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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

7. Shouzhai's long-term companions 2 七,守齋琴侶考  

1. Mao Minzhong

Minzhong of Quzhou, during the Song dynasty, worked in the household (as a "house guest") of (Yang) Shouzhai, assisting in the compilation of Zixiadong Pu. He was acquainted with Wang Shuiyun (Wang Yuanliang; see further below). {Hushanlei Gao has his poem With Mao Minzhong leaving the lakes and mountains and from the riverside pavilions of Zhe passing by Wansongling}. In the Yuan dynasty he traveled northward to Yanjing (Beijing).

Wang Feng, in his Preface to Hearing Qin Master Ye's Guanguang Cao (see further comment) in Wuxi Ji {Folio 2}, said:

Guanguang Cao was composed by Mao Minzhong of Sanqu. During the Yuan dynasty, (Mao) accompanied Ye Lanpo of Wulin (a mountain on the west side of Hangzhou) and Xu Qiushan on a trip to the capital. All three could play the qin and they received encouragement from the a state councilor), who recommended them to Emperor Shizu (Kublai Khan). (Mao Min)zhong believed that the way of being a scholar was not more estimable than being a guest prince (binwang); the customs of former princes especially did not exceed the teachings of Yu (Emperor Shun, whose teachings embodied the customs of former kings). Thus he followed zhi (zhi mode3) as he played its sound, creating this piece in order to follow the (imperial) stipulations. Having accorded the command, he died at an inn. I have listened to the sound (of this melody), which is passionately sad and not pure zhi. According to tradition, if zhi is chaotic the result is misery. (Mao Min)zhong himself was very miserable!.... Lanpo's grandson, Weiyi, played this melody and wrote these words, thus providing a preface concerning these matters.

Regarding Minzhong's northward journey, Shuiyun saw him off with three poems. One couplet reads:

"Please gather your tears and go forward,
in order see the golden pavilions of Youzhou (Beijing)."


"Today when you leave lines of clear tears drop;
in another year your accomplishments will bridle the Yanshan range (near Beijing)."

{See Hushanlei Gao, 2; Song History, Record of Affairs 78 also records these two.} Thus (Mao Min)zhong had political ambitions. The melody Guan Guang Cao was also named Yu Hui Tushan. In Shen Qi Mi Pu, the Emaciated Immortal wrote,

"This melody was composed by Mao Minzhong....At the beginning of the barbarian Yuan dynasty this melody was thus written thinking back on the virtues of the Song dynasty, and its feelings are in this."

This was different from what (Ye Lanpo's grandson) Ye Weiyi wrote. I suspect that Ye may be more correct. {Huang Xian, Qinchuan Zhengpu:4 "Yu Hui Tushan, is also named Shangguo Guan Guang and is therefore called Guanguang Cao. It is a melody that 'followed zhi (mode) as its sound was played' (see above and comment below)." Yuan Jue wrote:

"(Mao) Minzhong wrote Tushan specifically for the zhi mode; the paired strings do not return to exchange modes (? 5). This follows the intentions of Xi Kang. A person who does not deeply understand this concept would be incapable."

This seems to refer to changing the mode without transferring the strings (again see comment below).

Regarding the melodies that (Mao) Minzhong created, Chengyizhai Qin Tan, referring to Qin Shu (Gu Qin Shu?) by Yu Ruming, wrote:

"Minzhong's qin, named Zhaomei, was called Songbian (ibid.) in olden times. He wrote Qiao Ge, Tushan, Zhuang Zhou Meng Die, You Ren Zhe Fang Gui, and Pei Lan. During the chaos at the beginning of the Yuan dynasty he fled to the countryside ("rivers and lakes") but still played qin and wrote poems."

In Shen Qi Mi Pu, under Qiao Ge, the Emaciated Immortal wrote:

"Because Yuan soldiers entered Lin An (Hangzhou), Mao Minzhong thought the times were not appropriate for himself. Wishing to imitate the deeds of former worthies, who went into hiding in the cliffs and valleys, he ran off into seclusion and did not accept public office. So he wrote this tune to attract like-minded people to go into seclusion with him. He himself felt no unhappiness about fleeing from society."

Aside from the (above melodies) there was also He Ming Jiugao, which Xilutang Qintong said that Mao Minzhong composed. Also, Guanghan You, titled Qingdu Yin in Qinpu Zhengchuan, said it was composed by Mao Minzhong. {Qin Tan [XIII/474/5] said: Mao Zhongweng composed Liezi Yu Feng, Shanju Yin, Gu Jian Song Shan,6 Yi Shui, Kaigu Yin, Yin De, Lingxu Yin. Shen Qi Mi Pu said: "Shan Ju Yin was composed by Mao Zhongweng of the Song dynasty." Thus Mao Zhongweng was also of the Song dynasty; is he the same person as Mao Minzhong? Qin Tan treats them as two different people (see ibid. [XIII/475]). For the time being this is all we know.}

Addendum: Wang Shuiyun (Wang Yuanliang)

Minzhong repeatedly engaged in changhe7 with his qin friend Wang Shuiyun. (Shuiyun [or Shuiyunzi] was his nickname. His name was Yuanliang and his style name Dayou.8) He was from Qiantang and was a commoner. During the reign of Duzong (1265-75), he was allowed to enter the palace because of his qin talents. When the Song collapsed, he went north from the back palace (sangong9) and stayed in Yan (Beijing) for a long while. His (female) contemporary from the palace Wang Zhaoyi (Wang Qinghui) also played the qin, and they often exchanged gifts of melodies. {Shuiyun's Hushan Lei Gao, 2, has the poems On an Autumn Day in Youzhou Listening to a Qin of Wang Zhaoyi and Guan Xuewang Zhaoyi Xiang Yao Ge Tuo Rou.10} He also went to the residence where Wen Wenshan (Wen Tianxiang) was imprisoned and composed for him ten melodies about being Detainined in Gloom; Wenshan accompanied it with song.11 {Liu Chenweng, Preface to Hushan Lei Gao} The Yuan dynasty's Emperor Shizu (Kublai Khan) heard of his reputation and summoned him many times to play qin; he pleaded to be able to retire as a Daoist. He wrote Hushan Lei Gao, Shuiyun's poems {Now there is the book Wulin Wangzhe Yizhu12}, and assembled the Song dynasty Gugong Ren Shici13 {there is the book Zhibuzuzhai Congshu14}. Shuiyun's affairs are recorded in detail in County Chronicles of Qiantang (Hangzhou) {Ji Xian}.15 {Also see Gaichongzhai Bishu,16 Yaoshantang Waiji,17 Guitian Shihua,18 among others. For a comprehensive [list] see the appendix to Shuiyun Ji.19

2. Xu Li

Under Zhang Yan's Ci Lyrics Wellspring, it is written:

"Among those who accompanied the our predecessors were Yang Shouzhai (Yang Zuan), Mao Minzhong, Xu Nanxi (Xu Li), and others. They discussed qin theory, about which they once had knowledge in excess."

Lu Wengui, in Commentary on White Clouds in the Mountains (Shanzhong Baiyun Tiyu20) wrote:

"{Yutian [the poet Zhang Yan]} learned his knowledge of music theory from Yang Shouzhai and Xu Nanxi."

Yuan Jue, in Qin Narration, wrote:

There was also Mister Xu Li, a contemporary of Yang, who wrote Aoyin Yupu, one folio, and was made an official as a result of presenting his Lü Jian and Qin Tong. His Five Melodies (Wu Nong, perhaps modal preludes) also did not differ from Yang's. Later in life he was acquainted with Yang, and Yang earnestly valued him."

(Xu Li's) Qin Tong was listed in the Jiruilou Book Catalogue (Jiruilou Shumu21), of which there are still copies today; they are subtitled as "written by Xu Li of Nanxi"; the shows that the Nanxi that Yutian mentions is the name of Xu Li. Yang Chun Bai Xue 5 has the melody Rui He Xian by Xu Li. (Xu) Li formerly came from Ji;22 see Complete Song Ci. Kuaiji Xin Zhi (Scroll 26) says that he achieved his jinshi degree in the fourth year of the Baoyou era (i.e., 1256).

Tieqintongjianlou Shumu23 {13} records:

"Qin Tong, one folio, and extra volume (miscellanea), one folio, ancient handcopy. Written by Xu Li of Nanxi. He lived during the reign of Emperor Lizong (1225-65). He received special imperial privileges24 for his completion of Zhonglü Shu; after he was fifty years old, he finished this book. The extra volume has its own preface with illustrations of modes. The book was finished (in 1268), the fourth wuchen year of the Xianchun era."

Note that Xilutang Qintong (1525; Folios 2 and 3?) took as its own the contents of this book. Yu Yan, in his Preface to Record of a Warning from the Stove (Luhuo Jianjie Lu Xu), wrote:

"After the era of Deyou (1275-6), I had few distractions and meditated at home, entertaining myself with qin. I was a fanatic about qin. As to how the six notes could regulate the five sounds, I asked various qin masters but received no answers. Later I acquired Ziyang's (Zhu Xi's) Qin Book (Qin Shu) {note: this refers to Qinlü Shuo in Zhu Wengong Quanji, scroll 66}. Nanxi's (Xu Li's) Qin Tong (and) Aoyin Yupu was the first to understand the methods of rotating gong (xuangong)." (More below.)

Thus the qin knowledge of Yuwu (style name of Yu Yan) was deeply influenced by Xu Nanxi.

Addendum: Yu Yan 25

Qianqingtang Shumu has 40 essays from Yu Yan's Qin Handbook (Qin Pu). And Cao Rong's Xue Hai Lei Bian26 included Yu Yan's Record of a Warning from the Stove (Luhuo Jianjie Lu), with its self-preface that said:

After the Deyou era (1275-6)....(see above)....I entertained myself with qin.... and wrote tablature for the poetry of Zhou Nan and Shao Nan (Book of Poetry [Shi Jing] Sections 1 and 2, containing the first 25 poems), plus (#161) Lu Ming and (#163) Huang Hua (Huanghuangzhe Hua), among others, and put them to music. There was also tablature for Li Sao, Jiu Ge (see Qu Yuan Wen Du), Lantingshi Xu, Guiqulai Ci, Zuiwengting Ji, and Chibi Fu, all from my own ardor for qin.

The tablature he recorded were mostly melodies with lyrics. Yan's style name was Yuwu; at the end of the Xianchun era (1275) he entered the imperial examinations but failed. He was from the West Mountain at Dongting (southern end of Taihu lake). During the Yuan dynasty he lived in seclusion and wrote books, calling himself the Mountaineer in a Forest Room (Linwu shanren. He was skilled in Yi (Jing). New Yuan History {Folio 234} has his biography under Scholars (Rulin). {Also see Poems on a Book Collection's Record of Events [Cangshu Jishi Shi27] for a short biography.}

3. Xu Tianmin

Yuan Jue wrote:

"Xu Tianmin of Yanling and Mao Minzhong of Sanqu worked in the household (as "house guests") of Chief Minister of Imperial Granaries (Sinong) Yang Zuan. They studied qin theory from dawn to dusk, deleting and adding to make a new handbook."

Also in Concerning the calligraphy of Xu Tianmin he wrote,

"Piaoweng, when drunk, liked to write the despairing and angry ci poems from older times in grass writing. One day, he commented on Zhongsan's (Xi Kang's) Guangling San in manshang (mode, with slackened second string); the natural paths of ruler and vassal was lost, and all were deeply affected."

(Yuan Jue) also said: "Those who study qin should focus first on passing down this book, thus vulgar tunes will become fewer. (Mao Min)zhong passed the proper way down to his disciples. I have deserted politics and wrote Qin Narration, discussing the various schools noted throughout history. After seeing the works left by the master, these past 36 years seem but a moment."

At the end (Yuan's) work is dated the sixth year of the Yanyou era (1319). This Tianmin was also had the nickname Piaoweng and was skilled in grass writing. Thirty-six years before the sixth year of the Yanyou era would have been the twentieth year of Zhiyuan {1283}.28

The Local Gazeteer of Zhejiang (Zhejiang Tong Zhi), 176, Scholarly People (literati: Renwu rulin), said:

Xu Ji of the Yuan dynasty was from Lanxi. He learned Yi (Jing) from Zhu Zhen and taught and lived in seclusion. Scholars called him Tianmin. He wrote Yi Li but was not known to have been skilled in qin. He is only an accidental namesake of Xu Tianmin of Yanling, as noted here.

Among those who studied qin from Tianmin was Yuan Jue.

Jue, style-name Bochang, was from Qingyuan. He wrote Qingrong Jushi Ji, and has a biography in the Yuan History. From the year jiashen (1284) to the year yiyou (1285) of the Zhiyuan era, Jue studied qin from Tianmin and literature from Dai Biaoyuan. Biaoyuan said that he deeply understood the theory behind the various arts of qin, literature, and medicine. {Yan Yuan Ji, Song Yuan Bochang Fu Lize Xu.}

Yutian (the poet Zhang Yan) has the ci poem Ting Yuan Bochang Tan Qin in Zhi Zhao. {The first part says:

"Autumn Winds [Qiu Feng] blow broken the trees of Jiangnan; the stone bed listens to Flowing Streams [Liu Shui]. The cranes that have left are not going to return, attracting a thousand miles of Despairing Winds [Bei Feng]. The sounds still resonate in my ears. Who understands the deep meaning of Old Toper [Zui Weng]? The sentiments of leaving one's country, of dry grass and far stretches of sand, sound Mountain Demon [Shan Gui]}."

Autumn Winds may refer to the melody Gu Qiu Feng--see Taigu Yi Yin; Old Toper refers to Zui Weng Cao; Mountain Demon (Shan Gui refers to Jiu Ge, which is Qu Yuan Wen Du from Xilutang Qintong.

There was also the Xiawai Pu that Jin Ruli assembled, and which He Juji further passed down to Zheng Ying, who also assembled a handbook (see earlier Chart of the Guo family lineage). {See Collection of Song Lian.}

(Continue with 8. Outline of Yuan dynasty qin people)

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. 鼔緣徵調度聲 Thus he followed zhi (zhi mode3) as he played
See the story of Shi Kuang: could the suggestion be that he played in zhi mode hoping to have a similar effect?

4. I cannot find this title or this statement in either of the two handbooks associated with Huang Xian: Wugang Qinpu or Qinpu Zhengchuan. In addition, Rao's article has no punctuation to indicate where the quote ends.

5. 此曲緣徵度聲 and 雙絃不復轉調/不轉絃而換調者也
Understanding these passages (the first one about following the zhi [mode], the latter about the two strings not modulating [?]) is made more difficult because a mistake in the punctuation article does not show clearly who made the first statement, Huang Xian or Rao Zongyi himself; the second is clearly made by Yuan Jue, later paraphrased (if he understood it) by Rao. From my observations of the zhi mode one can see that the tonal center is usually on the same note as the open fourth string. In contrast, the shang mode (often used for sad melodies) uses the first string as its main tonal center. In my transcriptions of melodies in zhi mode I make the first string do; this makes the tonal center sol (zhi) and best avoids playing accidentals (since I always write do as C, no matter what its actual pitch is). If, instead, for zhi mode the open fourth string (i.e., the tonal center) is considered as do, then its modal characteristics are almost the same as those of the shang mode, the main difference being that that notes played as F if the open first string is written as C become B flat if it is the open fourth string that is written as C.

If whoever wrote this passage is referring to something like this, then it could be called "changing the strings without changing the mode".

6. Gu Jian Song Shan 古澗松山
No further information. The original list has no punctuation, so it is possible these are two melodies, Gu Jian and Song Shan, or even that Song Shan goes with the following melody as Song Shan Yi Shui.

7. Changhe 唱和
This term usually refers to writing and replying in poems, using the same rhyme sequence, like a sort of exchange sequence.

8. "江水雲....水雲名大有,字元量"
Rao's original text here seems to be a misprint. It says "Jiang Shuiyun....Shuiyun was named Dayou, style name Yuanliang. See in his Qinshi Xu biography.

9. San Gong 三宮
10.1011 Back part of any palace; the women's part of the palace; the three Daoist palaces; musical term; etc. Not a place name.

10. (天山)觀雪王昭儀相邀割駝肉 (Tianshan) Guan Xuewang Zhaoyi Xiangyao Ge Tuo Rou
This poem by Wang Yuanliang can be found on the internet:

11. 為之作拘幽以下十操,文山倚歌而和之 Created for him 10 melodies on Detained in Gloom; Wenshan accompanied it with song
Regarding 江水雲 Wang Shuiyun's Detained in Gloom (Ju You) compare Juyou Cao, one of a set of 10 songs by Han Yu. Was this a common type of qin song during that (or any) period? Compare also the qin songs of Yu Yan discussed on this page.

12. Wulin Wangzhe Yizhu 武林往哲遺諸 Postumous Writings of the Former Sages of Wulin (16623.140xxx; Wulin is a mountain on the west side of Hangzhou).

13. Gugong Ren Shici 故宮人詩詞 Poetry of people in the Forbidden City.

14. Zhibuzuzhai Congshu 知不足齋叢書

15. 錢塘縣志 County Chronicles of Qiantang (Hangzhou) {紀獻 Ji Xian}.

16. Gaichongzhai Bishu 改蟲齋筆疏

17. Yaoshantang Waiji 堯山堂外紀

18. Guitian Shihua 歸田詩話

19. Appendix to Shuiyun Ji 《水雲集》附錄

20. 陸文圭,山中白雲題語 Lu Wengui, Shanzhong Baiyun Tiyu
8043.39 is 山中白雲詞,八卷, so this is commentary on Zhang Yan's work by 42620.32 Lu Wengui, another Yuan dynasty writer.

21. 稽瑞樓書目 Jiruilou Shumu
25778.49: room of two Qing dynasty scholars, 陳揆 Chen Kui and 楊文蓀 Yang Wensun (no mention of catalogue).

22. 理,曾稽人: could this be a misprint for 會稽 Kuaiji? It would perhaps contradict the claims that he was from Fujian, but note the reference in the next phrase to New Chronicle of Kuaiji (會稽新志 Kuaiji Xin Zhi 14636.156xxx), suggesting perhaps he later moved there (Zhejiang south of Hangzhou).

23. Iron Qin Bronze Sword Tower Book Index (鐵琴銅劍樓書目 Tie Qin Tong Jian Lou Shumu)
41848.242: the library of 瞿鏞 Qing Yong (Bio/2581), with books mostly collected by his father 瞿紹基 Qi Shaoji (1772 - 1836). Other references on this site include those under Xu Li and Qinyuan Yaolu.

24. Special imperial privileges (恩科 enke)
This either allowed a person to skip the imperial exams or to take a special version that was basically a free pass.

25. Compare the apparently formal structure of the qin songs by Yu Yan with the impromptu example suggested here in connection with Wang Shuiyun and Wang Yuanliang.

26. 曹溶 Cao Rong, 雪海類編 Xue Hai Lei Bian
Cao Rong, Bio/2129 (1613-1685).

The Prophesier (卜算子 Busuanzi)
Cao Rong's poem called 題琴士隱庵畫像 was set to a qin melody called 卜算子 Busuanzi in the 1682 handbook Shuhuai Cao (QQJC XII/356; repeated in 1802, XVII/541). The full lyrics are:


2822.64 卜算子 says busuanzi is 詞牌名 the name of a cipai particularly associated with Su Shi; also 曲牌名 the name of a qupai.

This music is given different lyrics in a transcription by Wang Di. Note also that Shuhuai Cao also has another setting of Busuanzi with different lyrics (QQJC XII/369). Attributed to 顧貞觀 Gu Zhenguan (1637-1714, Wiki), these lyrics have the same structure, the first of its two verses being 天海靜風濤,却歛歸寒玉。别是空巖拂水聲,迸散蕉陰錄。

27. Poems on a Book Collection's Record of Events (藏書記事詩 Cangshu Jishi Shi

28. {1283}: This seems to be the first use by Rao of the Western calendar.

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