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Shen Qi Mi Pu
(Handbook of Spiritual and Marvelous Mysteries 1)
General Introduction 概論    

Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 CE), documents what is arguably the world's oldest surviving written solo instrumental music tradition, that of the qin, or guqin (old qin), seven-string zither. Classical Chinese writings praise no type of music more highly, its images and themes often appear in Chinese art, and non-Chinese have also marveled at its beautifully delicate expressiveness. In English the paramount importance of the guqin to Chinese music history and aesthetics is best described in the book Lore of the Chinese Lute by R. H. van Gulik.

As the earliest surviving large collection of qin music,2 Shen Qi Mi Pu is also the most carefully studied of all the surviving Ming dynasty qin handbooks. Its three folios and almost 2,400 columns of music tablature include 49 titled compositions and 15 modal preludes. In my recordings this amounts to almost six hours of music, the transcriptions numbering 370 pages (over 2,000 lines) of staff notation. Titled works vary from about two to over 20 minutes each; modal preludes last about one minute. The tablature, designed specifically for the qin, details the tunings, finger positions, methods of plucking and ornamentation, but gives only indirect indication of note (time) values.

This priceless treasure house of ancient music was compiled by Ning Wang prince Zhu Quan (1378-1448), the self-styled Emaciated Immortal.3 Zhu Quan, 17th son of the founder of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), was originally enfeoffed in Da Ning, beyond the Great Wall, north of Beijing. Because of a power struggle ending with the accession of the Yongle emperor in 1403, Zhu Quan was "banished" to Nanchang in Jiangxi province. Here he had to be very careful about any political activity. His tenuous situation is revealed in much of his commentary on qin.

Zhu Quan was prominent in several areas of study. He wrote a number of dramas and published an important book on Yuan drama. He also published works in such areas as incense burning, geomancy, Taoist, travel and science, and at least 70 of his poems have survived.

Most of our knowledge of his work with the qin comes from his general preface. Here he writes that he and five assistants spent 12 years collecting guqin music in preparation for this publication. According to him the number of players in his day was rather small, and most guqin tablature, previously hand-copied not printed, had disappeared during the 'barbarian' Yuan dynasty (1280-1368).

The guqin pieces to which Zhu Quan was referring can probably be sub-divided into four types:

  1. Those existing in name only; Zhu says these numbered in the thousands;
  2. Those existing in tablature but which no one could play; for these Zhu found "several tens";
  3. Those which were played, but no tablature could be found; Zhu gives no numbers;
  4. Those for which there were both players and tablature.

In his preface Zhu Quan wrote that the "16 Most Ancient Celestial Airs in Folio I"4 were pieces for which he could find no players, so he simply copied out the original tablature.5 Tablature differences seem to indicate a variety of sources, some perhaps dating from the Tang dynasty (618-907).

Zhu added that he was "personally taught 34 pieces", the number of titled pieces in Folios II and III. Chinese scholars say most of these "later" pieces reflect the style of music played in Zhejiang province during the Song dynasty (960-1280), but that even these probably contain substantial elements of earlier music: that certainly was the intention. One or two pieces are commonly attributed to Zhu himself. Experts have not yet identified Yuan influences.6

The subtitle of Folios II and III, Celestial Airs from Beyond the Haze (Xiawai Shenpin), is apparently a reference to the famous late Song dynasty tablature collection of the wealthy music connoisseur Yang Zuan (Yang Zan), entitled Handbook of the Rosy Haze Grotto (Zixiatong Pu).7 Zhu mentions Yang in his introduction to #27 Shen You Liuhe, and attributes many of the pieces in Folios II and III to players in Yang's circle.

This Handbook of the Rosy Haze Grotto is said to have had 468 pieces. Being hand-copied, the full collection must have existed in very few copies and no originals exist. Since Yang was a famous collector of early qin tablature, probably much of it was straightforward copies of earlier tablature. And being such a large collection, probably many of the individual pieces -- those actively taught -- were separately copied out by a variety of teachers and students.

Although Zhu Quan's comments and the above information on Zixiatong Pu may suggest that Shen Qi Mi Pu, particularly in Folio I, includes some direct copies from that compilation, but unfortunately he gives no specific information about this. It might seem logical that some or all of Zhu Quan's "most ancient pieces" came from that handbook, while those actually played by people Yang Zuan patronized, such as Mao Minzhong and Xu Tianmin, were called Beyond the Rosy Haze and placed in Folios II and III. On the other hand, they could also all have been in the Zixiatong Pu; or they could have all come from tablature of uncertain origin and Zhu Quan was making guesses.

One can thus only speculate exactly what Zhu Quan meant when in his preface he contrasted melodies he had learned directly from those he simply copied out. For example, he wrote of some of the melodies,

"Those which have been passed on to our generation number no more than several tens. As for the ones which do not have definite indications (of the fingering), I am afraid they contain mistakes, and so do not dare spread (them) throughout society, lest they impede people of later periods."

My own interpretation of this is that "those which do not have definite ndications" refers to category three above: those for which he could find players, but no tablature. These he does not include.

To elaborate, some of the tablature in his possession didn't make sense to him, so he omitted these. Some seemed to make sense, but he could find no players, so he included them in Folio I. He sent his five assistants, whom he calls "qinsheng",8 out both to find more tablature and to learn to play qin pieces from different players. He himself then studied -- perhaps from the assistants, perhaps from the original players themselves -- only those for which they could find tablature, figuring these to be the pieces most faithful to the tradition. These he included in Folios II and III.

Hence his reference "beyond the haze" might mean that, whereas Folio I may include pieces directly copied from old sources, the most famous of which was the aforementioned Handbook of the Rosy Haze Grotto, Folios II and III have pieces which he could "correct" or "improve", so they went beyond what was in the earlier collection.

The music in the Shen Qi Mi Pu clearly pre-dates 1425 CE, almost certainly including Tang and Song compositions altered by performers of the various guqin schools which developed during the Song dynasty. Present interpretations at best reflect an amalgamated early style, and it may be impossible to delineate specific ones. Clues to follow include melodic and modal distinctions, differences in finger techniques and in the ways of writing them down, favored subject material, and perhaps the relationship of the music to versions to which poetic text has been added (qin'ge - guqin songs).9

Comments on the three folios:10

The Table of Contents for Shen Qi Mi Pu arranges the whole book by mode. In Folios II and III the name of the mode is written at the front of each section, and in Folio III this is followed by tuning instructions and a modal prelude. In Folio I, however, the mode is simply announced below the first piece in each group and the tuning method is not given, perhaps emphasizing again that Zhu Quan did not play these pieces.

This means that the tunings for Folio I modes manshang and manjue are nowhere directly given in Shen Qi Mi Pu. However, these tunings can easily be found explained elsewhere. The qin tunings chart, at the top of the article Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature, should be used for reference in the following discussion.

From that chart it can be seen that the most common main notes for these modes are do (in Chinese, gong or 1) and la (yu, 6). One might notice the similarity with the prevalence of major and minor modes in Western music.

In Folios II and III there are modal preludes (diaoyi) at the beginning of each group, while in Folio II two pieces have opening fingerings (kaizhi).11 Generally kaizhi and diaoyi are considered to have the same meaning, but my own research indicates that perhaps the kaizhi were designed for specific pieces while the diaoyi represented a later tradition in which such melodies served as preludes to related groups of melodies. This is discussed further in the separate tuning and mode pages.

Folio One

Zhu Quan writes that Folio I has 16 pieces which "for some time no one has passed on the secret" of how to play. They are organized into six different tunings. One, called gong, uses standard tuning, the other five use non-standard tuning. This is detailed in the aforementioned qin tunings chart.

The five non-standard tunings in Folio I are manjue, manshang, qiliang, mangong and huangzhong. These follow the modal delineations given in the table except that #14 Shanzhong Si Youren and #15 Xiao Hujia seem to emphasize 1 and 5, with 6 and 3 being important secondary tonal centers.

Four of the standard tuning pieces follow the delineation for gong mode found in Folio II. However, #4 Gufeng Cao seems to fit the yu mode better. Some commentators consider Gufeng Cao to be of foreign (Central Asian) origin.12 Yu mode is in fact quite similar modally to pieces using huangzhong tuning, and all four Shen Qi Mi Pu pieces with foreign (Central Asian) themes use huangzhong mode. However, this tuning also includes five pieces with very traditional Chinese themes; and the yu mode pieces of Folio II are also traditionally Chinese being, in fact, amongst the oldest titles.13

The second melody in the handbook, Guangling San, has a kaizhi, but it is included within Guangling San, so is not counted here as a separate melody.14 The 12th is another kaizhi, but here it is given a separate heading and counted, giving Zhu Quan his 16 pieces for Folio I. However, fingering instructions at the end of #13 Qiuyue Zhao Maoting show the kaizhi to have been specifically connected to that piece. Since Zhu Quan says he didn't play the pieces in Folio I, one might suspect he was not aware of the intimate connection between these two.15

Thus, the tablature in Folio 1 also stands out not just for the rarity of its development in later handbooks, but because of the handbooks in which the tablature did appear. Details of these appearances can be seen from the downloadable Chart Tracing Melodies in Shen Qi Mi Pu through Qin Handbooks to 1585 CE (.pdf, 85.9 kb). Because of space considerations only initials are used for the tablatures named at the top, while only numbers and initials of pieces and tablatures are given within the chart itself.

From this same chart one can see that virtually without exception the music of Folio I is seldom found later outside certain handbooks (see similar for Folios II and III):

Zheyin Shizi Qinpu (<1491, non-standard tuning pieces only),
Xilutang Qintong (1525),
Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539),
Taiyin Chuanxi (1552-61),
Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585), and
Qinyuan Xinchuan (1670; not in the chart).

Four of these handbooks (<1491, 1539, 1552 and 1670) consistently copied SQMP tablature exactly, misprints and all; a few from 1670 were later copied in 1876 (sometimes with revisions); one (1525) usually has somewhat different versions; 1585 usually has completely or almost completely different versions, though keeping the lyrics from <1491.16

Three of the first folio melodies at first glance seem to be exceptions to this rule: Gao Shan, Liu Shui and Yang Chun can all be found in many handbooks continuously up to the present - including modern recordings that are not reconstructions. However, details of their transmissions are quite special:

In contrast, the Folio II and III pieces that have survived into the active tradition, #19 Meihua Sannong and #53 Xiaoxiang Shuiyin, can easily be seen as descendants of the 1425 version. In fact, tracing these latter two shows that, whereas they gradually developed into the modern versions (by smaller and larger steps), strongly different versions of Gao Shan and Liu Shui were published soon after 1425, and it was these that developed in the active repertoire. And the completely different version of Yang Chun published in 1539 quickly became the basis for almost all future versions of this title.

Note also that, although Jiu Kuang is very popularly played today, it is a melody that was reconstructed in the 1950s. It is most popular in its triple-rhythm form popularized by Yao Bingyan, but this rhythmic interpretation is almost certainly historically incorrect (see further comment).

One might thus think that the pieces in Folio I were treated somewhat as are reconstructed pieces today: a greater attempt was made to follow the tablature and not change the piece. Unfortunately, there seems to be very few accounts of them actually having been played at all, and it seems to be fortuitous circumstance that their tablature allowed them to survive until today in contrast to the many more pieces whose tablature is lost and thus survive only in melody lists.

This pattern also turns up in some pieces in both Folios II (q.v.) and III (q.v.). From this one might guess that these also were pieces not commonly taught (see below as well as a relevant story concerning Shen You Liuhe).

Folio Two

Shen Qi Mi Pu Folios II and III are subtitled Xiawai Shenpin: Celestial Airs from Beyond the Haze. It should be noted that during the 14th century Song Lian wrote an essay describing a 13th century qin handbook called Beyond the Haze Handbook (Xiawai Pu), attributing it to a student of Xu Tianming (see Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, 6a3, and Rao Zongyi: An Historical Account of the Qin, Section 5).

These two folios have pieces for which Zhu Quan could find players, so that he could correct (modify?) the tablature accordingly. Folio II consists of 20 pieces and 7 modal preludes grouped into five modes, all using standard tuning. And whereas Folio I pieces apparently were not part of an active tradition (though perhaps different versions of the same title were), many later qin pieces can be seen to have descended directly from the versions in Folios II and III.

As in Folio I, pieces are grouped under modes, but here in addition each mode begins with a modal prelude (diaoyi) called a Celestial Air (shenpin). It is not certain whether diaoyi were ever specifically connected to one piece, as kaizhi were, though many pieces end with the instructions "play again the harmonic ending of the diaoyi."17

The same chart referenced above suggests that some Folio II pieces apparently were either not part of the early Ming tradition, or soon disappeared from it (again, the chart does not include the handbook dated 1670). Melodies in this category are:

#22 Kai Gu,
#23 Wang Ji,
#24 Yin De,
#25 Guanghan Qiu,
#27 Shen You Liuhe
#29 Duan Qing.

As the chart shows, these generally appeared only in the same handbooks as old versions of the Folio I pieces. (See also the list from Folio 3.)

#27 Shen You Liuhe is worthy of special note because Zhu Quan says that this was a piece Yang Zuan did not want to transmit, so Zhu Quan found it in another source. This implies again the strong connection between Shen Qi Mi Pu and Yang Zuan's collection.

From the previously mentioned qin tunings chart it can be seen that the gong, zhi and yu modes respectively have the notes 1 (gong), 5 (zhi) and 6 (yu) as their main notes. Shang and jue have 1 as the main notes, but respectively have the notes 2 (shang) and 3 (jue) as the main secondary notes.18

As mentioned above, the subtitle of Folios II and III, Celestial Airs from Beyond the Haze, is very probably a reference to the now-lost Song dynasty Zixiadong Pu (Handbook of the Rosy Haze Grotto19), compiled by the aforementioned Yang Zuan of Hangzhou. Yang had been a follower of the minister Han Tuozhou,20 who was strongly encouraging the Southern Song court to go to war with the northern Jin empire. Han was executed when the policy failed. Yang, out of office, managed to collect a number of qin handbooks from Han's family, some of which were very old.

Unfortunately our knowledge of such handbooks is very sketchy, as the only tablature to have survived is the one in longhand for You Lan.21 If the titles and lengths of handbooks listed in Qinshu Cunmu are indicative, until late Tang they were generally rather short, often focusing on one piece. The longer handbooks of late Tang, such as the Datang Zhengsheng Xinche Qinpu (10 folios) of Chen Zhuo22 and Qin Handbook (13 folios) of Chen ZhuoChen Kangshi,23 might reflect improvements in the then-new shorthand tablature writing techniques. But since these were all hand-copied, not printed, there were never many copies. Probably a lot of qin tablature consisted of individual pieces passed around from hand to hand.

Yang Zuan followed the old custom of having artists living temporarily in his home. One of these was the well-known qin player Liu Zhifang.24 Others included the younger players Mao Minzhong25 and Xu Tianmin.26 Liu brought with him his own repertoire, learned (in part?) from the famous qin master Guo Chuwang.27 Mao was originally a representative of the Jiangxi style, while Xu was from the Zhejiang school. All must have been influenced by the great resources available in the Yang household. In addition, Yang apparently, to a certain extent, directed their work.

Yang Zuan was particularly impressed by the shang mode pieces which Liu Zhifang had learned from Guo Chuwang and had then taught to Mao Minzhong, and so Yang told Xu Tianmin also study these pieces. As a result, whereas Xu is became known as a teacher who in particular passed on pieces of the Zhejiang school in the shang mode,28 Mao, after learning the Zhejiang style from Xu, became a famous creator of many new pieces which presumably incorporated both styles.

This makes one wonder whether it was the shang mode pieces in Zixiadong Pu which were actively played then and afterwards. Shen Qi Mi Pu Folio II has altogether 20 pieces, divided into five modes, with shang mode having 11 of them. Perhaps this supports the theory that most of the music in SQMP Folios II and III comes from this Hangzhou school of qin play.

On the other hand, if Zixiadong Pu indeed had over 640 pieces, it must have been quite inclusive of the better known qin pieces of that day. There is no indication Zhu Quan had a complete Zixiadong Pu, though quite likely he had copies of sections or individual pieces. Some were probably played actively, some not. This supports the argument that (some of) Zhu's Folio I pieces might have been direct copies of pieces from this handbook that weren't played, while (some of) those in Folio II and III might have been from an active tradition "beyond" what was written in Zixiadong Pu.

Zhu directly refers to Yang Zuan only in connection with his comments on Shen You Liuhe (#27), saying Yang Zuan didn't want this piece passed on, but that he (Zhu) was able to get it in another manner. This underlines the problem of determining the relationship between the surviving handbook and the one that didn't.

Zhu Quan's successor and grandson Zhu Dianpei seems to have been the compiler of the second major handbook, Zheyin Shizi Qinpu.29 It would not be odd if some of the pieces Zhu Dianpei published came from the same source as that of his grandfather.

The surviving copy of Zheyin Shizi Qinpu seems to begin with the first piece in the jue mode of Folio II. See comments elsewhere on the lyrics of Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585) fitting those pieces in Shen Qi Mi Pu which later appear in Zheyin Shizi Qinpu.30 This may be evidence either that these pieces were once part of a more complete Zheyin Shizi Qinpu, unless elsewhere someone had applied these same lyrics to Shen Qi Mi Pu melodies. This needs to be studied.

Neither of Shen Qi Mi Pu's gong mode pieces in Folio II fits, but two from shang mode seem to:31 Wang Ji32 and Yin De. 33

Although the lyrics of the Shang Yi in Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu fit neither the shang nor gushang modal preludes in Shen Qi Mi Pu, the lyrics of the Shang Yi (alternate title Qiufeng Ci) in Xilutang Qinpu (1525) do so fit. Both sets of lyrics are distant relatives of a famous poem of that name attributed to Han emperor Wudi34) (the actual text of Wudi's Qiufeng Ci survive as qin lyrics only in some Japanese qin handbooks.35)

Folio Three

Whereas Folios II consists of pieces in standard tuning for which Zhu Quan could find players (so that he could correct [modify?] the tablature accordingly), Folio III is intended to have those pieces with non-standard tuning. However, one of its tunings (shangjue) is in fact standard. The shangjue modal prelude is not included in the Table of Contents, and the placement of these pieces in the middle of the qiliang/chushang mode seems to be a major but very uncharacteristic misprint.

The 21 pieces of Folio III (including seven modal preludes) are thus divided into six different tunings: huangzhong (here also called wuyi), biyu (identified as the same as the manjue of Folio I), ruibin, qiliang (as well as chushang, which is the same), shangjue and guxian. The previously mentioned qin tunings chart gives an outline of their characteristics, accompanied by further discussion of the modal characteristics.

Once again several of the pieces did not seem actively to be played. See the same chart referenced above (again: it does not include the handbook dated 1670). Of particular note are:

#45 Huangyun Qiusai,
#47 Da Hujia,
#48 Da Ya,
#50 Baji You,
#52 Fan Canglang
#59 Shenhua Yin

As the chart shows, these melodies are rarely found outside of the same few handbooks which preserved the old Folio I pieces. (See also the list for Folio 2)

Return to the Shen Qi Mi Pu index or to the Guqin ToC.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Handbook of Spiritual and Marvelous Mysteries (神奇秘譜 Shen Qi Mi Pu)
25211.xxx; the full title of the book is 臞仙神奇秘譜 Qu Xian Shen Qi Mi Pu, The Emaciated Immortal's Handbook of Spiritual and Marvelous Mysteries. Emaciated Immortal was a nickname of Zhu Quan.

Many alternate translations have been suggested for Shen Qi Mi Pu. For example, "mipu" commonly means "secret handbook". However, here Zhu Quan clearly states he doesn't intend his book to be secret. Christopher Evans has suggested Precise Tablatures for Treasured and Beautiful Melodies, and I may make some changes in my own translation. My own translation was mostly done 20 years ago and much revision will certainly take place before publication.

2. Qin tablature pre-dating Shen Qi Mi Pu
Earlier surviving qin tablature consists basically of the longhand tablature of You Lan discovered in Japan in the 19th c. CE but confirmed as having been copied in the 6th c.; the song Gu Yuan by Jiang Kui (1155-1221); the five short diaoyi (modal preludes) in Taiyin Daquanji; and the somewhat longer diaoyi plus the kaizhi (prelude to a specific piece) to Huangying Yin (Golden Oriole) in Shilin Guangji.

3. For English material on Zhu Quan see in particular the biography by Jonker in L.C.Goodrich, Dictionary of Ming Biography.

4. Calculating the number of pieces in Shen Qi Mi Pu
Folio I of Shen Qi Mi Pu has 15 titled pieces and 1 distinct modal prelude; in addition the kaizhi of the second melody, Guangling San, can be considered a modal prelude, but it is not counted here as it is not given a separate entry. (If it is counted separately, then Shen Qi Mi Pu has 65 melodies instead of 64. See further comments below.) Of the 15 titled pieces, only 7 of the titles can be found in Song dynasty melody lists. Missing from the lists are Dunshi Cao (but see Jishan Cao), Huaxu Yin, Gufeng Cao, Xuan Mei, Zhao Yin, Jiu Kuang, Qiuyue Zhao Maoting, and Yi Zhen. It should also be pointed out that those lists combined include less than 300 titles, whereas Zixiadong Pu is said to have had 468 titles.

5. Copying earlier tablature
R. H. Van Gulik, in his commentary on Shen Qi Mi Pu (Lore, p. 184) wrote,

"The only objection to this handbook is that the author has not been consistent in his system of notation, and that the jianzi therefore have become unnecessarily complicated. One gets the impression that the compiler purposely made the notation obscure, so that only expert players could use it...."

Van Gulik is presumably writing here as a qin player trying to play the music himself. Zhu Quan explains that, in particular in Folio I, he copied out original tablature as is, not daring to make changes, in case his interpretations were incorrect. As an antiquarian Van Gulik should have realized the potential value of the different tablature styles for trying to learn the origins of the various melodies. (He made a similar comment about Tianwen'ge Qinpu.)

6. Discerning early styles of qin play
During the past few decades a considerable amount of research has been devoted to the recovery of medieval Western music, resulting in a new popularity for that formerly 'dead' art. Shen Qi Mi Pu, and later Ming dynasty guqin handbooks as well, almost certainly contain a significant amount of even older music, and comparable effort put into researching and performing this could similarly revive interest in ancient Chinese music (see HIP); yet hardly any systematic effort is now being made to do so. Consequently, only a few transcriptions and recordings of individual reconstructions are now available, and these show the performers to have been rather free in interpreting the tablature. In fact, to my knowledge only one other person has recorded interpretations of more than three or four pieces from Shen Qi Mi Pu: Yao Bingyan of Shanghai recorded about 10.

7. 霞外神品;紫霞洞譜。 See more detail on this book in the comments on Folio II.

8. 琴生

9. Further information on procedures to follow in recontructing music can be found at Rhythm in Early Ming Tablature.

10. These are based largely on study of Qinqu Jicheng (琴曲集成); as of 1998 it had 17 volumes, reprinting the 80 known handbooks through 1802 (Vol. XVIII) except Longhu Qinpu (1571; see Tong Kinwoon's Qin Fu 琴府) and seven apparently to be included in Vol. XV.

11. 調意 diao yi and 開指 kai zhi
See more under Opening Fingering

12. Most notably Yao Bingyan.

13. See further comment under #44 Shenpin Wuyi Yi.

14. It is also omitted from the Table of Contents, which lists the other sections of Guangling San, which might be an argument against its inclusion as an inherent part of the piece.

15. See the further comments in the introductions to #12 and #13.

16. Melodies appearing in only certain later handbooks: most ancient?
This includes, in addition to all the melodies in Shen Qi Mi Pu Folio 1 (Taigu Shenpin, but note exceptions), certain melodies in Folios 2 (Folio 2 list) and Folio 3 (Folio 3 list). Since Zhu Quan says he could find no one who played the Folio One melodies, it is perhaps not surprising that they did not become part of the active repertoire, instead only being copied out in certain later handbooks, usually with little or no editing. My conclusion that the same might be said of the listed melodies in SQMP Folios Two and Three is based on their mostly being included only in the same few later handbooks. However, this conclusion should be considered as tentative, requiring further analysis.

17. These pieces repeat the harmonics from the diaoyi [only initials of the Chinese title are given]: GD: 18.GHY; SD: 22.KG, 25.GHQ, 32.YL; JD: 34.LXY, 35.LZYF; ZD: 38.SJY, 39.YHTS; YD: 42.ZZF, 43.WYT; WYD: 45.HYQS [writes it out], 46.LSC, 48.DY; BYD: 50.BJY; RBD: 52.FCL [writes it out]; QLD: 56.ZPY, 57.LS; SJD: no [and neither ends with harmonics!]; CS: 67.CG; GXD: no.)

18. See further under Modality in Early Ming Tablature.

19. Zixiadong Pu, 13 folios 紫霞洞譜十三卷
Qinshu Cunmu Folio 3 (p.21) has a very brief entry for such an important work. Qinshi Chubian Chapter 6a3 says it had 468 modal preludes and qin compositions, this information apparently coming from Hu Zhangru, Xiawai Pu Qin Xu (see also Wu Wenguang's Ph.D. dissertation, Wu Jinglue's Music in its Context; p.28 says it had more than 460 pieces, but as with QSCB there is no source given for this information). As with Zhu Quan's collection, perhaps many of these were copies of old pieces, and Zhu particularly selected pieces for which he could find players. On the other hand, maybe all of this handbook was copies of old pieces, and the Xiawai Shenpin are pieces that were not in the collection, or were played as well as copied.

20. 44126.149 韓侘胄 See also Giles, who calls him Han Te-chou: a powerful minister who encouraged war against the Tartars. The war proved disastrous and he was executed.

21. See further under #32 Yi Lan.

22. 陳拙,大唐正聲扯琴譜 , see Qinshu Cunmu Folio II and Li Sao.

23. 陳康士,琴譜 cf. Qinshu Cunmu Folio II. Note also #99 the anonymous Qinyuan Yaolü originally bound together with Zhu Changwen's Qin Shi. Parts of this apparently survive, but not any of the notation. From the Song dynasty we have one tablature of Jiang Kui's song Gu Yuan and two sets of brief modal preludes. See Rulan Bian,op.cit.

24. 劉志方 Liu Zhifang. Said to have written #23 Wang Ji.

25. 毛敏仲 Mao Minzhong. Said to have written a number of melodies including #35 Liezi Yufeng.

26. 徐天民 Xu Tianmin. Said to have written a number of melodies including #56 Zepan Yin; see also #35 Liezi Yufeng .

27. 郭沔,字楚望 Guo Chuwang. Said to have written #53 Xiaoxiang Shuiyun.

28. See under #20 Shenpin Shang Yi

29. 浙音釋字琴譜 See also My CD .

30. E.G., on my CD Music Beyond Sound and at Introduction to Zheyin Shizi Qinpu.

31. Chongxiu includes 47 of the 64 titles in Shen Qi Mi Pu, but it skips a large percentage of shang mode pieces: 7 of 11 (Kaigu, Guanghan Qiu, Tianfeng Huanpei, Shen You Liuhe, Chang Qing, Duan Qing, Heming Jiugao) and it groups Wang Ji and Yin De (the lyrics of which fit 1425) with gong mode, leaving only Duan Qing and Yi Lan (whose lyrics don't fit).

32. Second section fits easily; for first the overall count is right but it has very different phrasing.

33. Can be made to fit: in all three sections the overall count seems right, but it is difficult to be sure because of the left hand techniques (tao, daiqi, duiqi, etc).

34. The poem Qiu Feng Ci (25505.235 秋風辭,樂府,雜歌謠辭之名,漢武帝作....) attributed to Han Wudi is included with a melody of this name

35. Compare previous footnote and see in, e.g., Hewen Zhuyin Qinpu (Qinqu Jicheng XII. p.173.)

Return to the Shen Qi Mi Pu index or to the Guqin ToC.