Jing Ji Yin
 T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
XLTQT / ToC / Standard tuning Yu Ge 首頁
81. Absolute Repose
- zhi mode:2 standard tuning 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
靜極吟 1
Jing Ji Yin
  Original tablature from 1525 3
This melody, Jing Ji Yin, is here used as a prelude to the earliest surviving version of a standard tuning version of Yu Ge. It survives only here and in Buxuxian Qinpu (1556), where it also precedes and seems to serve as a prelude to a standard tuning version of Yu Ge. However, there are many differences between the two versions of Jing Ji Yin.4

Neither version has a separate preface and I have not yet done my own reconstruction, so as yet there is no further commentary here on the melody.5

However, it might be added that whereas early versions of the ruibin tuning Yu Ge often had a related melodic prelude (beginning with Yu Ge Diao but later usually called Le Ji Yin), this was not the case with the standard tuning Yu Ge. Thus in several other handbooks such as Taiyin Chuanxi the short melody used before its standard tuning Yu Ge was not a version of the present melody but a version of Dongting Qiu Si called Xiang Jiang Yin.6

Original Preface

Music (4 sections, ending with a harmonic coda)


Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Jing Ji Yin 靜極吟 (QQJC III/164)
43533.217 only jingji. 靜極 Jing Ji 思動 is perhaps best known as part of the expression "Jing Ji Si Dong 靜極思動". This phrase is sometimes translated as "Movement in Stillness" but it can also be translated as Stillness Leading up to Action".

The melody as well has no connection to that of 靜觀吟 Jing Guan Yin.

2. 徴調 Zhi mode
Standard tuning can also be considered as 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 . In zhi mode this same tuning also seems sometimes to be considered as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 . My tentative understanding here, based on considering the relative tuning as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2 , is that the main tonal center is 5 (transcribed as G but still a relative pitch), secondary is 1 (a fifth above 5). The open third string is avoided, as is its relative pitch (4 or relative F). 2 (B, a major third above G) is quite common, but so also is 1 (C), though it is a fourth above the main tonal center. So far this is not unusualy. However, there are three places in the first section where a note does not fit into this analyis. Two of these might work: the very first note (flatted 7, which is a minor third above the tonal center, something not uncommon); and a sharped 1 (C#) also in the first line. The third of them, however, seems unequivocally to be a mistake; it occurs in the middle of the third column, where the "上十往來" makes no musical sense (perhaps it should be "上九往來: 十 and 九 might easily be misread; in this case the "合" that comes just before this, in a place that makes no sense, would logically come right after the "九").

For more information about 徵調 zhi mode see Shenpin Zhi Yi. For modes in general see Modality in Early Ming Qin Tablature. (Return)
  The tablature from 步虛僊琴譜 Buxuxian Qinpu (1556)    
3. Image: The original tablature
The example above, from 1525, is in QQJC III/164.
The example at right, from 1556, is in QQJC III/286.

4. Version in Buxuxian Qinpu (1556)
See Zha Guide 20/--/--. The 1556 version, shown at right, was copied from QQJC III/286. Differences between that and the 1525 version can be found throughout the melody, but the most noticeable differences are that the 1556 version has only three sections, with the third sort of combining the 1525 sections 3 and 4, but the material of the 4th section (see * in the fourth column of tablature from the left) is in 1556 much condensed and there is no closing harmonic coda.

5. Source of preludes
Sometimes the melodies used in handbooks such as 1525 included melodies specifically designed as preludes for the piece that followed. Other times they seem to take an existing melody and apply it as a prelude.

6. Dongting Qiu Si as prelude
Elsewhere Dongting Qiu Si is used as a prelude not to Yu Ge but to Zui Yu Chang Wan, a melody associated with the region around Lake Taihu. The most famous Dongting is the lake into which the Xiangjiang flows. However, Taihu also has a Dongting island (with cave of same name). This relationship between Dongting Qiu Si and Xiang Jiang Yin is thus particularly interesting (see further comment under Dongting Qiu Si

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