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01. Spring Rain
- gong mode (5 6 1 2 3 5 6 ) 2
Chun Yu  
  Ma Lin: Spring Fragrance Purified by Rain 3        
This melody, the first of five surviving from Wusheng Qinpu (1453), is generally said to have been created by the handbook's author/compiler, "Lan Xian", the "Lazy Immortal". However, there is no commentary accompanying the present tablature. And in fact, the only one with commentary (#3 Xian Shan Yue) claims to be an old melody. And in addition there some internal evidence suggesting that perhaps the present melody was copied from earlier tablature.4

Since the handbook itself has no commentary, here one must look for its inspiration from poetic and literary references (sources) such as the following:

  1. 莊子,外物 Zhuangzi, External Matters; Chapter 26/10. (Original text in ctext: What comes from without.)"

    In spring, when the rain and the sunshine come seasonably, vegetation grows luxuriantly, and sickles and hoes begin to be prepared. More than half of what had fallen down becomes straight, and we do not know how.
    Translation in ctext is from Legge.

  2. 杜甫,江雨有懷鄭典設 "River Rain, I Have Thoughts of Zheng of the Household Affairs Service", a poem by Du Fu (712 - 770).


    Translation by Stephen Owen (The Poetry of Du Fu, De Gruyter, 2016; 18.63) (Google Books):

    Spring rain darkens everything, blocking the space within the gorges
        sooner or later it comes from the Chu king’s palace.
    Wild waves spread everywhere already beating the shore,
        Pliant clouds in wild disarray do not resist the wind.
    Its favor shines on the basil leaves, making them very green,
        in drops it pours on the peach blossoms spreading their small pinks.
    My Zheng Zizhen of Valley Mouth, at this moment I think back on you,
        the bank is high and the Rang is slippery, east to west movement is blocked.

  3. 陸游,春雨三首(七言律詩)Three Spring Rain poems by Lu You (1125-1210; apparently he wrote many more):

    1. 其一

    2. 其二

    3. 其三

      It’s true that I laugh at myself because I’ve always been lazy.
            Close the door and sit back and relax.
      Thousands of crabapple pieces have gone with the water,
            Du Yu never regained his youth.
      The green wine fills the bottle enough to forget old age,
            Zhuying is on the market and trying something new.
      Today the rain has stopped on Tongxi Road,
            He also carried a scarf to Shatou.

    Translation of third poem from; translations for the other two not yet found.

  4. 劉基,春雨三絕句 Three Spring Rain poems by Liu Ji (1311-1375):




    Translations not yet found.


Original Preface

Music (transcription; with corrections)
Eleven Sections (untitled); timings follow my recording

  1. 00.00
  2. 01.19
  3. 02.16
  4. 03.30
  5. 04.45
  6. 05.40
  7. 06.59
  8. 08.08
  9. 08.50
  10. 09.26
  11. 10.17
Coda: 11.10
  End: 11.28

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a
separate page)

1. Spring Rain (春雨 chun yu) references
References (see 14146.146 and 5/643) are discussed above. 14146.146 also adds a later reference, saying chun yu is a 曲名 song name, giving a quote from 蘇曼殊 Su Manshu (1884-1918).

2. Gong mode (宮調 gong diao)
For more on this mode see Shenpin Gong Yi. My analysis of the mode here is incomplete, but so far it seems quite idiosyncratic, with many non-pentatonic notes, perhaps due to the tonal center often shifting from the note gong (do, 1) to the note zhi (sol, 5).

3. 芳春雨齋 Spring Fragrance Purified by Rain, by 馬麟 Ma Lin (ca. 1180 - ca. 1256; Wiki)
Copied from a webpage of the National Palace Museum. The commentary there is:

馬麟為馬遠之子,為寧宗(1195-1224在位)、理宗(1125-1264在位)朝宮廷畫家。 畫上寧宗題字,旁鈐楊皇后坤卦印。畫早春時節雨後初晴,江邊竹枝疏樹斜倚,紅花點點,群鴨戲水。取景與北宋蘇軾「春江水暖鴨先知」詩句相合,為詩畫結合例子。前景水鴨靈活小巧,或浮或潛。杏林煙嵐迷濛,紅花隱現,反映出宮廷對花卉的細膩品賞。中景水岸延伸推移,清潤墨色及細膩暈染,營造出林間幽遠的空間感。畫樹承襲馬遠拖枝顫筆技法,並表現姿態橫生樹椏,引導觀者欣賞物象造型和筆墨趣味。
Ma Lin, the son of Ma Yuan, was a court painter in the Ningzong (reigned 1195-1224) and Lizong (reigned 1125-1264) periods of the Northern Song dynasty. The painting has Ningzong's inscription and the seal of Queen Yang and Kun's hexagram next to it. In early spring, it is clear after the rain. The bamboo branches and trees are leaning on the riverside, there are red flowers dotted, and a group of ducks are playing in the water. The framing is consistent with Su Shi's poem of the Northern Song Dynasty, "Duck's Early Knowledge of the Warm Water in the Spring River", which is an example of the combination of poetry and painting. The teal duck in the foreground is nimble and small, and can swim or dive. The apricot grove is misty and misty, with red flowers looming, reflecting the court's delicate appreciation of flowers. The waterfront in the middle scene stretches forward, and the clear ink color and delicate blending create a sense of remote space in the forest. The tree painting inherits Ma Yuan's technique of dragging branches and quivering brushes, and expresses the posture of the trees, guiding the viewer to appreciate the shape of the object and the interest of the brush and ink.

The duck does not seem to be visible in the painting and there is no red color, so either the copy is unclear or the painting has been cropped.

4. Copied from earlier tablature?
For example, although at the beginning of Section 1 the term 對起 dui qi is used for a specific left hand finger technique, the melody later uses for this the older term 對按 dui an (further comment.

Return to the Wusheng Qinpu ToC or to the Guqin ToC.