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Birds, Insects and the Guqin 1 古琴與鳥蟲畫 
"Guqin in flight": for all flying creatures, including fantasy ones
For "non-flying creatures, including fantasy ones" see under "Other"

Geese Longing for the North (懷北 Huai Bei) 2      

A number of birds appear in titles of melodies; many are also mentioned in subtitles and other commentary.3 The most prominent birds discussed in the qin repertoire are cranes and geese. Cranes are associated with longevity, geese with loyalty and exile. In addition, seabirds are associated with a carefree existence, the phoenix with love. The following list includes only those melodies in my current repertoire.

  1. Huang Ying Yin (Golden Oriole Intonation; adapt melody for a qupai or cipai of this name?)
  2. Zhi Zhao Fei ([Paired] Pheasants' Morning Flight, 2 versions)
  3. Wu Ye Ti (Evening Call of the Raven, 2 versions)
  4. Wang Ji (No Ulterior Motives [Seagulls])
  5. He Ming Jiugao (Cranes Cry in the Nine Marshpools)
  6. Feiming Yin ([Geese] Calling out in Flight)
  7. Qiu Hong (Wild Geese in Autumn)
  8. Meng Ou (Bonding with Seagulls)
  9. Guan Ju (Cry of the Ospreys)
  10. He Wu Dongtian (Cranes Dance in the Grotto-Heaven)
  11. Yao Tian Sheng He (Jade Sheng Heavenly Crane)
  12. Saishang Hong (Wild Geese on the Frontier; not yet recorded )
  13. Oulu Wang Ji (No Ulterior Motives Regarding Seabirds)
  14. Pingsha Luo Yan (Wild Geese Descend on a Sandbank)
  15. Chun Si (Yearning for Spring); section titles mention:
      mandarin ducks, cranes, partridges and swallows, plus butterflies, bees, flying willow blossoms and the sun crossing the sky


  16. Shenhua Yin (Metamorphosis [Butterfly])
  17. Zhuangzhou Meng Die (Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream)

    Fantasy birds and flying animals (Phoenixes and dragons)

  18. Feng Qiu Huang (A Phoenix Seeks his Mate)
  19. Fenghuang Taishang Yi Chui Xiao (On Phoenix Terrace Recalling the Playing of a Flute)

  20. Longshuo Cao (Melody of the Dragon North, 1425)
  21. Shuilong Yin (Water Dragon Intonation, 1579, 1589)
  22. Longmen Taolang Yin (Dragon Gate Peach Wave Prelude; better known as Yang Chun - Sunny Spring)
  23. Long Gui Wan Dong (A Dragon Returns in Evening to its Cave)

    Flying immortals

  24. Liezi Rides the Wind
    Liezi can ride the heavens at will.
  25. Ascending the Great Void
    Someone "like Liezi" can ascend into the heavens.
  26. Jade Sheng, Heavenly Crane
    Wangzi Qiao apparently needs a crane to ride off into immortality from a peak in the Songshan Mountain range in Henan
  27. Falling into Grief
    Qu Yuan has fantasy flights in his search for the Perfect One

    Birds by analogy

  28. 十八學士登瀛州 Shiba Xueshi Deng Yingzhou; also: 瀛州 Ying Zhou
    (Scholars were often symbolized by cranes, which had same pronunciation in old Chinese.)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Birds and insects
Often grouped with flowers, as in Bird and Flower Painting (Wikipedia Bird-and-flower painting. Also search online for "Chinese Painting: Birds and Insects".

2. Geese Longing for the North (懷北 Huai Bei)
Close up of Image 32 from the scroll Imperial Images: Wild Geese in Autumn, to be appreciated together with the qin melody Wild Geese in Autumn. (Compare these geese flying north.)

3. Birds mentioned here
Those mentioned in titles include:

Most commonly occurring in subtitles seem to be the cranes, who may be carrying immortals or sages, as in Yao Tian Sheng He above and in Section 1 of Ling Xu Yin and elsewhere; or may be dancing, as in Crances Dance in the Grotto Heaven above and in Section 7 of Chun Si. Note that videos of cranes dancing show them doing so in a jerky sort of rhythm, as in YouTube videos such as the ones here and here.

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