T of C
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|Dr. Tong's website his Qin Fu Picture from one of our performances||首頁|
|Tong Kin-Woon 1||唐健垣|
|Dr. Tong at his studio 2|
From 1976 to 2000 Dr. Tong was my advisor in Hong Kong, mainly helping me find and understand materials necessary for analyzing and reconstructing old guqin tablatures and texts. He was introduced to me by my teacher in Taiwan, Sun Yü-Ch'in, who had recenty also taught Tong.
While in Taiwan Tong Kin-Woon published Qin Fu, a collection of original writings plus old handbooks and articles. His doctoral dissertation for a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, Shang (Dynasty) Musical Instruments, was published in the journal Asian Music, Volumes XIV-2, XV-1 and XV-2 (1983/4). His expertise in classical Chinese and his general knowledge were essential to many of the translations on this website.
Dr. Tong normally divides his time between his flats in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, teaching qin and other subjects. In Hong Kong he also repairs qins and has for sale a number of antique qins, qins made by other well-known makers, and new ones that he personally selected during trips to China, Yangzhou in particular.7
Dr. Tong's Hong Kong address is: 8
Dr. Tong also regularly goes to the studio in China where he makes his qin and to Shanghai, where he teaches and sells most of them (location).
Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)
唐健垣 Tong Kin-Woon
In Mandarin, Tang Jianyuan
Dr. Tong discussing an antique qin.
Dr. Tong delayed his departure to work on his doctorate at Wesleyan University so that he could do what he considered essential study with traditional singers who were then quite elderly.
It was Dr. Tong who made me aware of the significance of singing solfeggio. Whenever he sang along with a melody while I was playing it, even though he had never heard it before, he would sing the melody solfeggio. He said that such a custom was quite common, so I found it quite significant (and reassuring) that, even though he didn't look at my transcriptions (he prefers number notation), he always seemed to select as "do" the note I had transcribed as "C".
Tea and teaware
He has a large collection of Yixing teaware and at one time a large collection of very old pu-er tea.
He says he was able to learn the meanings of a significant number of oracle bone characters because he was the first oracle bone researcher (his M.A. in Taiwan concerned oracle bones) to have had a musical background.
|6. 正聞琴坊 Zhengwen Qin Fang: qins made by Tong Kin-Woon (see also acquiring a qin)||logo: 正聞琴坊、唐健垣制|
These instruments are expensive but their quality is very high, and even at that price sound better to me than many other instruments in that price range, or higher. He sells many of them in Shanghai, where since 2013 he has been teaching once a month at
This studio is connected to a fine arts store on the second floor of an antiques market (古玩城) on Zhejiang Middle Road between Jiujiang and Hankou Roads.
Buying qins in Yangzhou
Dr. Tong says that when he goes to Yangzhou he tests perhaps a hundred qins, all of a similar price, in order to find about five that he thinks would be acceptable for students. Certain instruments he then cuts open so that he can improve the sound. In Yangzhou all of them are strung with metal strings; Dr. Tong himself does not use silk strings and thus cannot confirm or deny my suspicion that with these Yangzhou qin probably a similar number of them (not necessarily the same ones) would stand out as better than the others for use with silk strings.
Directions to Tong's Art Studio
From Exit A of 太子 Prince Edward MTR Station go right
then make an immediate right on 動場道 Playing Field Road;
the first left is Sai Yeung Choi St. North:
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