Faming Qinpu
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Faming Qinpu
Qin Handbook of Revelations 2
By Huang Longshan3 of Yiyang,4 
發明琴譜 1
Faming Qinpu: How to put on strings  
Is this Huang Longshan himself? 5    
This handbook has 25 melodies, 16 with lyrics, nine without. The nine instrumental melodies are all copies from earlier publications; the 16 songs are mostly related to earlier publications: four have new titles, but one of these (Qiu Jiang Wan Diao) is related to earlier songs with different titles. Thus the handbook actually has the earliest surviving versions of only three melodies.

As for the four melodies that survive first in Faming Qinpu, I have reconstructed (transcribed and recorded) all of them. The four are:6

  1. Qiujiang Wan Diao (3. Autumn River Evening Fishing; related to earlier Spring River melodies!)
  2. Sheng De Song (22. Hymn of Grand Moral Virtue)
  3. Yangguan Sandie (23. Thrice Parting for Yangguan, earliest short version)
  4. Shiba Xueshi Deng Yingzhou (24. Eighteen Scholars ascend Yingzhou)

For further information about Faming Qinpu see:

The handbook begins with a short preface by Huang Longshan himself. However, it has neither been transcribed into searchable text nor translated.7

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Faming Qinpu References
    23178.64 發明 faming: name of a spirit bird;
    in Shi Ji 68, "reveal";
    in science, to come to an important understanding.

The full name of this handbook in QQJC is 新刊發明琴譜 Xinkan Faming Qinpu (Newly Engraved Faming Qinpu).

2. Alternate translation: Qin Handbook for Spreading Clarity

3. Huang Longshan 黃龍山
48904.1129 concerns only "Yellow Dragon Mountain", mentioning three (in Anhui, Zhejiang and Shaanxi). As for the man, I have found no further information beyond what is in his preface, which is signed, "弋陽黃龍山育金陵精舍謹書 Respectfully written by Huang Longshan of Yiyang (in Jiangxi province, see below) while living in a pleasant hut in Jinling" (Nanjing). Many handbooks were compiled around this time in Nanjing, and it is not clear whether Huang Lonshan's melodies and/or style of melodies originated there or whether it was something he brought there with him. See QSCB, Chapter 7 and further comments.

Hsu Wenying, p. 224, mentions a 李開先發明琴譜 Faming Qinpu by Li Kaixian (1502 - 1568; Wikipedia), a prolific biographer and one of the "eight great scholars" during the Jiaqing reign (1522 - 67), noted for his connection to opera. She references Li Kaixian's Ming biography, but she does not say specifically that it says he wrote a Faming Qinpu. There is in fact a reference to a Li Kaixian Faming Qinpu in Qianqingtang Shumu, so this is perhaps where Hsu got her information. However, this is only a listing and it is the only one I have found so far.

Furthermore, although one should perhaps consider the possibility that "Huang Longshan" was a pseudonym, it seems unlikely that he was in fact Li Kaixian, in particular because he would presumably have been too young. Further regarding this, on 6/7/06 Daniel Bryant sent me the following message,

"(Li wrote) one biography of a blind musician, but it has nothing to say about the music. Since Li was a Ming playwright, he would have had at least a working knowledge of the musical tradition, but that's as far as I would dare surmise without additional research. I have done a quick check of the union list of rare books in China and the index to collectanea and also had a look at Li's epitaph, probably the most detailed contemporary document about his life (in Guochao Xiancheng Lu, 70.33a). Neither of the indices includes a qinpu written or published by him. The epitaph refers at the end to his having left 21 titles of various sorts in addition to his collected poetry and prose, but it doesn't say anything about what was in them. So, I don't see where Hsu Wenying got her information (which is not to say that she made it up; there's just not anything in the most obvious places)."

More recent internet searches show the Qianqintang Shumu reference but no further information.

4. Another Jiangxi province handbook?
弋陽 Yiyang is a town in Jiangxi province about 100 miles east of 南昌 Nanchang, where Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425) was compiled. It is about the same distance south of Huangshan, where Taigu Yiyin (1511) was compiled. Yiyang is on the 信江 Xin River, which flows west into Poyang Lake. The river is fed in part by streams coming down from 武夷山 Wuyi Shan to the south. The preface was "respectfully written while lodging at a pleasant hut in Nanjing".

5. From Folio I, the second folio page, of Faming Qinpu; QQJC I/213

6. Progress report on reconstructing these four Faming Qinpu melodies
Melodies with lyrics provide a particular challenge when reconstructing: assuming the pairing was done in a knowledgable manner, translation is essential to making the lyrics and melody fit each other. I am thus particularly tentative in my reconsructions if I have not yet translated the lyrics. For the four that have reconstructed from this handbook here is a brief accounting:

  1. Qiujiang Wan Diao (Autumn River Evening Fishing
    My translation of the lyrics is tentative and I do not sing them in the recording.
  2. Yangguan Sandie (Thrice Parting for Yangguan, earliest short version)
    The lyrics are translated, and I sing them in my recording.
  3. Shiba Xueshi Deng Yingzhou (18 Scholars ascend Yingzhou)
    Grouped with Ying Zhou; my translation of the lyrics is not complete and I play the melody much too fast for them to be sung in the recording.
  4. Sheng De Song (Hymn of Grand Moral Virtue)
    I have recorded my reconstruction, but my tranlsation of the lyrics is tentative in places and my transcription will eventually need some revision.

In all cases I have tried to sing the lyrics by themselves (usually silently) to test how well they seem to fit the melody. For a performance a separate singer would be necessary.

7. Preface by Huang Longshan
The original text begins,

君子之於琴也,觀其深矣。夫琴音之所由生也,其本則吾心之出之也。是故節物以和心,和心以協聲,協聲以諧音,諧音以著文。文之達也,天地將為昭焉。不但適性情,舒血脈,理吾之身而已也,夫斯之謂深。顧琴雖作於聖人而譜則昉於後世.... ....

This comprises the first six of 19 lines. The preface talks about playing old melodies but does not seem to convey any personal information.

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