Tianfeng Huan Pei
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26. Jade Pendants in a Heavenly Breeze
- Shang mode:2 standard tuning played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
天風環珮 1
Tianfeng Huanpei
Huan, pei: worn by Yingying?3
Huan are described as round ornaments, sometimes worn around the wrist, while pei are pendants worn at the sides. The images at the right show one huan and three types of pei. There seem to be no similar images for huanpei, suggesting that it is a non-specific or generic name for ornaments worn at the waist.
4 Although references seem to suggest that these were most commonly used by women as ornaments, they were also worn by men (literati) and in legends were also associated with immortals. Here Zhu Quan's preface (which after the title does not specifically mention "huan", "pei", or "huanpei") suggests that the sound evokes a sense that immortals are preseent. Neverthess, although ordinary humans are not mentioned, one can also imagine that they might have been wearing such pendants to evoke the spirit of immortals.

One interesting mention of huanpei comes in the play Xi Xiang Ji, where the female lead, Cui Yingying (lower image at right), hearing Scholar Zhang tuning his qin, wonders if he hears the sound of her huanpei as she walks. This is just before the part of the scene where Scholar Zhang expresses his feelings about her while playing the qin.5 This context makes one wonder: if a man hears a woman's jade pendants tinkling, what will be the effect if he describes to her the sound as Zhu Quan describes it below, rather than describing its beauty as a piece of jewelry.

The melody of Tianfeng Huan Pei can be found only in the Ming dynasty: it survives in at least 10 Ming handbooks from 1425 until the end of the dynasty.6 Seven are called Tian Feng Huan Pei, but still in the Ming dynasty the melody seems to have been borrowed for use with at least two other titles. Thus, a virtually identical melody to here was published in two handbooks around 1560 with the title Goudeng Yin7; also published around that time was a melody called Ziyi Yin,8 one completely different from the Tianfeng Huanpei melody here but the other loosely based on it. These latter titles seem to be used as preludes for the melodies that follow them.

On the other hand, the melody Bitian Qiusi9 in Lantianguan Qinpu (1755) has an afterword connecting the melody to Tianfeng Huan Pei, but it has no apparent musical relationship to its predecessors. None of these has lyrics.

Zangchunwu Qinpu (1602) attributes this melody to Xie Juanzi.10

My own musical interpretation was originally based on a transcription of Guan Pinghu's 1950s reconstruction of the very similar version in Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539).11 I then made the modifications necessary to align it with the 1425 tablature.

Guan's version is still not available on CD, but in addition to my own there is one from SQMP on a CD by Zhang Ziqian.

Original Preface12

The Emaciated Immortal says,

the predisposition of this piece can be compared to a white moon on a pleasantly cool evening. The clouds are light and few stars (can be seen because the moon is so bright), the cornelian jade tinkles in the wind, and there is a lot of jade-like dew. Floating like a spirit wandering in the heavens (the Great Net), the immortal wanders in the darkened universe (the Somber Palace). Some jade clinks and other jade tinkles. Nobody can be seen, one just hears the sounds of jingling jade and that's all, causing those who hear it to be able to bring up thoughts of immortals, and ideas of becoming an immortal (changing ones bones). If one is not among spirits and immortals, how can one have knowledge of this?

Music (timings follow the recording on my CD; 聽錄音 listen with my transcription)
Three sections, untitled13

(00.00) 1.
(01.16) 2.
(01.56) 3.
(03.18) -- harmonics
(03.40) -- Melody ends

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Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Tianfeng Huanpei references (see also huan and pei)
The dictionaries seem only to have separate references to tianfeng and huanpei.

  1. Tianfeng 天風 (and 天風操 Tianfeng Cao)
    5961.674 天風 and the other tianfeng entries have nothing that seems relevant. Of particular note is the fact that there is no mention of a 天風操 Tianfeng Cao. According to various stories (or one story related in various ways)
    Boya learned from Chenglian a melody called 天風操 Tianfeng Cao, but such a title is also not found for any existing guqin melodies or in any of its melody lists.

  2. Huanpei 環珮 (jade pendants; also, beautiful women?)
    21771.54 環珮 suggests it is the same as .42 環佩 (same pronunciation); the references given are somewhat different:

    1. 21771.42 says a 環佩 huanpei is "佩玉也,後專為婦女之飾物 a jade pendant, later used as a lady's ornament"; the earliest reference is 禮記,經解 Classic of Rites, Different Teachings of the Different Kings (Wikipedia), where it says "行步則有環佩之聲 when walking there is the sound of jade pendants".

    2. 21771.54, after saying a 環珮 huanpei is "a jade pendant, same as (.42)", gives as its first reference the Shi Ji biography of Confucius, which says that when Confucius visited the wife of Duke Ling she stayed behind a curtain but "環珮玉聲璆然 her jade pendants had a jade sound like a kind of jade".

    4/638 環珮 adds to the above a second definition, that "huanpei" was borrowed to mean "beautiful woman"; references are to 阮籍 Ruan Ji and 杜甫 Du Fu. The Du Fu poem, 詠懷古跡, as translated in David Hawkes, A Little Primer of Tu Fu, p. 174, means "girdle-jade"; the poem, which concerns Wang Zhaojun, says the sound of the girdle-gems announces the return of her soul. 4/639 環珮 says only that it is the same as 環佩. The first entry under 4/638 環佩 says this was a pendant worn by 故人 people of old; later it became primarily a woman's ornament; it then adds a few refences.)

    There are many online references to a Tang Dynasty qin called Jade Pendant of Highest Heaven (九霄環珮 Jiuxiao Huanpei [example]; 1/752 has only 九霄 jiuxiao, ninth layer of heaven). A qin of this name apparently once belonged to Ye Shimeng. See also 九霄環佩.

Commentary on the various versions of this melody also fails to shed light on the origins of this title.

2. Shang mode 商調
Standard tuning is also considered as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6. For further information on shang mode see Shenpin Shang Yi and Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature.

3. Images: One huan, three pei, and Yingying wearing a waist pendant
The upper four images above, originally from 古玉圖譜 Guyu Tupu (3308.79 a Song dynasty compilation) accompany the definitions in ZWDCD of huan and pei, which are as follows:

21771.0 環 huan says it is a round jade ornament. 21440.0 珮 Pei says it is the same as 612.0 佩 pei, which is defined as 繫於帶之飾物 an ornament hung at the waist. As yet I have found no images saying "this is a huanpei", so perhaps either the term was mainly used for literary allusion, or it was a generic term for any pendant hung at the waist.

The lower image above, of Cui Yingying, is from the 何壁 He Bi edition of Xi Xiang Ji, dated 1616. It was cropped here from the Idema translation. Since there seems to be only one round disc, it seems unlikely one could get a tinkling sound from it.

4. The ornament worn at her waist by Yingying above (see comment) looks more like a huan than a pei.

5. Scholar Zhang seduces Yingying by singing a song supposedly used by Sima Xiangru to seduce Zhu Wenjun; see Wen Jun Cao.

6. Zha Guide 4/45/-- has seven called Tianfeng Huan Pei. See further details, including the related melodies mentioned here, in the Appendix below.

7. Goudeng Yin 篝燈吟
Zha Guide 18/179/-- lists Goudeng Yin (Cage-Lantern Intonation) in two handbooks, dated 1559 and 1561. The commentary says only, "篝燈器,以竹為之 A cage lantern is an object made of bamboo." In both cases it is a prelude to Xuechuang Yehua, perhaps suggesting that this was the sort of light under which the conversation took place. See the Appendix below.

8. Ziyi Yin 資益吟
Zha Guide 23/199/-- lists Ziyi Yin (Intonation of Increasing Abundance) in only one handbook, dated 1557, but the titles is also used for a completely unrelated melody 1552. Though musically unrelated, both are used as a prelude to Feng Lei Yin, which also has a story of increasing abundance. See the Appendix below.

9. 碧天秋思, Bitian Qiusi
See Zha Guide and 蘭田館琴譜 Lantianguan Qinpu (1755; QQJC XVI/210), 7 sections: unrelated to that version or to the same title from 1634.

10. 臧春塢琴譜; 謝涓子 , Vol. VI. p.343

11. Published in Guqin Quji, Vol. 1, p.80.

12. For the original text see 天風環珮.

13. Timing follows my CD.

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Appendix: Chart Tracing Tianfeng Huanpei
Also: Goudeng Yin and Ziyi Yin; compare Bitian Qiusi
based mainly on Zha Fuxi's
Guide, 4/45/--, 18/179/-- and 23/199/--.

    (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/138 [here])
Shang mode; 3
Comes before Shen You Liuhe
  2. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/82)
2; no commentary; similar to 1425
Comes before Qi Qi, i.e., Shen You Liuhe
  3. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/182)
3; no commentary; almost same as SQMP
Comes before Guanghan Qiu
    . 太音傳習
      (1552-61; IV/41)
3; "Ziyi Yin"; gong mode and seems unrelated to TFHP or to 1557 (next)
Preface: in the style of Feng Lei Yin, for which it is a prelude; this is true.
  4. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/331)
3; also "Ziyi Yin" but shang mode; seems loosely based on TFHP
Unrelated to previous, but also used as prelude to Feng Lei Yin
  5. 太音續譜
      (1559; III/436)
3; "Goudeng Yin" but almost same as TFHP
Comes before Xuechuang Yehua
  6. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/531)
3; "Goudeng Yin"; identical to 1559
Comes before Xuechuang Yehua
  7. 五音琴譜
      (1579; IV/215)
3; no commentary; related, but more differences
Comes before Feng Lei Yin
  8. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/483)
3; no commentary; related, but many differences
Comes before Feng Lei Yin
  9. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/351)
3; brief commentary; attributed to 謝涓子 Xie Juanzi; related
Comes before Kechuang Yehua (unrelated to Xuechuang Yehua)
10. 義軒琴經
      (late Ming; IX/411)
3; no commentary; still related, but many more slides and other differences
    . 蘭田館琴譜
      (1755; see XVI/210)
7; Bitian Qiusi, "same as Tianfeng Huanpei"; 
Seems unrelated to any TFHP or to 1634 (and other) Bitian Qiu Si

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