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30. Boya Mourns Ziqi
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
伯牙吊子期 1
Boya Diao Ziqi
  Like Dai Kui?3 
In Taigu Yiyin and the virtually identical Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539) this is a short, simple melody. In all there are five surviving versions under this title. Four are closely related to the version played here,4 but I originally learned the one from Xilutang Qintong (1525), which I found more interesting musically (as a rule I almost always learn the earliest published version of any melody). The 1511 version here, though quite a bit simpler than the one from 1525, also has its own charm, especially if sung.

The musically unrelated Diao Ziqi dated 1828 can be found in some modern recordings.

For further commentary on this story see the biography of Boya as well as the introduction of Boya Diao Ziqi in Xilutang Qintong (1525). For other melodies connected to Boya see the preceding melody in the present handbook, Ting Qin Fu, which also has Boya working in Changzhou. The most famous melodies associated with him are Gao Shan and Liu Shui, both of them included in Shen Qi Mi Pu.

Original preface 5

As for this melody, Boya having completed his first official responsibilities (in office) at Changzhou, he again followed the path to the old place (where he had met) Ziqi, but Ziqi had already passed away. Boya could not overcome his grief, so he prepared a sacrifice at graveside to honor him, and because in the world there were no people who really understood music he created this melody. Hence he destroyed his qin, cut off the strings, and never played again.

Translation tentative.

Music and Lyrics 6 (聽錄音 listen to my my recording [01.51] with transcription)
One section, with a largely syllabic setting, following the irregular pattern of the lyrics, which go 5+5, 5+7, 7, 7+7, 7+7, 5+6 (last 6 are harmonics).

Chang ji qu nian chun, jiang shang xiang feng jun.
Longtime memories of last year in spring,
        along the river meeting a gentleman.

Jin ri dao jiang bin, bu jian zhi yin kong jian fen.
Now when I come to the river's edge,
        I don't see my soulmate, just with an empty feeling see his grave.

Shang xin, shangxin, fu shang xin! Shang xin bu ren lei ru qing.
Heartbreak, heartbreak, more heartbreak,
        Such heartbreak that I cannot bear, and crying I seem to collapse.

Jiang Han wei wo sheng chou yun, yi bei lü yi dian fang cao.
The Yangzi and Han Rivers just make my life seem like gloomy clouds
        and a cup of of Blue Ant (wine) I give in libation with fragrant herbs.

Quan bu you you wen bu wen, cong ci shao zhi yin.
Like a spring flows misery, whether heard or unheard,
        From now on very few soul mates.

Tan ren sheng zai hui nan.
And I sigh that in a person's life meeting again is difficult.

(Translation tentative; for Blue Ant wine see 28209.408)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Boya Diao Ziqi 伯牙吊子期
See 1525

2. Tuning and mode
Taigu Yiyin does not organize pieces by mode.

3. 斲琴圖 (Dai Kui) Breaking his Qin
Dai Kui destroyed his qin for a different reason.

4. Tracing Boya Diao Ziqi
See tracing chart under 1525.

5. Original Preface
The original preface is as follows,


Translation tentative.

6. Original lyrics
Without the translation these are as follows:

長憶去年春,江上相逢君。     (online someone wrote 長記去年春?)
傷心,傷心,復傷心!傷心不忍淚如傾,       (extra 傷心 ?)
江漢為我生愁雲,一杯綠蟻奠芳草,       (蟻 elsewhere 酏)
泉下悠悠聞不聞,從此少知音!       (下 elsewhere 不)

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