Tiao Xian Pin
 T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
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XLTQT / ToC   /   Yi Sa Jin Listen to my recording 聽錄音
01. String Tuning Melody
- grouped with gong mode, standard tuning: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6, but actually no fixed mode 2
  (See also Yi Sa Jin and Xianweng Cao)
調絃品 1
Tiao Xian Pin

Xilutang Qintong3 places this melody before all others, before even the gong modal prelude, perhaps indicating it was intended as a warming up piece. However, almost the same melody occurs as the seventh piece in Fengxuan Xuanpin (1539), with the title Yi Sa Jin (First Scatter Gold), and with lyrics. Pieces in Fengxuan Xuanpin have no explanations, nor does this is one in Xilutang Qintong, so its origins remain obscure. Zha Fuxi in his Guide says Tiao Xianpin came from a Ming dynasty folk melody while he said Yi Sa Jin was "pre-Ming". No evidence is given for either assertion.

These melodies have no musical relation to the (apparently) later beginner's piece (or warm-up piece) Caoman Yin (Strum Silk Prelude), which developed into Melody of the Transcendent Venerable One.

Section Two, which uses only the first to fourth strings, is pitched a fifth lower than Section One, which uses only the fourth to seventh strings. Otherwise the two sections are identical.4

Original afterword


Music of Tiao Xian Pin
Two sections (untitled); see
my transcription; timings follow my recording 聽錄音

00.00   1.
00.45   2.
01.40       End (no closing harmonics)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. String Tuning Melody (調絃品 Tiao Xian Pin)
36488.92 tiao xian says "tune the melody of qin and se."

2. Modes
For more on modes see Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature

3. Xilutang Qintong (1525) was compiled by Wang Zhi, who lived on the southeast side of Huang Shan mountain in Anhui province. Wang in his introduction says he spent 30 years collecting the tunes.

4. Although the differences between Tiao Xianpin and Yi Sa Jin look small, my understanding of tablatures suggest that the rhythms they imply are quite different.

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Chart Tracing 調絃品 Tiao Xianpin

This chart combines two entries in Zha Fuxi's Guide:
      Tiao Xianpin
18/--/-- (only 1525)
      Yi Sa Jin 15/160/348 (only 1539)
A cursory examination is sufficient to show these are two versions of the same melody
    (year; QQJC Vol/page)
Further information
(QQJC = 琴曲集成 Qinqu Jicheng; QF = 琴府 Qin Fu)
12. 西麓堂琴統
      (1525; III/62 [details])
2; Section 1 uses strings 4-7; Section 2 transposes melody to strings 1-4;
No commentary or lyrics
14. 風宣玄品
      (1539; II/83 [details])
2TL; melody very similar to 1525 (repeat 1st phrase of S1 & S2; add 3 word coda);
No commentary; the lyrics begin, "初臨寶藏啓開鑰...."

Return to the annotated handbook list or to the Guqin ToC.