Qishan Cao
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04. Mount Qi Melody
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
岐山操 1
Qishan Cao
Mount Qi in Shanxi Province3
Qishan Cao is the first of the ten Qin Cao4 set to lyrics by Han Yu (766-824). Han Yu claims that Zhou Gong (Duke of Zhou) wrote them on behalf of Da Wang (or Tai Wang), a common name for Gugong Danfu (Old Duke Danfu). Danfu was the grandfather of Zhou Gong's father, Wen Wang (Civil King), founder of the Zhou dynasty (reputed date 1122 BCE).5 Wen Wang himself is the subject of the fifth melody in Taigu Yiyin, Juyou Cao.

The first Zhou capital was near modern Xi'an, but before that time the clan had been centered in the region of Bin, to the northwest.6 To avoid attack by the non-Han Di tribe the clan leader Old Duke Danfu moved south to Mount Qi; but because of his virtues, not only his clan but other people came and joined him.7

Danfu's grandson Wen Wang had two sons, Wu Wang (Military King) and Zhou Gong. After Wen Wang was succeeded by Wu Wang, Zhou Gong became his major adviser in the establishment of the Zhou dynasty. He also helped educate Wu Wang's son Cheng Wang, loyally serving him instead of seeking the throne for himself. This loyal service is also related in the qin melody Feng Lei (Yin.8

The lyrics here can be found in Yuefu Shiji, Folio 57, #18. The preface there to this poem in Yuefu Shiji says only

"Qin Cao says, 'Zhou Gong wrote Qishan Cao on behalf of Da Wang.'"

The Qin Cao introductions as quoted in other sources are quite long and sometimes include lyrics not found here or in Yuefu Shiji. They all tell how Zhou Gong's great grandfather Danfu set a good example by ruling benevolently, and that Zhou Gong himself wrote the melody.9

This title is also found in five later handbooks; the second is unrelated to here, but the last four have a different melody set according to the same Han Yu lyrics as here.10

Original preface11

According to Mencius (the following is paraphrased from King Hui of Liang, Part Two),

"When the realm of Taiwang was in Bin, the Di tribe often attacked them. He offered them leather and silk, (then) dogs, (then) horses, (then) pearls and jade, but all this was not effective; so he avoided the Di by going to Bin, building a town below Mount Qi so that he could live there. At that time the people of Bin all said that Taiwang was a virtuous person, so they followed him and came to Mount Qi as though they were going to the market." As for this melody, perhaps it was the one which Zhou Gong created to teach Cheng Wang by recalling the virtues of his ancestor (Gugong Danfu).

Music and lyrics: One section12 (translation tentative; 聽錄音 listen with 看五線譜 staff notation)
-The setting of Han Yu's lyrics is largely syllabic, following the structure of the lyrics ([4+4] x 6):

我家于豳,       自我先公。
Wo jia yu bin, zi wo xian gong
My home has been in Bin,   since my first ancestors.

伊我承序,       敢有不同。
Yi wo cheng xu, gan you bu tong.
For me to continue on,   I dare to be different.

今狄之人,       將土我疆。           (corrected from "將王我疆")
Jin Di zhi ren, jiang tu wo jiang.
Now the Di people,   want the land of my territory.

民為我戰,       誰使死傷。
Min wei wo zhan, shei shi si shang.
The people will fight for me,   but who would allow such death and misery?

彼岐有驅,       我往獨處。
Bi qi you qu, wo wang du chu.
(Mount) Qi is rocky,   but I will go there myself.

爾莫予追,       無思我悲。
Er mo yu zhui, wu si wo bei.
People not following me,   will not make me preoccupied by sadness.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Qishan Cao 岐山操
8095.4 Qishan Cao has several early references, beginning with "Name of a Yuefu qin melody". 8095.2 岐山 Qishan (Qi Shan): Mount Qi, a mountain and 縣 district in 陝西 Shaanxi province. Has illustration. No connection to 箕山 Jishan or to 谿山/溪山 Xi Shan.

2. Mode is not directly mentioned in Taigu Yiyin

3. The illustration is from 8095.4 岐山 Qishan; the original source is not identified.

4. The 琴操 Qin Cao are discussed elsewhere; all ten are set to music in Taigu Yiyin.

5. 古公亶父 Gugong Danfu
For more on Gugong Danfu see the entry Tai Wang in Qin Shi. There is also a story about Danfu in the Shi Jing poem Spreading (#237, see Taigu Yiyin #9, Wen Wang Qu).

6. 豳風歌 Song of Bin, a melody found in Qinpu Zhenchuan (1547) concerns the agriculture of this region.

7. 狄 Di became a rather generic term for uncivilized non-Han people to the north (compare 戎 Rong, to the west).(Return)

8. See the introduction in Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539), #43.

9. See for example 琴 苑要彔 Qinyuan Yaolu, supposedly a Yuan dynasty publication, and the biography 太王 Tai Wang in the Qin History of 朱長文 Zhu Changwen (1041-1098).

10. Tracing 岐山操 Qishan Cao (tracing chart)
The chart below is based on Zha Guide 12/128/238.

11. Original Chinese preface
Not yet online.

12. Original lyrics
In Yuefu Shiji the characters in brackets replace the ones in front of them (i.e., the ones here):

我家于豳,       自我先公。
伊我承序(緒),       敢有不同。
今狄之人,       將王(土)我疆。
民為我戰,       誰使死傷。
彼岐有驅,       我往獨處。
爾(人) 莫予(余)追,       無思我悲。

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Appendix: Chart Tracing 岐山操 Qi Shan Cao
Based mainly on Zha Fuxi's
Guide, 12/128/238.

None has the same music as here; the last four are all related to each other.

    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
  1. 謝琳太古遺音
      (1511; I/276 [detail])
1; lyrics; no harmonics
  2. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/229)
7; grouped under 林鐘意 (details) but 7 strings; no lyrics; melodically unrelated;
Afterword begins, "周文王之祖古公亶父,積德行義....
Zhou Wen Wang's ancestor Gugong Danfu did good deeds righteously...."
  3. 新刊正文對音捷要
      (1573; #31)
1; same as 1585?
  4. 重修真傳琴譜
      (1585; IV/407)
1; same lyrics as 1511, quite different melody
  5. 琴苑新傳全編
      (1670; XI/336)
1; shang mode; same music as 1585 but no lyrics;
forward and afterword
  6. 自遠堂琴譜
      (1802; XVII/523)
1; zhi yin,
Music and lyrics almost same as 1585 (corrected?)

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