Chang Qing
 T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
SQMP ToC   /   Duan Qing 聽錄音 Listen to my recording with transcription   首頁
28. Long Clarity
- Shang mode:2 standard tuning played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 )
長清 1
Chang Qing

The melody entitled Chang Qing survives in nine early handbooks, from 1425 to 1602; the only later occurrence is in Qinxue Congshu (1910), which copied the present version, adding rhythmic indications.4 In these handbooks, as well as in earlier melody lists, Chang Qing is usually paired with #29 Duan Qing (Short Clarity), though the latter occurs in only five early handbooks plus 1910. The antiquity of these two titles is underlined both by their attribution to the famous Han dynasty scholar and qin player Cai Yong (133 - 192),5 and by their listing elsewhere among the Four Pieces of Xi Kang (223 - 262).6

Regarding the antiquity of the surviving versions of Chang Qing and Duan Qing, one can say that Zhu Quan in 1425 was collecting earlier melodies. The fact that the next few handbooks to include these titles have versions that are little changed from the 1425 versions suggests that at that time there may have been a conscious effort to preserve a melody not then in the common repertoire.7

Given the common attribution of Chang Qing and Duan Qing to Cai Yong, one might assume that their inclusion among the Four Pieces of Xi Kang suggests a belief either that Xi Kang was famous for playing these old melodies, that he reconstructed and or revised them, or that he created new versions on the same theme. There is no way to say which, if any, of these is true, since no music can be traced back to that time.

Cai Yong's daughter is the focus of the story related in the two Nomad Reed Pipe pieces (see #15 and #47).8

My own reconstruction (see my CDs) was originally based on the transcription in Guqin Quji of Guan Pinghu's 1950s reconstruction of the very similar version in Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539), with necessary modifications. Note the irregular rhythms in my version.

Original Preface9

The Emaciated Immortal says,

this piece was written by Cai Yong of the Han dynasty. There are two pieces, Chang Qing and Duan Qing (Short Clarity). (The music) takes its inspiration from snow, describing its essential clear cleanliness and absence of dirt and dregs. He had a predisposition towards suppressing worldly things and pursuing (the Daoist ideals of) "emptiness" and "understanding". His aspirations were in high antiquity, with a predisposition towards the deep and distant, like the clean depth of a cold lake. Its theme is outside the limits of our world, taking you on a trip back to past millennia. It makes you think about the Purple Capital (in heaven) and the Great Net (of heaven), and is as if growing wings and flying up to pay a visit in the Jade Capital.

Music (timings follow the recording on my CD; 聽錄音 listen with my transcription)
Nine sections:10

(00.00) 1. Clean air in the universe
(02.04) 2. Clear morning on a snowy day
(02.59) 3. Snow and sleet fly together
(03.21) 4. Mountains and rivers have the same color (snowy white)
(04.33) 5. The brilliant light of mid-day
(04.53) 6. Wind resounds in the jade-like forest
(05.15) 7. Picturesque rivers and mountains
(05.49) 8. Snow melts under precipices and in the valleys
(06.35) 9. Spring returns to the myriad ravines (harmonics)
(07.03) -- Piece ends

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

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chang Qing references
42022.458 長清 only mentions it as a place name (in Shandong) and as a person's nickname. The lack of an associated story makes translation of "qinq" quite problematic. Hsu Wen-Ying translates the melody title as "Long Light Blue". There is a similar problem translating 長側 Chang Ce.

2. Shang mode (商調 shangdiao)
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.

4. Tracing Chang Qing
Zha's Guide, 5/47/-- . See further details in the appendix below.

5. 蔡邕 Cai Yong (133 - 192)
In addition to his biography, see also the work (or list) attributed to him, Qin Cao. As for qin melodies, he is particularly associated with the 蔡氏五弄 Five Melodies of the Cai Family. These are generally said to be:

  1. You Chun 遊春
  2. Lü Shui 淥水
  3. You Ju 幽居
  4. Zuo Chou 坐愁
  5. Qiu Si 秋思 .

However, it is not clear how these became connected to Cai Yong. Note also that Taigu Yiyin #21 Caishi Wunong has five titles, but repeats the first two and omits the last two.

6. Four Melodies of Xi Kang 嵇康四弄
The Four Melodies of Xi Kang are:

  1. Chang Qing 長清
  2. Duan Qing 短清
  3. Chang Ce 長側
  4. Duan Ce 短側

There are surviving versions of all four titles, but no clear indications either of their antiquity or of how they became associated with Xi Kang. Together with the Five Melodies of Xi Kang these make the so-called 九大弄 Nine Great Melodies.

7. See data on melody changes in the appendix below.

8. See in particular Xiao Hujia.

9. Original Chinese preface
For the original text see 長清.

10. Music
Timings here follow my CD.

(See appendix below2).

Appendix: Chart Tracing Chang Qing
(See also the Duan Qing
  Based mainly on Zha Fuxi's Guide, 5/47/-- .

    (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/141 [here])
9T; attrib. Cai Yong
  2. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/105)
10; no section titles; few more changes
  3. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/134)
9T; same titles, small changes
  4. 梧岡琴譜
      (1546; I/411)
9T; same titles, small changes; no Duan Qing
margin note: "嵇康四弄之首,尤蕭翁之得意者"
  5. 太音傳習
      (1552-61; IV/78)
9T; compare 1546; also attrib. Cai Yong
  6. 太音補遺
      (1557; III/344)
9T; same as 1552?
  7. 琴譜正傳
      (1561; II/440)
9T; same as 1546 (also no Duan Qing)
  8. 琴書大全
      (1590; V/488)
9; related
  9. 藏春塢琴譜
      (1602; VI/328)
13; more differences; still attrib. Cai Yong
10. 琴學叢書
      (1910; XXX/458)
From Shen Qi Mi Pu, with rhythmic indications
Not in 琴府 edition

Return to the top, to the Shen Qi Mi Pu ToC, or to the Guqin ToC.