Guanghan You
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18. Wandering in a Lunar Palace
  Later also called Heavenly Capital Prelude (清都引 Qingdu Yin2);
廣寒遊 1
Guanghan You
- Gong mode, standard tuning:3 5 6 1 2 3 5 6   Tang Ming Huang's Dream (further detail) 4 

"Guanghan" (or "Guanghan Gong") is said to be the name of a palace on the moon, but it can also refer to the moon itself;5 "Qingdu" refers to a heavenly city. However, since neither Guanghan You nor Qingdu Yin, the alternate title for the present melody, can be found in melody lists pre-dating the melody's inclusion as Guanghan You in Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 CE); and since specific dictionary references for both titles are also lacking, it is difficult to state with any certainty the original intention of this melody's creation: possibilities range from Zhu Quan using the moon to evoke the rather abstract feelings of being in "a palace of broad coolness and clear void"6 to the evocations of Tang Ming Huang (685-762) going to the lunar palace to visit Yang Guifei7 one last time,8 a story particularly popular in operas.9

This melody seems originally to have been rather popular: actual tablature survives in at least 14 handbooks from 1425 to 1647.10 However, after this the melody seems essentially to have gone out of the repertoire, though the 1647 version is later copied twice. This decline can be seen clearly from the appendix below; there one can also see which three of the handbooks use the title Heavenly Capital Prelude (Qingdu Yin). Note that he first two of these attribute the melody to Mao Minzhong; I have not seen such an attribution elsewhere.

As already mentioned, the preface Zhu Quan included with the melody in 1425 uses the image of the moon to evoke a rather abstract theme. Since Zhu Quan would certainly have been aware of the popular romance that told of the emperor Tang Ming Huang going to the lunar palace to visit Yang Guifei, one must wonder why he did not make such a connection in his preface. In this regard, although some later handbooks do connect this melody directly with the Tang Minghuang story, there is no other specific evidence connecting this melody to that famous love story. Thus, one must consider the possibility that the connection was there, but that Zhu Quan either ignored or rejected such stories because of their folkloric, romantic, or foreign associations; or even that he did not consider it necessary to mention them specifically because they were already well enough known.11

In this regard, it might be a romantic allusion when this melody is played in the scene Qin Tiao from the 16th century opera Jade Hairpin. Here, when the novice nun Chen Miaochang plays a melody called Guanghan You, her wooer Pan Bizheng then comments that it is a melody often played by nuns. Since Miaochang seems not at all unwilling regarding his advances, perhaps the apparently abstract title of this melody was known (at least by some) also to have this hidden romantic meaning.12

Further regarding the Tang Minghuang story, according to some historical sources, once when the emperor was viewing Ladies' Mountain13, in He'nan, he imagined himself flying to the moon and seeing the beautiful women said to live there.14 Returning to his palace he created music to describe the imaginary trip. He wrote about half, then the rest was finished by palace musicians; in this there is said to have been influence from Indian Buddhist music, in particular a Brahman Melody.15 The result was a dance piece called Nishang Yuyi (Rainbow Garment).16

Later versions of this story, particularly in Chinese opera, had Minghuang actually going to the moon, hearing a celestial melody, memorizing it, and then teaching his court musicians to play it; or his famous concubine Yang Guifei creating the dance from a dream, then enthralling the emperor so much that after she died he was miserable until he, too, died and was able to join her on the moon and see her dance it again.

So far I have found no actual musical connections between the qin melody Guanghan You and operas that relate this story.

Xilutang Qintong (1525) uses a melody called Intonation on Being Free of Worldly Emotions (Daguan Yin) as a prelude to its Guanghan You.17

The only recording available is on my own CD.

Original Preface18

The Emaciated Immortal says

this is an old tune. Its meaning is elevated and profound, its interest broad and deep. You have thoughts of effortless solitary steps in the Heavenly Net. The flavor is of ascending emptiness and riding the winds, grabbing a shimmering essence as it brightly flows in the Great Void; moreover, its aim is pure, imperceptible and profound, and I cannot get it well enough to describe it. It causes a person who listens to it intuitively to feel comfortably cool (in hair and bones), and to straighten up his body as if he were in a palace of broad coolness and clear void.19

Music (timings follow the recording on my CD; 聽錄音 listen with my transcription)
Transcription includes the modal prelude; also add the 1525 prelude Da Guan Yin?)
Nine sections (untitled; titles here are from Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu)20

(00.00) 1. Mist and fog on the mysterious road
(01.19) 2. Riding an immortal's raft through the Milky Way
(01.30) 3. Melodious music of the immortals
(02.23) 4. The cool jade cup is dark and shiny
(02.42) 5. Ax of Wu Gang21
(03.54) 6. Palace of Heng E22
(04.14) 7. Meeting of Wind and Clouds
(04.39) 8. Happiness is finalized, so return
(05.17) 9. Perform songs and laugh while dancing
(05.50) -- harmonics
(06.04) -- Piece ends

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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. References for Guanghan You
Although the illustration above connects this melody with the story of emperor Tang Minghuang (685-762; r. 713-756) traveling to the moon to see Yang Guifei one last time, this connection is not made with qin melodies called Guanghan You until comments with versions published more than a century after 1425.

In contrast, the association of a lunar palace with Tang Minghuang seeing Yang Guifei one last time was popularized much earlier, perhaps originally through the very popular poem by Bai Juyi (772-846) called Song of Everlasting Regret (長恨歌 Chang Hen Ge; Wiki) There are several translations online, including this one.

Later, of course, the story was popularized even more through operas such as the Kunqu opera Palace of Eternal Life. For more on these operas see below.

As yet I have not seen dictionary references at all to "Guanghan You". 9693.200 is only 廣寒 Guang Han (see below: 廣寒宮 lunar palace, or the moon itself; 3/1267 Guang Han adds that this can also refer to the northern palace for Daoist immortals. Similarly with 清都引 Qingdu Yin, the dictionaries refer only to qingdu, a celestial palace or the emperor's residence.

Thus the origin of the specific connections made below between Guanghan You and emperor Tang Minghuang are not yet clear.

2. Heavenly Capital Prelude (Qingdu Yin 清都引)
Only 18003.485 清都 (qingdu: heavenly capital),天帝之宮闕帝都也; also 5/1310. See appendix below.

3. Gong Mode (宮調 gong diao)
For further information on gong mode see Shenpin Gong Yi and Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.

4. Tang Ming Huang dreams of Yang Guifei
Painting by 白雲立 Bai Yunli; see detail.

5. Guang Han (Gong)
Literally, (Palace of) Spreading Frigidity. 9693.200 says,

"廣寒﹕月中宮殿名。與廣寒宮同。(開元天寶遺事)唐明皇遊月宮,見天府。 榜曰廣寒清虛府。素娥十餘人皓衣乘白鸞,舞于佳城下。 (素娥,月也):
"Name of a palace on the moon, same as Guang Han Gong. (Unfinished Affairs of the Kaiyuan and Tianbao Reigns) Tang Minghuang traveled to the moon and saw a heavenly palace. There was a sign which said, Palace of Broad Coolness and Clear Emptiness. Ten-odd celestial maidens in pure white raiment rode on white luan birds and danced in the enchanted city."

3/1267 Guang Han adds that this can also refer to the northern palace for Daoist immortals

This "Palace of Spreading Frigidity" is also mentioned in the seduction scene of the opera Xi Xiang Ji.

6. Zhu Quan also gives an abstract explanation for #25 Guanghan Qiu; compare its associations with popular stories.

7. Yang Guifei 楊貴妃
Yang Guifei was one of China's "four great beauties". She is sometimes said to have learned the 霓裳羽衣 Rainbow Garment dance during a trip to the moon. Operas that tell of her doing this dance for Tang emperor Ming Huang are discussed above.

She may also have been the subject of a qin melody called 長樂聲 Changle Sheng.

8. Connecting Guanghan You with the story of Tang Ming Huang and Yang Guifei
This connection is first made in the handbooks dated 1552 and 1585. These prefaces are as follows (note that in the 1552 handbook Qingxu Yin is a prelude to Guanghan You):

The connection made in operas with Yang Guifei is thus not mentioned overtly here, nor is this mentioned in the 1585 section headings, which are given above to evoke their possible connection to the music for Guanghan You. (I am not familiar with other stories of Tang Minghuang traveling to the moon other than the story of him going to meet (or dreaming of meeting) Yang Guifei after she was killed.

9. Tang Minghuang story in popular media
Although LXS shows no opera titles called 廣寒遊 Guanghan You, several operas do tell the story of Tang Minghuang and Yang Guifei. The following are three examples, but the popularity of the story suggest that it quite likely was also told in other operas as well.

None of these operas seems to have any significant reference to qin (in Chang Sheng Dian a 箏 zheng is played at a palace banquet).

10. Tracing Guanghan You
Zha Fuxi's Guide 3/36/48; also see appendix below.

11. Some of these are discussed in footnotes below about fairy ladies, the [in]famous concubine Yang Guifei, and the Indian Buddhist connection. In his preface Zhu Quan says he considered the names of some pieces to be inappropriate and so changed them.

12. See the scene 琴挑 Qin Tiao in the opera 玉簪記 (Jade Hairpin) by Gao Lian 高濂 (fl. 1573-1581).

13. Nü'er Shan
6170.2 女ㄦ山 ; it is about 75 km southwest of Luoyang, the old Zhou and latter Han capital; also called 石雞山 Stone Chicken Mountain.

14. Beautiful women living on the moon
It is not yet clear to me whether there are many independent stories of Yang Guifei or other beautiful women going to the moon either before or after death. The best-known inhabitants of the moon, in addition to those mentioned in the section titles here (q.v.), include a moon rabbit (月兔 yue tu) and a three-legged toad (蟾 chan).

15. Brahman Melody (婆羅門曲 Poluomen Qu)
Poluomen Qu, said to have come from within the court, was said to have been the origin of the Rainbow Garment Melody (see next).

16. Rainbow Garment Melody (霓裳羽衣曲 Nishang Yuyi Qu)
Literally "Rainbow Feather-Garment Dance", according to 43292.12 霓裳羽衣曲 Nishang Yu Yi Qu is "唐,樂曲名,本羅婆羅門曲" a Tang dynasty music piece originally called Poluomen Qu (Brahman's Melody).

A melody of this name is commonly attributed to the Tang Xuanzong emperor, though this seems to contradict its supposed origins as Brahman Melody (previous footnote). It is also commonly said to have become part of the court repertoire, but specifics of this are not easily found. In Japanese 霓裳羽衣 is apparently Geishouui, but I haven't yet found specific references to such a melody as part of the gagaku repertoire.

References include the following:

There have been some modern music compositions inspired by Nishang Yuyi, and the allure of the title has also led to its inclusion in numerous Broadway-style "Traditional Chinese Dance" programs.

"Rainbow Feathers" are also mentioned in 霓裳中序 Nishang Zhong Xu ("Middle Prelude to Rainbow Feather Skirts"), the name of a cipai connected to a poem by Bai Juyi called 霓裳羽衣舞歌 Dance Song of the Rainbow Garments. The entry mentions rhythm and 沈括 Shen Kuo but not Jiang Kui or his poem of this name.

17. Intonation on Being Free of Worldly Emotions (達觀吟 Daguan Yin) Original tablature from 1525 (see complete)  
       (Zha Guide 19/--/--; QQJC III/71)
This melody survives only in the gong mode melody section of Xilutang Qintong (1525; see Zha Guide), where it is a prelude to Guanghan You. It has no apparent musical relationship to Qing Xu Yin, which serves as a prelude to Guanghan You in several melodies, beginning with Taiyin Chuanxi (1552).

Contemporary commentary on Daguan Yin
Since Daguan Yin occurs only as a prelude in Xilutang Qintong, and Xilutang Qintong has no separate commentary for its preludes, and since also there seems to be no mention of this title anywhere else, not to mention commentary anywhere on its specific significance as a melody title, perhaps the best one can do is look at the Xilutang Qintong commentary on Guanghan You, as follows:

(Translation incomplete but, as with the 1425 preface, it concerns a gentleman-scholar's inclination towards wandering in the profound mysteries of the etherial realms.)

Music of Daguan Yin (Timings are from my recording 聽錄音)
The melody is in three sections. Other than the mode, there is no obvious melodic connection with Guanghan You.

00.00   1.
00.56   2.
01.42   3. (Note the lack of punctuation in this section of the original tablature.)
02.47       Closing harmonics
03.06       End

As for dictionary references, these only mention 達觀 daguan, meaning variously "see everywhere" and "free of worldly emotions"; thus connection intended here between daguan and guanghan again does not make an overt connection either to the Tang Minghuang story or to the stories made in operas telling of him meeting Yang Guifei on the moon.

The ZWDCD entry is as follows:

My transcription and recording of Daguan Yin were completed in April 2014.

18. Original preface
For the text of the original Chinese preface see 廣寒遊.

19. Palace of broad coolness and lofty tranquillity (廣寒清虛之府)
Regarding "lofty tranquility" (清虛 Qingxu: also "clear void" or "clear emptiness"), the versions of this melody in the handbooks dated 1552, 1557, 1561 and 1647 all are preceded or followed by a melody called 清虛吟 Qingxu Yin (Intonation on Lofty Tranquillity).

Intonation on Lofty Tranquility (清虛吟 Qingxu Yin)
Zha Guide lists five handbooks, dated 1547, 1552, 1557, 1647 and 1692, having a melody called Qingxu Yin. On this site it is further introduced under the SQMP Folio I melody Xuan Mei, of which it is in fact a somewhat shorter version, though it generally seems to be associated with Guanghan You, coming either just before or just after it (see appendix below). Note that the Qingxu Yin prefaces in 1552 and 1557 relate the story of Tang Minghuang.

20. Two sets of section titles for Guanghan You
The preface to the version in Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585) is one that relates the story of Tang Minghuang. However, its section titles do not reflect this. The original Chinese section titles from 1585 are:

1. 煙霧杳路
2. 河漢槎通
3. 仙樂悠揚
4. 冰壺隱映
5. 吳剛斧鉞
6. 姮娥宮殿
7. 際會風雲
8. 興盡而返
9. 行歌笑舞

Buxuxian Qinpu (1556) has a similar melody for Guanghan You but divided into eight sections and with competely different (though thematically related) titles. Van Gulik, Lore, translates Guanghan You as Traveling to the Palace of Wide Coolness, and then translates the section titles as follows (Lore, p. 89)

1. 步雲梯 Treading the cloud ladder
2. 登情虛 Ascending into pure emptiness
3. 宴廣亭 Feasting in the Pavilion of Wide (Coolness)
4. 折丹桂 Cutting the cinnamon (used in preparing the elixir of immortality)
5. 舞霓裳 Dancing in rainbow garments
6. 舞青鸞 Dancing with the Blue Phoenix*
7. 問長生 Asking about longevity
8. 回雲車 Returning in the cloud chariot.**

*   VG adds: "In the middle of this part there occur some heavy chords, where the remark is added: 'The sound of the Jade Hare pounding the elixir of immortality.' According to Chinese popuar belief, in the moon there lives a hare that prepares the elixir of life under a cassia tree."
** VG adds: "In the middle of this part there occur some high notes, with the explanatory remark: 'The sounds of laughing and talking of Chang-E, the Moon Goddess.' "

21. 吳剛 Wu Gang (See also under Guanghan Qiu)
Wu Gang spends all his time trying to chop down a tree which keeps growing new leaves; however, he was able to stop long enough to defend Heng E.

22. 姮娥 Heng E (See also under Guanghan Qiu)
Heng E is the original name of 嫦娥 Chang E (or Chang O), a beautiful woman who stole the elixir of immortality which had been given to her husband, Hou Yi 后羿 the Archer). She then had to flew up to the moon to escape his wrath.

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Appendix: Chart Tracing Guanghuan You/Qingdu Yin
Based mainly on Zha Fuxi's Guide

    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
  1.  神奇秘譜
      (1425; I/133)
9; gong mode; commentary but no attribution
       (<1491; I/--)
(Lyrics of 1585 don't seem to fit 1425)
  2. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/73)
11T; afterword; no attribution; more elaborate than 1425 (compare its Sections 5-6 with 6-8 here)
Has as prelude 達觀吟 Daguan Yin
  3. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/72)
8; gong mode; no preface; starts like 1425 but combines sections #5 and #6 and has other changes
  4. 梧岡琴譜
      (1546; I/406)
"清都引 Qingdu Yin"; 10; gong mode; related to 1425 but quite different. Note at front says, "also called 廣寒遊 Guanghan You; by Mao Minzhong with revisions by Xu Tianmin and Xu Qiushan"
5a. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/438)
"清都引 Qingdu Yin"; 10; identical to 1546 including attribution at front, but adds comment "Shenpin Gong melody" (it was placed with zhi mode pieces).
5b. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/492)
10; no commentary; seems almost identical to its Qingdu Yin; preceded by 清虛吟 Qingxu Yin.
  6. 步虛僊琴譜
      (1556; fac/#4)
8T (see translation of titles); no commentary
In this handbook it is preceded by a one section 清都引 Qingdu Yin  
  7. 太音傳習
      (1552; IV/50)
9; has the same preface as 1425, with similar music but, e.g., breaks up 5 & 6 differently. Its preface for its prelude, Qingxu Yin, mentions the story of Tang emperor Minghuang (music unrelated to that of the prelude for the 1525 GHY).
  8. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/326)
10; both this melody and its prelude Qingxu Yin seem to be identical to those in 1552
  9. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/347)
9TL; preface tells the Tang Minghuang story. The lyrics (they begin 晚免雲開,煙霞藹藹。素影動金波,清光涵碧海....) won't fit 1425; they are identical to those in 1625 below, though the music is different.
10. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/475)
"清都引 Qingdu Yin"; 10; "also called 廣寒遊 Guanghan You; gong mode; almost same as 1546 but not identical. At end it adds one note then writes out the coda.
11. 陽春堂琴譜
      (1611; VII/377)
9; quite similar to 1425 (Section 6 writes 7.9 for 8!)
12. 太音希聲
      (1625; IX/136)
9TL; gong; titles as 1425; lyrics as 1585 but music different; preface longer and different from 1585 but still tells the Tang Minghuang story (Not in Zha's index)
13. 古音正宗
      (1634; IX/284)
"also called 清都引 Qingdu Yin; 9T; section titles as 1425; no commentary
14. 徽言秘旨
      (1647; X/52)
11; 宮音; followed by 清虛吟 Qingxu Yin; no commentary
15. 徽言秘旨訂
      (1692; fac/folio 2)
Identical to 1647; again followed by Qingxu Yin
16. 琴苑心傳全編
      (1670; XI/485)
Here called Tao Yuan Chun Xiao!
further comment: credits the melody to 潘岳 Pan Yue  
16. 友聲社琴譜
      (early Qing; XI/203)
9L; "何校"; note at end says it originally had 13 sections but 4 were cut and "音調始覺不重複"
17. 裛露軒琴譜
      (>1802; XIX/79)
11; 宮音 "same as 1547"

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