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Taiyin Daquanji 1
Folio 2 : Qin Shapes (Part 2: no images)
Explanations provided by the translator are put either in brackets ( ) or in footnotes.2

Added: Qins with no image3 Folio 2, p.20: qins for which there were no known images              
(Folio 2 Part 1 of this edition4 contains annotated images of 38 qins; to this four more were added from QFTGYY. Folio 2 continues here with a further 15 qins for which there were titles but no images. There is then further commentary on some qin makers and on some styles of particular note.5)

1.  Ming Lian (Call of Purity) 6
2.  Xiukuang (Additional Cultivation) 7
3.  Lanxie (Blue Ribs) 8
4.  Haozhong (Proclaiming Affection -- compare qin image #10) 9

The Zuan Yao (Selected Compilation) of Liang Yuandi says, these four qins can all resound by themselves, simply from being in the open air. They were all qins belonging to Duke Wei of Qi (reputed author of Qin Yao).

5.  Rao Liang (Long Resonance) 10

King Zhuang of Chu had a qin called Raoliang.

[Yin shi:] Raoliang refers to the qin sound being clear. When played its sound resonates a long time.  
6.  Fanyu zhi Yue (Music of Fine Precious Jade) 11

A palace in Xianyang12 had a qin 6 chi long, with 13 strings and 26 studs, using all the seven jewels as adornment, (so) it was inscribed Fanyu zhi Yue.

7.  Qing Ying (Clear Bravery; (image) 13
8.  Zheng He (Correct Mixture) 14
9.  Yi Shen (Harmonious Spirit) 15

Yang Xiong had a qin called Qing Ying. The qin of Yu Xin (said to have written lyrics for Wu Ye Ti) was also named Qing Ying.

The qin of Jade Forest Cave Origin was called Zheng He (Correct Mixture).

[Comment:] Something that is the correct mixture has things from heaven and earth combined.

Xie Zhuang had a qin named Yi Shen. This man, at the age of seven, could write essays. At that time (Xie Zhuang's) essays were called "singularly excellent products of the region south of the Yangzi river."

10.  Luo Xia (Descending Haze; image) 16

The biography of the Han emperor Wudi says a girl named Zhuangnü arrived from the east and played a qin called Luo Xia.

[Yin shi:] Zhuangnü is the name of a female immortal.  
11.  Feng Huang (Phoenixes) 17

Queen Zhao (the famous Zhao Feiyan) had a valuable qin called Feng Huang. Gold and jade were used to cover it with (the shapes of) a dragon, phoenix, Confucius' disciples and female heroes. It was very good for playing the tunes Gui Feng and and Song Yuan (Returning Phoenix and Seeing Someone Off to a Distant Place).

[Yin shi:] Gui Feng and Song Yuan are the names of two melodies.  
12.  Su Qin (Unadorned Qin) 18

There is an old saying that Tao Yuanming did not understand music. At home he had an unadorned qin (su qin which he used to express his intentions. He said one only had to understand the inner significance of the qin, then there was no need to make the strings resound. (Su) Dongpo said it was not true that (Tao) Yuanming did not understand the qin. If one does not understand the five notes or the six tones, then one doesn't understand the qin. If he really did not (understand the qin), then it would not matter if he didn't have one. How could simply having strings (make a difference)? So now we know the old saying (about Tao Yuanming not understanding music) is wrong, because Tao Yuanming himself said, "How can not having strings be equated with not understanding their sounds?" This is (what is known as) having a qin but strings are corrupt (missing? not very good?), (so) not stretching them out again. But playing in order to express ones intentions, in this way one can get at the truth.

Bai Na (Qins) (One Hundred Piece (Qins): 19
   13.  Xiang Quan 20 (Melodious Spring -- see also image #27), and
   14.  Yun Qing (Elegant Chimes) 21
  Folio 2 p.21 begins with the text about the two baina qins              
Li Mian, a high-ranking official during the Tang dynasty, had a refined taste for qin music. He obtained high-quality (silky) tong wood. He put together various pieces to make a qin he called Baina, using snail shell (mother-of-pearl) to make the studs. Three of them were especially good. He gave these the names Xiang Quan and Yun Qing. Once the strings were put on, it would be more than ten years before one would break. (Li) Mian also used lacquer buckets to make more than several hundred of them. If anyone asked, he gave them one. There were some which were particularly representative. One was called Xiang Quan; one was called Yun Qing; he treasured these at home. 盧氏雜記 Miscellaneous Records of the Lu Family (says), Xiang Quan and Yun Qing were originally in the home of the minister Fan Ze.22 Later it was at a dwelling in 珠崖 Zhu Yai. Also at the dwelling of 張彥遠 Zhang Yanyuan.23 Today it is not known where they are.

[Yin shi:] Li Mian was a man who lived during the (Tang) Xiaozong era (756-63). (His rank) was Lanzhai Yushi. During the Zhenyuan period (785-805) he was baixiang, then returned as Duke of Zhe. "Snail" sounds like "e" (? 蛾 moth). Snail skin is related to conch inlay (mother of pearl). Zhang Qiu (sic), Lu Shi, Fan Ze, Zhu Yai and Zhang Yan (sic) are all peoples' names.  
The Lei Family 24

The Lei family of Sichuan made qins. As they were usually ranked, the best ones used jade studs, the next best used gold studs, and this were the qins with oyster shell studs.

(Su) Dongpo said, "My family has a qin that has snake belly cracks on its surface. About the (dragon) pond is inscribed "Made in the 10th year of Kaiyuan (723 AD), Yazhou (region?), Lingguan village." Below the pond is inscribed, "Recorded by the Lei Family; eight days together." I don't understand what is the significance of the language "eight days together". The mountain is not easy to/like a finger, and the strings don't (number?). It is the most the most beautiful. Only the Lei family (qins) have extra tone. Responds to complex fingering. It resounds "yiyin" without end. Among the Sichuan monks there was a Sheng Juan25 who wanted to find out the reason, but in the end he couldn't, so he destroyed the Lei (family) qins which he had collected. If you look for the sound, it comes out from between the two pools (sound holes on the bottom). At the area of the pools, the backside is somewhat eminent, rather like scallion leaves. Thus when the sound wants to come out and be thin, (instead it) flies around (inside) and doesn't come out, so the sound then has more fullness. This is the beauty which is least passed down.

[Yin shi:] "Yiyin without end" is the full sound of a qin, stretched long and without end. Sheng Juan is the name of a Sichuan monk. "Prominent" means "high". "Somewhat prominent" means the height is only a little. "Thin" means "narrow".  
Distinguishing Snake-belly Cracks26

People who understand qin consider them best on top in terms of fingering (i.e., playing), on bottom in terms of the document (i.e., inscription); they consider snake belly cracks to indicate old age. A qin collected by King Shu of Jin27 on the front seemed rather awkward for fingering and on the back had a bad appearance as a document. However, when fingering it there were no buzzing sounds, so it could be considered a good instrument. Its snake belly cracks were gradually coming out, later they should increase. But my generation will not see the orderly (change in appearance). This can be called the difficulty of aging.

Fan Family28
Lu Family29
Qin from Yue30

In the capital the (qins made by) the Fan family and the Lu family are considered to be best.
  Folio 2 p.22 begins in the 2nd sentence of the paragraph at left              
Although the sound of all qins is clear and true, the sound is nevertheless sometimes heavy (low?), sometimes light (high?). The materials have the five tones within them; so the ancients, when they name qins, say that some of them (have the sound) "qingshang" (an octave above shang?), some (have the sound) "qingzhi", and so there are more than just the five tones. Nowadays people cannot understand the logic of this, and cannot distinguish the sounds of heaven and earth combining in harmony. People in this world, two strings on the sound melodies, still cannot understand, so how can they have the skill to understand this much?32

Although a qin is made from tong wood, this wood should be very old so that the original woody nature will be exhausted, and then the musical sounds can begin to emerge in clarity. When I first looked at early Tang dynasty qins of the Lu family, the wood all looked dry and in very bad condition, and it seemed as though it would not be good for playing. But the sound turned out to be beautifully clear. Also, one formerly could see the qin from Yue belonging to Tao Daozhen33 from Yue. Traditionally it was said that the sound of the old pine wood of coffins was very good. The monk Zhihe of Wu34 had a qin. Its studs were of blue jade, it had cracks and stone pegs. Its appearance and sound were both very beautiful. On its stomach were dozens of seal characters (zhuanwen) engraved by Li Yangbing.35 The general meaning of the words was as follows,36

At Nanming island a piece of wood was obtained which had the (Buddhist) name Jia (lan) Luo. It had cracks like silver (and its) shoulders were as hard as stone. (I?) ordered a craftsman to make this wood into a qin.

The seal characters are very precise and beautiful. ([From] Mengji (Bitan?).

[Yin shi:] Li Yangbing lived during the reign of Tang emperor Xuanzong. He was very good at writing seal characters.


A big qin was called Li. Some people said it had 20 strings.

Tuqin (Earthen qin)38

A shengbu (secretary?) in Wuchang named Wu Liang , literary name Junlai, carried around (a book) of his old friend Mr. Shen, called Talking of the Tuqin, which had within it "Engravings of Mr. Gao Zhai", "Writings of Kong Tong", and "Praise of Taiping"; and gave them to me to look at. I didn't recognize Mr. Shen, but when I read his book I understood his interests, so that it seemed as though I had actually met him, and also seemed as though I had heard the sound of (the so-called) Tuqin. Later I met Gao Zhai and we became friends. And I had the opportunity to see valuable items in his possession. One of his qins had no engraving or writing of any sort on it, and I didn't know what era it dated from. I asked (Gao Zhai) if he could tell the other two people (Wu Liang and Mr. Shen) to accompany them and go see (the qin to find out if they are the same instrument). (Find out out whether this qin is the same as the formerly mentioned) Tuqin must wait until they can bring the qin and compare them. ([By] Dongpo)

[Yin shi:] Junlai was the literary name of Wu Liang. Gao Zhai is a Daoist name; his real name is not known.
Addition of two poems from a related edition of Taigu Yin Two poems added after "Tu Qin"                      

These two poems, 彈琴歌 Song of Playing the Qin and 聽琴行 Ballad of Listening to the Qin, were not included in the Taiyin Daquanji translated here from QQJC I/45-103. They also do not seem to have been in the fragmentary edition of Taigu Yiyin in QQJC I/25-41. However, the Taigu Yiyin preserved in the National Central Library, Taiwan, has these poems at the end of its second folio. The image at right shows a facsimile copy of the original. It can also be seen in the hand copy of this that Tong Kin-Woon included in Qin Fu, p. 54 (QFTGYY).

Song of Playing the Qin
(Rhymed, with line count 7,7,7,7,3+7, 3+7, 3+7, 3+7, 7,7.)

Once a guest came to spend the day,
He brought along a board of wood to play.
Covered all over with the stars of heaven (e.g., studs and other decorations),
Thick and thin, the strings numbered seven.
One sound was light: wild autumn birds calling high (in flight),
One sound was thick: yellow plums of spring falling heavy and quick.
One sound was happy/fun: in the halls of Yu Shun pointing a finger,
One sound was sad: Confucius crying for Yan Hui, and that's all (too bad?)
It moved this gentleman to get his brocade bag.
But the master wouldn't play any more.

Ballad of Listening to the Qin
(Off-rhymes, by modern pronunction, with 16 lines/7 characters each.)

The performer begins with the second string (shang), the spirit is deep and secret.
The sound is huo (the sound of Zhuangzi's knife cutting at a cow's shoulders)
      and the sound of frozen bamboo shoots dropping on precious jade (imperial/immortal) steps.
And like the western winds (of autumn) blowing through a bamboo grove
      making sounds resembling tinkling metal and jade.
After a while (the playing) is as peaceful as the (now quiet) sounds when the moon is bright.
And like paddles dipping up and down out of the rippled waters when riding in a rowboat.
With the broad feeling of the Xiao and Xiang rivers, and drifting clouds of autumn,
But the sounds of falling leaves cannot be heard (though the qin is quiet).
Rather it seems as though the clear hailstones can be seen peacefully/severely flying (to the ground).

I am listening to this song, but haven't heard the end of it.
Suddenly my heart feels as clear as water (i.e., no thoughts of worldly problems)
I ask the gentleman to go ahead and play this ballad once or twice (more),
To clean my ears of the worldly sounds of the zheng zither and dizi flute.
Mr. Zhang (章君 NFI) learned to play the qin from members of his own family,
      an occurrence which nowadays is rare.
Having a qin keeps one from hating the fact that no one knows (who he is).
If at some future time you meet me and (we/you/I) play a piece,
(I/We) will happily wish to make (a friendship of) a thousand years (like Boya and Ziqi).


Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. The original of this passage is in the Taiyin Daquanji reprinted in QQJC Vol. I, pp. 52-53 (30 Volume edition pp.62-63). It is here modified from the rough translation I made in the 1970s of the similar passage as reprinted in QFTGYY, pp. 53 - 54. It should be noted that the meaning of a number of passages still elude me.

2. Explanations by translator
See comments concerning the structure of the original text.

3. See Comment on the different editions (Return)

4. (Return)

5. This information is also in other handbooks. (Return)

6.    #1: 鳴廉 (Return)

7.    #2: 脩況 (Return)

8.    #3: 藍脅 (Return)

.    #4: 號鐘 (Return)

10.  #6: 繞梁 Rao Liang: the Zhu volume has this entry twice, the first time without the Yin shi. (Return)

11. 璠璵之樂 Fanyu zhi Yue (or -le pleasure?)
[TKW62:] QFTGYY leaves off "26 studs" and garbles the connection; for "inscribed" QFTGYY has "called". (Return)

12. 咸陽 Xianyang
3615.60 咸陽 Capital of the 秦 Qin dynasty, near modern Xi'an.
3615.63 咸陽上歎黃犬 "In Xianyang Market sighing over a yellow dog" tells of the Prime Minister 李斯 Li Si on the way to his execution saying he mainly regrets he can no longer hunt with his yellow dog. (The melody Xiangyang Ge uses lyrics (中文) by Li Bai that refer to Li Si sighing that the yellow dog was such a good companion that he should have spent his days at home with it, drinking wine.)
Another Xiangyang story tells of Liu Bang entering the palace and finding a large qin.

13.   #7: 清英 Qing Ying [TKW63:] The sentence (about 庾信 Yu Xin) is missing from QFTGYY. (Return)

14.   #8: 正合 Zheng He, from 玉林洞元 (遠?) . The commentary in the Zhu volume adds that Zheng He was made during the period 424 - 454. (Return)

15.   #9: 怡神 (Return)

16.   #10: 洛霞 Luo Xia; TKW says this qin is described in Qin Fu's Record of Modern Qin Experts. (Return)

17.   #11: 鳳凰 (Return)

18.   #12: 素琴 Su Qin; [TKW64 (towards the end of this paragraph):] QFTGYY has 當時有琴而絃(弊), 不更復張。 (Return)

19. 百衲 Baina In the middle is:
[TKW65:] QFTGYY also has "一". The Zhu volume has "不 ", which is correct.
[TKW66:] QFTGYY: 真元; other two: 貞元 . The latter is correct (a reign period of the Tang Dezong emperor).
The end of the Yin shi is not in QFTGYY. Note QFTGYY's mistakes in interpretation of names and in punctuation. (Return)

20.   #13: 響泉 (Return)

21.   #14: 韻磬 (Return)

22. 樊澤 Fan Ze 15796.94: a Tang dynasty man from Nanyang; Zhuyai 珠崖 21442.63 is in Guangdong? (Return)

23. 張彥遠 Zhang Yanyuan 10026.618; also a minister
an artist: see 4 Arts. (Return)

24. 雷氏 ; in the Zhu volume (perhaps elsewhere?) this section is called 辨雷氏 Distinguishing the Lei family (qins). I have not yet located the source of this or the other Su Dongpo quotes. (Return)

25. "蜀僧有省涓者" (Return)

26. Distinguishing snake-belly cracks (辨蛇腹紋 Bian shefuwen)
Shefu wen are a type of 斷紋 duanwen (cracks, or crack patterns, in the lacquer). There are various types of crack patterns on qin, snake-belly cracks being perhaps the most famous (see also 蛇蚹文).

27. 王晉叔 Wang Jinshu ? (Return)

28. 樊氏 (Return)

29. 路氏 (Return)

30. 越琴 (Return)

31. 伽羅 Jialuo (Galuo? Qialuo? Qieluo?) (Return)

32. This section (here indented) has the following annotations in QFTGYY
[TKW67:] QFTGYY has "有自"; the other two correctly have "自有".
[TKW68:] QFTGYY has "本聲"; the Yuan volume has "本性". (Shen Gua has 性 .)
[TKW69:] QFTGYY has "子初見"; the Yuan volume correctly has "予初見". The Zhu volume, after "Tang dynasty" has "after a few years the wood all looks..." (然須多年皆枯朽殆不勝. 指而其聲愈清. ) (Return)

33. 陶道真 (Return)

34. 吳僧智和 (Return)

35. 李陽冰 Li Yangbing: His inscription mentions 南冥島 Nan Ming Island. (Return)

36. (Return)

37. li (Return)

38. 土琴 Earthen Qin. This paragraph discusses 武昌生簿吳亮(字)君來; 沈君; 土琴之說; 高齋; 空同之文; 太平之頌. It was apparently written by (Su) Dongpo. (Return)

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