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36. Evening Talk by a Guest's Window
- Standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
客窗夜話 1
Ke Chuang Yehua
  A Ming dynasty image3 of Liu Ji4        
Xie Lin Taigu Yiyin ends with a section called "Newly added".
5 This is followed by what appear at first glance to be four melodies, the first of which is named Kechuang Yehua. What makes it clear that this is all one melody in four sections are the instructions written in the margins (see Sections 7, 9 and 10 below, under music and lyrics) to repeat certain lyrics. In addition, all later versions have this material clearly written as one melody, and the above instructions make it quite straighforward to divide the 1511 version into the ten sections of most later versions.6

The 1511 version has no commentary, hence no attribution. From its second occurrence, though, its lyrics and sometimes music are commonly connected with Liu Ji (1311-1375), a well-known poet and essayist who became an early advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), helping him establish the Ming dynasty in 1368. Unfortunately, an actual connection between the song and Liu Ji is difficult to confirm. At a minimumn the variety of lyrics and their similarity to sanqu suggests perhaps they were by someone imagining they were Liu Ji rather than by Liu Ji himself (further comment).

Around the same time there appeared another melody associated with a conversation between an advisor and ruler (or aspirant): Evening Talk by a Snowy Window (Xue Chuang Yehua) was sometimes associated with Zhao Pu and Zhao Kuangyin, first emperor of the Song dynasty. There is no apparent music or textual connection between the two pieces.

Perhaps because of Liu Ji's connection with Zhu Yuanzhang, Kechuang Yehua appears in many more Ming dynasty handbooks than does Xuechuang Yehua: while the latter survives in seven handbooks from 1539 to 1596, the former survives in at least 24 handbooks betweeen 1511 and 1899, with 17 of these 24 appearing during the Ming dynasty.7 The later Ming dynasty versions tend to write the piece in 10 sections: seven original, three repeated (not always the same three).

Until its first Qing dynasty publication, in 1670, all versions were related and all but one had lyrics (1579); the many differences between them, both in the music and lyrics, provide further evidence of the melody's apparent popularity, suggesting it was actively played, not simply copied down out of respect. However, from 1670 until 1899 it was in only six more handbooks, the only major one (1876) being a copy of 1670. Since then there seem to have beens several attempts to revive it.8

As mentioned, this piece is commonly attributed to Liu Ji. Sometimes the attribution specifies the lyrics; but even versions without lyrics attribute him. The persistence of these lyrics in all their variety is quite remarkable, especially considering the fact that the versions I have examined all seem primarily instrumental melodies.9

Liu Ji, who had served as an official under the Yuan dynasty, was already a well-known poet and essayist when he became a military strategist for Zhu Yuanzhang. Then, in spite of having played an important role in helping Zhu establish the Ming dynasty, and in spite of always having been a loyal advisor, Liu Ji in 1375 either left office or was dismissed after being slandered; he died soon after this.

Later, and particularly during the Qing dynasty, Liu Ji's reputation gained considerably in prominence, and he became legendary for his sage advice and ability to predict the future.10 In this context it is rather puzzling that after the Ming dynasty the qin melody associated with him declined so much in popularity, almost disappearing from the repertoire.

Although the lyrics are often attributed to Liu Ji, their variety alone make specific attribution problematic. In addition, they seem "rather generic" and reminiscent of "the themes and styles of Yuan dynasty sanqu songs".11

As of 2020 there seems to be one other available recording of this melody.12

Original preface

None here.13

Music and lyrics14
The melody has lyrics throughout, the setting being largely syllabic, with the lines of the poem irregular in length. It is divided into four titled sections, but the third is clearly subdivided into five parts and there are three repeats (indicated by naming the characters of their opening and closing lyrics), making 11 sections in all. Such a division makes it similar to most later versions, which also add a harmonic coda. Although most versions have lyrics, the melody seems essentially instrumental to me, hence the tempo of my recording. Working on the melody with a singer would likely lead to many changes in note values.

The complete lyrics are as follows (thanks to 陳美琪 Tan Bee Kee for assistance with the translation of Section 1). Regarding punctuation, ,, or ,。 in the Chinese text and ,... for the Romanization mean that a musical phrase is repeated without indication of whether the lyrics (usually just three characters/syllables) are also to be repeated. Note that although the pairing is largely syllabic, following an established formula, there are many exceptions here (mainly syllables sung on slides).

Ke Chuang Yehua timings: these are from 錄音 my recording; see also my transcription
         The music follows note for note the 1511 tablature, but with the addition of a harmonic prelude and harmonic closing (compare the end of Gu Qiu Feng and of 1585.

    00.00   (Harmonics from the closing)
                (On the recording I play the harmonic closing of the 1585 edition as a prelude.)

    Tan ren sheng neng ji he.
    Sigh that we in life can only take so much.

  1. 00.12   客窗夜話 Evening Talk by a Guest's Window
                (1585: 羈情旅思 Restrained feelings, wandering thoughts)

    情旅思,故國他鄉。        久相別,嘆那參商。
    Ji qing lü si, gu guo ta xiang. Jiu xiang bie, tan na Shen Shang
    Restrained feelings, wandering thoughts, the old home country vs elsewhere, we have been separated so long, sighing like Orion and Antares.

    Hu xiang jian, xi ye fei chang. Dui ci deng guang, liang su zhong chang.
    A sudden meeting, and joy, too, is overwhelming. By the light from a lamp we two express our feelings.

    Shi tai duo you yan liang, ge lu he ku feng shuang, feng shuang feng shuang li ming jiang.
    Often the rich are fawned upon and the poor shunned, the guest's road has such bitter winds and frost, winds and frost, winds and frost, by wealth and fame tied down.

    Wu Chu dong nan wang, kan na jiang shan xiong zhuang.
    Towards Wu and Chu southeastward look, and see the rivers and mountains in all their majesty.

    Xin fu hua lian chuang, bai nian shi jiu shu kuang.
    Confidential words spoken at bedside, with centuries of poems and wine unrestrained.

    (These lyrics and their music are also used for Section 8 and Section 11)

  2. 00.55   感古慨今 Grateful to old; regret new
                (1585: same title)

    Jin gu a, tan ying xiong, shei shi ying xiong?
    Now olden days, ah; mourn heroes: who are the heroes?

    Ji nong fu, yu yu weng, nan yang dong hai, yi ju cheng kong.
    Tell of the farmer, bring up the old fisherman, south seas and eastern oceans: they come up then become nothing.

    Si yi wo long, ba ye ye,..., yu jin jie yi cheng kong, cheng kong.
    Recall the Sleeping Dragon (Zhuge Liang), he was mighty, but as of today he has
    become nothing.

    Cheng kong, cheng kong, jin cheng kong
    Became nothing, became nothing, completely become nothing.

  3. 01.30   吟詩酌酒 Humming a poem and pouring out wine
                (1585: same title)

    Tuo zhu ji ye, yin lü a, bing you shi mo.
    Spit out pearls, regulated music notes, disease has poetry deliriums.

    Liu lü shi weng, ya yin yun ye nan he, ...
    Six tones of the poetry elder, elegant sounds hard to harmonize.

    Jin po luo, ..., li hua zhu ye, xiang wei geng tuo.
    Golden wine vessels, with pear blossom and bamboo leaves, from the fragrance flavors more flushed.

    Bi you
    chong mo, Gao yang bei ru he? Li, Du ru he?
    (Thus) is the nose intoxicated (?). So how about Gaoyang-types (like Liu Bang)? How about Li Bai and Du Fu? (?)

    Ru he ru he geng ru he?
    How are they? How are they? Even more how are they?

    Ri kong guo, bin po suo. Rong yan a, jian xiao mo,
    The sun above passes by, side hair in spirals. Appearance colored, we gradually idle away.

    Xiao mo, xiao mo, jian xiao mo.
    Idle away, idle away, gradually idle away.

  4. 02.14   No title
                (1585: 時世問答 Discussing timely topics)

    Xie Tiao ye, ..., bu zhai dong shan, qi le dai ru he?
    Xie Tiao, he had divination done at Dongshan, but his luck treated him how?

    Chun lu Zhang Han yi jiang dong.
    Songjiang river perch made
    Zhang Han think of East of the River.

    Jia Yi ye, ..., qu yu Chang Sha, qi zhong dai ru he?
    Jia Yi, like Qu Yuan at Changsha: how did their loyalty treat them?

    Tu er ben bo.
    Banished like vagabonds.

  5. 02.40   No title (comment on starting motif)
                (1585: 問答輕聲 Quiet Conversation)

    Yin xian ye jie qian ding, xing wang ye jie qian ding.
    Hidden or glorified, it is all pre-ordained, flourishing or perishing is all pre-ordained.

    Fu gui ye jie qian ding, pin jian ye jie qian ding.
    Riches and wealth are all pre-ordained, poverty and worthlessness are all pre-ordained.

    Cheng ye bai ye shei ren zheng? yao kan Qian Tang yue,
    Achievement and failure: who can prove them? Or from a distance look at the Qiantang (Hangzhou) moon.

    Kai wo shi ren xing, yuan ye yi ban ming.
    The sighs of our poets rise up; when (the moon is) round it has its standard brightness.

    Que ye yi ban ming, .....
    When not yet full it has its usual brightness.

    Yue yuan yue que qian gu ming.
    Moon round or moon partial, throughout the ages it shines.

    (These lyrics and their music are also used for Section 10)

  6. 03.15   No title
                (1585: 抵掌一嘯 Clapping and Singing)

    Tian ya a, hai jiao a; li bie a, huan hui a.
    Heaven's shore, ah; sea's edges, ah; departure, ah; happy meetings, ah.

    Jiao qi a, jin lan a; chen lei a, shen jiao xin qi a.
    Glue and Lacquer, ah; golden balustrades, ah; extended thunder, ah; spiritual accord with close friends, ah.

    Ren sheng huan hui shao bie li duo.
    (But) in life happy meetings are seldom, being apart often.

    Hua luo, hua kai, ke nai he?
    Flowers fall, flowers open, what can we do?

  7. 03.50   No title
                1585 combined this with its Section 6.
                The lyrics here resemble those of a published Yuan sanqu)

    Lan yun wo, ..., xing shi shi jiu, zui shi chang ge Tai Ping Ge
    In our idle cloud nest, with sobriety comes poetry and wine, then when drunk we sing a Great Peace Song.

    Jin kuai le,..., ren sheng fu gui, you ru na ge hua kai luo.
    Exhausting pleasure, fortune and wealth in life: how they compare with the opening and decaying of flowers.

    Ren sheng huan hui shao bie li duo,
    In life happy meetings are seldom, being apart often.

    Hua luo hua kai ke nai he?
    Flowers fall, flowers bud, but what can we do about it?

  8. 04.23   No title (says to repeat Section 1)
                (1585 Section 7: 清談良夜 Clear talk on a comfortable evening)

    「按羈情疏狂止」"Follow 'Restrain feelings' to 'unrestrained', then stop"

  9. 05.06   千里一方 A thousand li in one direction (This is the fourth section title in 1511.)
                (1585 第八段 Section 8 has this title and similar music)

    Bei zhen Sha tuo, qian li yun he.
    In the northern district's Shatuo (region), for a thousand li the clouds gather.

    Jie Huang He, ..., liu gun jin po. Zhi an Xi huang ren kuai le,
    From where it meets the Yellow River, (waters) flow tumbling with golden ripples, just so that the great Xi Huang (emperor
    Fuxi) and his people are happy.

    Kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Happy, happy, relaxed and happy.

    Lan yun wo, ..., ri yue ru suo, bu zhi sui shi guo huo kuai le, kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Lazy cloud nest, sun and moon like a shuttle, not knowing about time while going through life, so happy, happy, happy relaxed and happy.

    Jin kuai le, ..., shi tai can po, zhi an Xi huang ren kuai le,
    Exhaustively happy, worldly ways broken connection, just the great Xi emperor (Fuxi) and people are happy.

    Kuai le, kuai le, xian kuai le.
    Happy, happy, relaxed and happy.

  10. 06.03   No title (the text here means repeat Section 5)
                (1585 第九段:半夜十年 Section 9: A decade of midnights)

    「按隱顯而故明止」 "Follow from 'Hidden glory' to 'old fame' then stop"

  11. 06.39   No title (the text here means repeat Section 1)
                (1585 第十段:神交心契 Section 10: Spiritual accord with close friends;
                in 1585 this section is a repeat of Sections 6 and 7)

    「復按羈情疏狂止」 "From 'Restrain feelings' to 'unrestrained' then stop"

Coda 07.21   (Added from 1585 泛音 harmonic ending: not in 1511)16
                      (Compare 1585 coda with that of Gu Qiu Feng, #35 in 1511)

淡交人易,義合古難,        嘆人生能幾何。
Dan jiao ren yi, yi he gu nan, tan ren sheng neng ji he.
Bland connections with others are easy, (but) the righteousness of old is difficult;
            (So) sigh that we in life can only take so much.

End:   07.42

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Ke Chuang Yehua 客窗夜話; 5890.228 yehua has quotes from Li Bai and Su Shi.

2. Tuning and mode
Taigu Yiyin does not group melodies by tuning or mode; later it was grouped with shang mode melodies.

3. 劉基像 Ming dynasty image of Liu Ji  
The image above is from the Ming dynasty 三才圖會 Sancai Tuhui; at right is a less clear copy of the same image from 2270.745. Online one can also find images of a Liu Ji temple and grave near Wenzhou. The inscription on the image says 誠意伯劉公 Master Liu the Sincere Elder (see next footnote).

4. Liu Ji (劉基; 1311 - 1375; further details)
2270.745 劉基字伯溫 Liu Ji, style name Bowen, nickname 郁離子 Youlizi, posthumous name 文成 Wencheng; Collection of the Sincere Elder (誠意伯集 Chengyi Bo Ji 36363.66) seems to be a name later given to a collection of his essays. He was a noted essayist and poet as well as an early advisor to Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty. He was born in 青田 Qingtian (upriver from Wenzhou in modern Zhejiang province); near here, in re-named Wencheng county, are a temple and grave dedicated to him.

Liu Ji wrote an essay about a man named Gong Zhichao making a qin with a wonderful sound, but no one appreciating it until it was buried for a while, so people thought it was old. The original text is included in his separate bio notes.)

5. Newly Added

6. Ten section version of Kechuang Yehua
Most later versions of this melody have nine or ten sections. The following are the ten titles from the 1585 version of this melody. In my transcription of the 1511 Taigu Yiyin version I re-numbered its four sections into 10 sections, adding the titles below at the relevant points in the notation. This can be seen clearly under Music and Lyrics above: the 1511 section titles are the same as the titles of 1585 sections 1, 2, 3 and 8; the music also corresponds.

1585 客窗夜話 Kechuang Yehua (QQJC IV/361)

  1. 羈情放思 Restrain feelings and arrange thoughts (1511: 客窗夜話 Guests at a Window have and Evening Talk (harmonics)
  2. 慨古傷今 Sigh for the old; grieved by the new (1511: 感古慨今 Grateful to old; regret new
  3. 題詩酌酒 Dash off a poem and pour wine (1511: 吟詩酌酒 Hum a poem and pour wine
  4. (時世問答 Discussing timely topics; 1511 no title)
  5. (問答輕聲 Quiet conversation; 1511 no title)
  6. (抵掌一嘯 Clapping and singing; 1511 no title)
    (See separate comment on these lyrics for the second half of this section)
  7. (清談良夜 Light talk on a pleasant evening [harmonics; 1511: Repeat music and lyrics of section 1])
  8. 千里一方 One thousand li in one direction (1511: same; music/lyrics similar)
  9. (半夜十年 Half a night, 10 years [like section 5; 1511: repeat music and lyrics of section 5])
  10. (神父心契 [like sections 6 and 7; 1511: repeat music and lyrics of section 1 [harmonics])
    (Coda [harmonics; 1511: none, but I add them from Gu Qiu Feng, as in several later handbooks])

7. Tracing Ke Chuang Yehua
Zha's Guide 14/153/286 has 24 entries from 1511 to 1899; to this should be added a few more, such as the one in 1961, and also 客窗新語 Kechuang Xinyu (only in 1609) as it has basically the same music, though with new lyrics. This list now has 26, as follows (note that, although both this melody and Xuechuang Yehua are grouped with shang mode melodies, they are never placed next to each other):

  1. Taigu Yiyin (1511); I/318; 4 sections but should be 7, with 3 repeated: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 5, 1
  2. Faming Qinpu (1530); I/375; 9 sections [its #4 has 2 sections]; lyrics; attributes Liu Bowen
  3. Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539); II/105; 9 sections [omits first repat of #1]; lyrics
  4. Qinpu Zhengchuan (1561); II/486; 7 sections (combines 4 and 5; repeats at end as 1511); not in Wugang Qinpu; lyrics
  5. Wuyin Qinpu (1579); IV/208; no lyrics, no commentary; 7 sections untitled, none repeated, otherwise music quite similar to others
  6. Chongxiu Zhenchuan Qinpu (1585); IV/361; 10 sections titled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 5, 6]; lyrics
  7. Yuwu Qinpu (1589); VI/37; 10 sections; lyrics
  8. Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (Taigu Yiyin; 1589); VII/73; lyrics
  9. Zhenchuan Zhengzong Qinpu (1609; not 1589); VII/190; called 客窗新語 Kechuang Xinyu but still related; new lyrics
  10. Qinshu Daquan (1590); V/492; 10; interlineal comments; lyrics
  11. Wenhuitang Qinpu (1596); VII/205; 10; lyrics
  12. Luqi Xinsheng (1597); VII/14; 11; lyrics
  13. Zangchunwu Qinpu (1602); VI/344; 10; lyrics; copy of 1589
  14. Yangchuntang Qinpu (1611); VII/457; 8 (omits 2 repeated at end; titled); lyrics
  15. Qin Shi (1611); VIII/23; 11; lyrics; copy of 1597
  16. Lixing Yuanya (1618); 10; lyrics VIII/203
  17. Lexian Qinpu (1623); VIII/365; 10; lyrics
  18. Yixuan Qinjing (1623); IX/408; 10; lyrics
  19. Qinyuan Xinchuan Quanbian (1670); XI/356; 8+coda; first one without lyrics. A comment says "revised": this handbook mostly consists of pieces said to have been copied from earlier sources: is this an earlier version simply copied without the lyrics? It says "Taigu Yiyin", but is not copied from 1511 or 1589
  20. Fanshi Qin Se Hebi (1691); XIII/6; 9; lyrics; gongche as well as se tablature
  21. Lixuezhai Qinpu (1730); XVIII/15; 10; lyrics; "revised"
  22. Yiluxuan Qinpu (1802) XIX/147 (1802); 9 (does not repeat last two sections); no lyrics; "Taigu Yiyin" but is not copied from 1511 or 1589
  23. Tianwen'ge Qinpu (1876); XXV/367; 8; no lyrics; "Qinyuan" (but omits coda)
  24. Xishaoge Qin Se Hepu (1890); XXVI/445; 9+1; no lyrics
  25. Mingshengge Qinpu (1899); 9 sections including coda; apparently no lyrics but not in QQJC
  26. Yan Yi Xi Qin Zhai Qinpu (1961); 9+1; no lyrics; begins with four double stops but still related to 1511; afterword begins by mentioning a poem by Li Shangyin; it also mentions 1730 version, but they are different

Based on my musical reconstruction ("dapu") of the earliest surviving version, as well as my casual examination of the differing versions and their differing lyrics, it is apparent that a fuller examination would make a very interesting research topic. Its popularity in the Ming dynasty is presumably related to the significance of Liu Ji, but it is puzzling that, while this melody appeared so often in the Ming dynasty, the lyrics were continuously revised (all the original lyrics are linked from below). Also of note is its absence from Xlutang Qintong, the most complete of the mid-Ming handbooks.

As soon as the Ming dynasty ended this melody quickly lost favor. The first one published after the end of the Ming dynasty (#19 Qinyuan Xinchuan Quanbian; 1670) is also the first one without lyrics. To my ears the melody should have been able to survive quite well without the lyrics: it can be quite lovely and in fact seems to me more by nature an instrumental melody than it is a song. In 1579 it was included in a handbook that had no lyrics for any of its melodies, but after this no significant handbook seems to have treated it as a purely instrumental melody. Note that #22 also says "Taigu Yiyin" (the significance of this is not clear) and #23 is a copy of 1670; #20 and #24 are duets with se zither, an archaic instrument then played basically for ritual reasons.

8. Reviving Kechuang Yehua
Examples include:

  1. A version of the melody published in the 1961 Yan Yi Xi Qin Zhai Qinpu (it is related to the present melody but I am not clear about its origins).
  2. A reconstruction by 高培芬 Gao Peifen, a Zhucheng school player who is a music professor at 山東師範大學 Shandong Normal University. She apparently used the tablature included in 琴譜合璧大全, one of the versions of the 1585 handbook discussed further above. (Youku.)
  3. A recording (and presumably reconstruction) by 裴金寶 Pei Jinbao on Tudou; the tablature he used is quite similar to 1511 but I do not know from which handbook it comes.

My own reconstruction of the earliest version (discussed here) tries to take into account the original lyrics; they could be sung to it, though it would be easier if I played at a slower tempo. I am not sure about those listed here.

9. Qin song?
Although the melody seems predominantly instrumental, there are no techniques such as gunfu or changsuo to designate clearly an instrumental origin (as with Shuangqing Zhuan). As for changes in the lyrics over time, the footnote below has links to a relevant .pdf file.

10. Popularity of Liu Ji
Liu Ji apparently gained in popularity during the late Qing dynasty due largely to manufactured stories of his sage advice and ability to predict the future. As described in Hok-Lam Chan, Legends of the Building of Old Beijing, pp. 138-155, the stories first grew up around his home region near Wenzhou in southern Zhejiang province with the aim of promoting the status of his descendants.

In the 19th century the most famous manifestation of Liu Ji's popularity was the Flatbread Song Complete Text (燒餅歌全文 Shaobing Ge Quanwen), a set of predictions ascribed to him but probably written in the 19th century (see also Bernhard Führer, "Die Projektion der Zukunft in die Vergangenheit: Ein Versuch über Die Ballade vom angebissenen Shaobing [Shaobing-ge]"; in Hammer and Führer [eds.], Tradition und Moderne: Religion, Philosophie und Literatur in China, Bochum: Projekt Verlag, 1997; pp. 113-142).

According to the account in Shaobing Ge, one day when he came to have a snack with Liu Ji, the Ming emperor asked his advisor to make predictions about the future. Although the context in Evening Talk by a Guest's Window is also sometimes said to be a conversation between Liu Ji and the emperor, there does not seem to be any connection between its lyrics and the text of Shaobing Ge (which in any case, as mentioned above, was written much later).

11. Style of the Kechuang Yehua lyrics: Yuan sanqu?
Dr. Tian Yuan Tan 陳靝沅 Tian Yuan Tan at SOAS in London very kindly sent me the following comment regarding these lyrics:

"My impression is that the Kechuang Yehua lyrics are rather generic and they remind me of the themes and styles of Yuan dynasty sanqu songs. Hence it might be difficult to make a case for or against Liu Ji's authorship of the lyrics based on stylistic features alone. For instance, these lines in the seventh section of the lyrics (translated)


closely resemble the following Yuan sanqu:

(Source: 全元散曲 Quan Yuan Sanqu, p.339)

"I usually study sanqu only as literary texts because we have very little information on how these songs were sung or performed in the Yuan and the Ming. It would be very refreshing indeed to find out how these lyrics were put to melody."

Quite a number of such texts were set to qin melodies during the Ming dynasty. The standard method of pairing lyrics and music (details) was often criticized as musically uninteresting, perhaps because they were not sung (or perhaps could not be sung) according to the established traditional singing styles. In this connection it is interesting to hear similar criticisms of the songs from modern practicioners of such traditional song forms as 南音 nanyin.

12. Recordings
There has been at least one other recording of this melody available online: played by 陳慶隆 Chen Ching-Long, it was posted on YouTube in January 2019. However, as of 2020 it was still mislabeled as Xuechuang Yehua, which is actually a different melody.

13. Original Preface
Although there is none in 1511, the Zha Guide [397] 153 includes the text for one afterword and seven prefaces, beginning with the one in 1585, which credits Liu Ji.

14. Music and lyrics
Comments on the lyrics and music:

For a more detailed examination of the lyrics the attached .pdf (1.4MB) shows the lyrics from all the surviving versions, copied from the Zha Guide pp. [810-834] 286-310. As can be seen, there is considerable variety, even where the attribution remains with Liu Ji. One reason for the variety is filler words (e.g., 的, 那) used to make the lyrics fit an idea of how they should be paired with the music (details). Another might be that the original version was corrupt (e.g., from someone trying to write down something heard but not seen), and so later people were continuously trying to guess the original.

The present 1511 edition has only four unnumbered section titles, but it seems to divide the piece into 10 or 11 sections; the additional titles here all come from 1585. The original 1511 section titles are the ones here numbered 1, 2, 3 and 8. As can be seen, the lyrics (and melodies) for sections 7, 9 and 10 come from sections 1, 5 and 1 respectively.

15. Section 7
1511 has a circle here indicating a new section, and others, such as 1596, also have this as a separate section;

16. Harmonic ending
In some later versions this closing passage is a separate section (a harmonic coda), but with basically the same words and a similar melody in 泛音 harmonics. Perhaps in 1511 there was no separate harmonic coda because the repeated Section 1 is already in harmonics.

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