogue of Noble Writings10 and the Comprehensive Textual Research of Historical Documents11 there was Mr. Shen's Book of the Qin in one folio, a Qin Handbook in one folio by Zhang Danzheng,12 as well as a Qin Handbook in four folios,13 a Collection of Important Qin Tablature in five folios,14 and a Correct Sounds of Qin Writing in nine folios15 by unknown author(s). These were all books from before the Northern Song Emperor Renzong (ones collected during the Tang dynasty and the Five Dynasties period are not included here). Thus one can see the wide dissemination of qin tablature at that time. Shen's Qin Shu (apparently) had the earliest record of the Four Melodies of Xi Zhongsang (Xi Kang). Correct Sounds of Qin Writing recorded Traveling in Spring (You Chun), Green Waters (Lu Shui), Peaceful Dwelling (You Ju), Melancholy Meditations (Zuo Chou Si), Autumn Thoughts (Qiu Si) and the Five Melodies of Mr. Cai.16 Later on, the qin handbook of Yang Shouzhai (Yang Zuan, presumably his Zixiadong Qinpu) also listed Xi Kang's Four Melodies (Si Nong), but it was in fact first included in Shen's Qin Shu. Regarding Shen's Qin Shu, Wenxian Tongkao quoted Chongwen Mu and noted:

"In front it included Xi Zhongsang's Four Melodies, mentioned a collection of Zhao Shifa,17 then included Bei Feng (Melancholy Winds), Sanxia Liu Quan (Flowing Streams of the Three Gorges), Lu Shui (Clear Waters), Zhaojun, Xia Wu (Lower Dancing), and Jian Xian (Amidst Strings), these (latter two) being Hujia Si Nong (Four Nomad Reed Pipe Melodies18); it then mentioned Sheng Tongshi selections.19 Shen collected all this tablature from various sources."

So Shen used as reference collections edited by Zhao Shifa, Sheng Tongshi, and others. Who Shen was remains uncertain, but I believe that he was Shen Liao,20 with two pieces of evidence. Chongwen Zongmu, regarding Da Hujia and Xiao Hujia, says: "Shen Liao's collection is popularly called the sound of Shen." It has been verified that Shen's Qin Shu accordingly includes Hujia Si Nong. This is the first piece of evidence. Upon investigation, Shen Liao's Cloud Nest Essay,21 folio six, has an old poem "Zhaojun Cao", with the following words:


In Shen's Qin Shu, there are various melodies with Zhaojun, which come from this poem. This is the second piece of evidence. Thus it is clear that Shen is Shen Liao. Liao was a nephew of Shen Kuo of Mengxi, who was also well-versed in music theory. {Shen Liao, Shen Gou, and Shen Kuo are collectively called the Three Shens. Sibu Congkan, third edition, lists a Collection of the Three Shens [Shen Shi San Xiansheng Ji].22 Liao's style name was Ruida, and a biography of him is in Song History, 331.}

(Continue with 3. Wanyan family qin tablature and Jin dynasty qin studies)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
Prof. Rao's original article had no footnotes, so the footnotes below are all added by the translator. The text above uses the brackets { } for Prof. Rao's original bracketed phrases, while the brackets ( ) and [ ] indicate comments added by the translator. In addition, some of the paragraphs in the original article have been sub-divided, with a particular effort being made to highlight Rao's various quotes from historical sources.

1. Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasties (see also article reference)
The period covered in Rao Zongyi's essay includes (with dates, capital city [modern name]):

北宋 Northern Song (960-1126; 東京 Dongjing [開封 Kaifeng])
遼朝 Liao (907-1125; various, including 大定府 Dading Fu - the Central Capital: 中亰 Zhongjing [寧城 Ningcheng?])
南宋 Southern Song (1127-1280; 臨安府 Linan Fu [杭州 Hangzhou])
金 Jin (1115-1260; 汴京 Bianjing [開封 Kaifeng] as well as 中都 Zhongdu [北京 Beijing])
元 Yuan (1206-1280-1368; 大都 Dadu [北京 Beijing])

2. Initial translation by 金秋雨 Jin Qiuyu.

3. Could not become daizhao? (非入閣本不得待詔,私相傳習)
Rao and Xu Jian (q.v.) both end the first phrase after "daizhao", as above. However, classical Chinese generally did not use punctuation, and my understanding of the passage requires connecting these two phrases. This section (it continues, 非有妄蹙僨遽之意,而兢兢然國小而弱。) has a number of expressions not it my supposedly complete dictionaries.

4. Tragic solemnity of autumn winds at the Wu Gorges

5. Fine beauty of orchid-covered banks of the Luo River

6. Mengxi Bu Bi Tan 夢溪補筆談
The biography of Xu Yan mentions a 補夢溪筆談 Bu Mengxi Bitan; it is not clear if this footnote refers to the preceding, the following, or both.

7. Li You, Records of the Song Dynasty (李攸,宋朝事實 Song Chao Shishi)
Folio 14 mentions Great Splendor (i.e., Imperial) Music Collection (大晟樂記 Da Sheng Yue Ji)

8. Baishi Xinian 白石繫年
This is apparently 姜白石繫年 Anxious Years of Jiang Baishi by 夏承燾 Xia Chengtao (1900-1986).

9. Mr. Shen's Book of the Qin (沈氏琴書 Shen Shi Qin Shu)
Listed here

10. General Catalogue of Noble Writings (崇文總目 Chongwen Zongmu)
Edited by Wang Yaochen, 1001 - ca. 1056

11. Comprehensive Textual Research of Historical Documents (文獻通考 Wenxian Tongkao)
13766.930: Yuan dynasty, 348 folios, by 馬端臨 Ma Duanlin (ca.1254 - 1323; Bio/83). Published in 1317.

12. Qin Handbook in one folio by 張澹正 Zhang Danzheng
The only further information seems to be that in Qinshu Cunmu entry 73,

13. Qin Handbook in four folios
The only further information seems to be that in Qinshu Cunmu entry 80.

14. Collection of Important Qin Tablature in five folios
The only further information seems to be that in Qinshu Cunmu entry 73.

15. Qin Book of Correct Sounds (琴書正聲九卷 Qin Shu Zhengsheng, in nine folios)
Qinshu Cunmu includes a Qin Shu Zhengsheng in ten folios attributed to the famous ninth century qin player Chen Kangshi. The Qinshu Cunmu entry lists 10 melodies (q.v. under Chen), five of which are among the six mentioned above, so quite likely it is the same book as the one of this title in the two references given here by Rao.

16. Five Melodies of Mr. Cai. (蔡氏五弄 Caishi Wu Nong
The previous five titles listed above are generally considered to be the Five Melodies of Mr. Cai.

17. Four Nomad Reed Pipe Melodies (胡笳四弄 Hujia Sinong)
See Hujia Diao in the You Lan list)

18. Zhao Shifa 趙師法
The name could also be read as "Zhao's teaching methods", making the phrase, "he mentioned a selection of Zhao's teaching methods".

19. 盛通師 Sheng Tongshi
Tongshi is listed as a nickname (specifically of 歐陽通 Ouyang Tong), and Sheng cna be a surname, but 題盛通師選 might also have a completely different meaning.

20. Shen Liao 沈遼
Xu Jian, QSCB, Chapter 5.c.2 mentions Shen Liao as a Tang dynasty qin craftsman.

21. Cloud Nest Essay (雲巢編 Yun Chao Bian
By 沈遼 Shen Liao

22. Collection of the Three Shens (沈氏三先生集 Shen Shi San Xiansheng Ji)
Listed in Sibu Congkan, third edition. The three Shens are

  1. 沈遼 Shen Liao
  2. 沈遘 Shen Gou
  3. 沈括 Shen Gua

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