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Guqin and Wine 1 琴與酒
Compare Tea Front of the long scroll "Song of the 8 Drinking Immortals 2  

Alcohol in its many forms has been a companion of Chinese literati since ancient times. A not uncommon thought as to how this might affect artistic expression is set forth in the last two lines of a drinking song version of the ancient melody Jiu Kuang (Wine Mad):

Of old many great ones had no fame, only drinkers left their name.
Old toper's aims   do not end with wine.

Related qin melodies I have reconstructed and played can be divided into two categories, qin songs and qin solos. These include:

    Qin songs:

  1. Jiu Kuang (Wine Crazed; 1425 and/or 1589)
    • 1425 - Instrumental qin solo, the earliest known version
    • 1589 - qin song: play and sing, alternating sections (.pdf) with 1425
  2. Yangguan Sandie (Thrice Parting for Yangguan; <1491 and/or 1530)
    Lyrics inspired by a famous departure song by Wang Wei
  3. Zuiweng Yin (Old Toper's Chant; 1539 and 1571)
    Su Dongpo remembers Ouyang Xiu, the Old Toper
  4. Ba Jiu Wen Yue (Wine in hand, Asking the Moon; 1618)
    Setting of a well-known poem by Li Bai
  5. Lin He Xiuxi (River Purification Ceremony; 1664)
    A setting of Wang Xizhi's preface to the famous Xiuxi at Lanting Pavilion
  6. Lang Tao Sha (Waves Scouring the Sands; 1676)
    Lyrics by Ouyang Xiu include, "I raise my wine cup to implore the east wind"
  7. Shui Diao Ge Tou (Water Tune Prelude; 1687)
    Can use ci lyrics by Su Dongpo that include, "With wine in hand I ask the clear sky"

    Qin instrumental melodies:

  8. Jiu Kuang (Wine Mad; 1425)
    Solo instrumental only; for combining with the song see above
  9. Xiuxi Yin (Xiuxi Prelude; 1525)
    A Xiuxi spring purification ceremony took place along a stream
  10. Liu Shang (Floating Wine-Cups; 1525)
    This took place during a Xiuxi
  11. Zui Yu Chang Wan (Drunken Fisherman Sings in the Evening; 1525)
    Commemorates the late Tang poets Lu Guimeng and Pi Rixiu

  12. Qiao Ge (Woodcutter's Song; 1425)
    Final section: Dancing Drunkenly Down the Mountain)
  13. Yu Ge (Song of the Fisherman; raised fifth string tuning; <1491)
    Section 10: Drunkenly lying among the rushes
  14. Yu Ge (Song of the Fisherman; standard tuning; 1525)
    Section 13: Having Caught Fish, Buying Some Wine; Section 15: Drunkenly Leaning on a Boat Window
  15. Qiujiang Wan Diao (Autumn River Evening Fishing; 1530)
    Final section (in 1589 called "Minced lin fish and heated wine") sings of buying wine and becoming enebriated
  16. Zhao Yin (Seeking Seclusion [or: Seeking a Recluse]; 1425)
    In 1425 it is an instrumental melody, but the 1585 version added lyrics that can instead be sung with to the 1425 music; Section 1 is entitled "Drinking Friends and Poetic Companions" and the same phrase is used there as lyrics.

There are at least two more qin songs connected to this theme that to my knowledge have not yet been reconstructed. These include,

  1. 襄陽歌 Xiangyang Ge (3 sections; 1579 and 1618)
    The 1618 tablature sets Li Bai's lyrics for 5-string qin; it is a new melody but the same lyrics can be sung with the 1579 tablature
  2. 飲中八仙歌 Yinzhong Baxian Ge (2; raised seventh string: 1 2 4 5 6 1 3; 1618)
    A setting of Du Fu's Song of the Eight Drinking Immortals

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Guqin and Wine 琴與酒
See also Stephen Jones' blog page Inebriation and the qin zither.

21570.39 琴酒 qinjiu says it 謂琴與酒 refers to qin and wine; the earliest reference is to 宋史,宇文之邵傳 Song (dynasty) History, biography of Yuwen Zhichao (1029-1082; Bio/728), "日與交友為經史琴酒之樂 daily with friends have the pleasure of the classics, history, qin and wine". (Yuwen was a surname for Xiongnu living in China, e.g., the qin player Yuwen Xuzhong.)

"琴酒 Qinjiu" is in the title of three poems by Bai Juyi

"琴酒 Qinjiu" is now sometimes used in Chinese for "gin" (otherwise "金酒" or "杜松子酒").

2. Front of a long scroll called 飲中八仙圖 "Eight Drinking Immortals Full Chen Hongshou scroll (expand)              
The original of this scroll, by 陳洪綬 Chen Hongshou (1598-1652) is at the National Palace Museum; image copied here from the Digital Archives website.

3. More melodies mentioning wine
The following mention wine either in a preface, in a section title or in the lyrics:

  1. Tiantai Yin, <1491, has a preface that mentions preparing wine

  2. Duan Qing, 1425, Section 7: (Drink) a pot (of wine) and grow old with nature
  3. Jiang Yue Bai, 1525, Section 7: "Having goblets of wine, speaking one's feelings"

  4. Si Gui Yin, 1511, ends by singing of "filling jade wine cups"
  5. Gui Qu Lai Ci, 1511, includes a line about a "wine-filled goblet".
  6. Ting Qin Fu, 1511, Section 4 includes a line about being "half-intoxicated with wine" (but playing a 箏 zheng).

Further searches will undoubtedly find more such references.

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