Moufu Kuang Jun: Moufu Admonishes his Lord
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094. Moufu Admonishes his Lord
- yu mode, standard tuning:2 5 6 1 2 3 5 6
- also called Summons for Counsel Ode 3
謀父匡君 1
Moufu Kuang Jun
一名祈招詩 Qizhao Shi
Mistakes corrected in the original Section 4 4      
The melody Moufu Kuang Jun, found only in Xilutang Qintong,5 is connected to a theme common in Confucian literature: a counselor must tell his lord to act properly. If this good counsel is taken, the lord will succeed; if this good counsel is not taken, the lord will fail. The counselor in the present case, the Honorable Duke Moufu,6 is recorded as having used the lyrics of a poem called Qizhao Shi (Summons for Counsel Ode) in giving this advice. These lyrics are used to begin each of the nine sections of the present melody.

Here Moufu was giving advice to King Mu of Zhou (r. ca. 956-918)7 on both how to treat his subjects and how to deal with neighboring countries. The connection with the poem Qizhao Shi suggests that this melody concerns how to treat subjects. In addition, the fact that the Qizhao Shi lyrics begin each of the nine sections of Moufu Kuang Jun strongly influences the structure of the melody. In this way it is quite similar to melody #28 Yanyi Ge, which also repeats a short set of lyrics at the beginning of each section.

The present lyrics are quoted from the Zuo Zhuan,8 where they are part of a story. In this story the King Ling of Chu (r. 541-529),9 who has been aggressive towards his neighbors and neglectful of his proper duties, has not heeded advice from his retainer, Zige. So Zige then relates to King Ling the story of Moufu admonishing King Mu, quoting the poem Qizhao Shi. Although King Ling then tries to follow this advice, he is unable to do so. As a result he loses his throne.

The original admonition by Moufu, as told in Annal 4 of the Annals of History,10 is quite lengthy. King Mu was about to attack a tribal group some distance from home. Moufu then spoke against this. In doing so he quotes not the Qizhao Shi but some lines that (assuming the account is accurate) later came to be included in the Book of Poetry.11 He goes on to say that although a king might attack a near neighbor who offends him, he should be much more careful about venturing so far afield as this.

The result of King Mu not taking this good counsel is related in Annal 5 of the Annals of History.12 Here it says that King Mu, who had become very fond of a certain Zao Fu because of his skill as a good driver, took a chariot with eight (or four) horses and went on an extended tour of the West, with no thought of returning home. King Yan of Xu13 took advantage of this to revolt, and so the charioteer had to rush King Mu home to quell the rebellion.

In his set of poems called Letting My Feelings Arise While Resting in My Studio (Zhai Ju Gan Xing) the neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200) commented on this poem as follows:14

Gentlemen see that Mu Tianzi (i.e., King Mu of Zhou)
over 10,000 li did thorough investigations by following wheel tracks.
(But) if it weren't for the Qizhao Shi
(the king of) Xu might have assumed the imperial position.

The legalist philosophical text Han Feizi reports that King Yan of Xu was a virtuous ruler but he lost his kingdom. This is presented as evidence that kings must be strong as well as virtuous.15

There seem to be an unusually large number of mistakes in the tablature; those from Section 4, which can be seen at right, are discusses in detail below. Perhaps the last sentence of the original afterword (below) suggests that Wang Zhi had noticed the mistakes on an old manuscript, but didn't think he knew the melody well enough to correct it himself.16

My reconstruction is incomplete, and there are no available recordings.

Original afterword (not finalized)17

King Mu of Zhou rode on an eight horse (chariot) as he rambled all over without returning (to perform his state duties). The honorable Duke Moufu admonished the king using poetry, whereupon (the king) immediately became aware of his situation, and that King Yan of Xu was about to move on the Zhou palace quarters. It is because of this story that Master Zhu Xi said, "If it weren't for the Qizhao Shi (the king of) Xu would have gone ahead and assumed the imperial position." This melody is old and elegant; those who understand it should get it for themselves.

Music and Lyrics18 ("#000000"not yet recorded, but 看五線譜 see my transcription)
Nine sections (untitled)
- each section begins by setting the Summons for Counsel Ode (Qizhao Shi) to music. These lyrics are as follows (see the original text by itself):

祈招之愔愔,式昭德音。       (the lyrics here have 昭尔德音, with the same basic meaning)
Qí zhāo zhī yīn yīn, shì zhāo dé yīn.
The summons for counsel is very solemn, appropriate to virtue and reputation.

Sī wǒ wáng dù, shì rú yù, shì rú jīn.
It considers our king's measures, (to be) worthy as gems, worthy as gold.

Xíng mín zhī lì, ér wú zuì bǎo zhī xīn.
He moulds the people's innate power, and does not have a drunkard or glutton's heart.

(Not yet recorded)
00.00   1.
00.00   2.
00.00   3.
00.00   4.
00.00   5.
00.00   6.
00.00   7.
00.00   8.
00.00   9.
00.00   Closing harmonics
00.00   End

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Moufu Kuang Jun 謀父匡君
"Moufu Admonishes his Lord"/ "Moufu Rectifies his Lord"? Moufu the (Official) Recifier?

6557.0/#6 謀父 says it 姓也 is a surname; no mention of music; there seems to be no personal information outside ?of this story.
2647 匡 kuang can also be a person's name; it has no "匡君 kuang jun", though this term is used in several places in classical writings.
2647.1 匡人 kuang ren: an official during the Zhou dynasty (Hucker: Rectifier; another Zhou title was 匡正 kuang zheng: Rectifier of Governance.)
36546 諫 jian, translated as "admonish", "remonstrate", etc., is more common than 匡 kuang in Confucian texts. 36546 does not have a "諫君 jian jun" (though see "風諫君 feng jian jun"), but it is commonly translated as "admonish one's lord". In particular "諫 jian" was used in connection with the story of Moufu in the Annals of History (reference below). The account from the Zuo Zhuan says Moufu spoke "以止王心 to restrain the king's intentions", but the afterword here in 1525 uses the word "諫 jian". As a result the melody title here assumes the two terms are interchangeable, and "kuang jun" is translated ad as "admonishes his lord".

Moufu Kuang Jun is the 94th melody in 西麓堂琴統 Xilutang Qintong, compiled by 汪芝 Wang Zhi. Its lyrics come from the 左轉,昭公 Zuo Zhuan, Chapter 31 (Duke of Zhao 12th year; ctext).

2. Yu mode (羽調 yu diao)
Main tonal center la (6, yu); secondary tonal center, mi (3, jue). For details see Shenpin Yu Yi and Modality in early Ming qin tablature.

3. Summons for Counsel Ode (祈招詩 Qizhao Shi)
25205.13 祈招 Qizhao says, "逸詩篇名 The name of a lost ode from the Book of Odes" (詩經 Shi Jing), its only reference being 左氏昭公十二年 the 12th year of Zhao Gong in the Zhuo Zhuan", where it says, "昔穆王欲肆其心,周行天下...." then eventually quotes the poem (see ctext). There is no mention of music.

Directly after the present afterword (quoting Zhu Xi) mentions Qizhao Shi it also refers to 徐方 Xu Fang, elsewhere translated as "The land of Xu" (or "the land of the Xu people"). In this regard, both 10363.27 and 3/397 徐方 refer to Shi Jing #263 常武 Always Mighty in War, which has lines such as, "徐方繹騷,震驚徐方,如雷如霆,徐方震驚。" The Xu were a people living in the Huai Valley of Shandong and Anhui; it is not clear how all this might fit in with the King Yan of Xu mentioned in this story, other than perhaps to suggest he must have been powerful and thus not to be ignored.

There has been much debate about how to translate 祈招詩 Qizhao Shi as a title, including the possibility that 招 zhao actually refers to 韶 Shao, an ancient form of music. For example,

The original text/lyrics together with transliteration and my translation are given below. Others are mentioned below.

4. Uncharacteristic mistakes   (see also in complete tablature and my transcription) A real dissonance?        
The image at right is from the bottom of the third column from the left in the image above, which includes all of Section 4. Handwritten corrections such as those in the middle two columns of Section 4 are quite rare in this handbook and close examination suggests they are not so much corrections as re-writing of blurred parts in the original. As this handbook itself is a handcopy, it is not clear when the clarifications were made/added. This is also mentioned in this comment on the afterword.

Of more important concern is the result of a strict reading of the original here. Understanding this requires understanding how qin tablature indicated finger position, specifically the difference between the old and new ways of indicating finger position, as outlined here.

The image at right shows a cluster calling for playing a 對起 duiqi (see duian) at position "六五 6 over 5" (from the previous cluster we know it must be on the third string). In the next column to the left is a series of notes that begin with playing the third string in the same position (since no change is indicated), then changing the position to "六上 above 6" for the ensuing notes down to the middle of that column. Since "六五 6 over 5" is non-idiomatic (in the style of that time it would always be written "五六 5 over 6", meaning "between the fifth and sixth positions", i.e, 5.6 in the modern system. This strongly implies that the original note (the one indicated by the image at right) should also be "六上 above 6", not the non-idiomatic "六五 6 over 5". The problem with this, as can be seen from this chart (upper version), is that none of these positions yields a pentatonic note, or indeed any note that appears elsewhere in this melody. In fact, this series of notes played with duiqi only becomes clearly pentatonic toward the bottom of the column, when the third string is stopped at "六 6" (modern system "5.9"), yielding the relative pitch mi (3, E in my transcription).

My own interpretation of this (still tentative, as I have not yet recorded my reconstruction) is to interpret "六五 6 over 5" as 六上 above 6" (5.6 in the modern system). As the chart indicates, on the third string this yields the relative pitch fa (4, or F in my transcription into staff notation). Since this fa is being played in this passage together with la (the main tonal center for this piece), it causes a feeling of tension. However, if indeed played this way, then the ensuing passage with the duiqi played at 5.9 brings a sense of resolution. (For another potential example of this see Yu Ge).

5. Tracing Moufu Kuang Jun
Zha Guide 21/189/375 lists only this one occurrence.

6. Moufu Duke of Zhai (謀父祭公 Moufu Zhai Gong)
Moufu is also called 謀父祭公 Moufu Zhai Gong, 祭公謀父 Zhai Gong Moufu or simply 謀父祭 Moufu Zhai ("zhai" means something like "master" or "the revered"). He is mentioned in several early sources, but in them his actual identity was not always certain. Of this Edward L. Shaughnessy, Rewriting Early Chinese Texts (State University of New York Press, 2006), p.59, writes the following:

It is now clear that the text's "Zhai Gong" was actually Zhai Gong Moufu 祭公謀父, an elder minister to Zhou Mu Wang 周穆王 (r.956-918 BC). This Zhai Gong Moufu was still quite welll known about 300 BC, the time when the Guodian and Shanghai Museum texts of the Zi Yi were put into their respective tombs. He is mentioned in such received texts as the Zuo Zhuan 左傳 or Zhuo's Tradition and Guo Yu 國語 or Sayings of the States, and figures prominently in the narratives of Zhou Mu Wang's reign found in the Zhu shu jinian 竹書紀年 or Bambook Annals and Mu tianzi zhuan 穆天子傳 or Biography of the Son of Heaven Mu, two other texts put into another tomb in 299 BC....

The "fu" in Moufu today literally means "father". It could also mean "old man", but at that time it seems to have been commonly found as a suffix to a name.

7. King Mu of Zhou (周穆王 Zhou Mu Wang, also written 周繆王 Zhou Mu Wang; r. 956-918)
Not Duke Mu (穆公 Mu Gong, r. 659-621), mentioned in Annal 4/14
See Annal 4 reference and Annal 5 ref. He is also mentioned in several other early sources.

8. 左傳 Zuo Zhuan reference
The Zuo Zhuan is considered to be a commentary on the 春秋 Spring and Autumn Annals. The present lyrics actually change two characters in the first line, replacing 式昭 with 昭尔; this does not seem to affect the meaning. A number of translations are available of the Zuo Zhuan. These include,

The meaning of the title for these lyrics, 祈招詩 Qi Zhao Shi, has been much debated (further above).

9. 楚靈王 King Ling of Chu
His counselor was 子革 Zige.

10. Annals of History reference 1 (for translation see Nienhauser, Vol. I. p.67)
The account, in 周本紀 Basic Annals of the Zhou, Annal 4/26, begins (ctext)

When King Mu was about to attack the Quanrong, Moufu, the Duke of Zhou, remonstrated:

The reference for the other story is below.

11. Book of Poetry Reference
The lines quoted are the last five phases of Shi Jing #273, He goes (時遇 Shi Yu). The whole poem (with the quoted lines translated here) is,



Then put away your shields and axes, then case your arrows and bows;
I have store enough of good power, To spread over all the lands of Xia, And in truth the king protected them.

Translation by Arthur Waley.

12. Annals of History reference 2 (for translation see Nienhauser, Vol. I, p.88)
In 秦本紀 Basic Annals of the Qin, Annal 5/3, King Mu of Zhou is said to have been so fond of chariots he neglected his duties and as a result 徐偃王作亂 King Yan of Xu caused disturbances. Mu's driver, 造父 Zao Fu (said to have been an ancestor of 秦 Qin) 長驅歸周,一日千里以救亂 had to drive (King Mu) a thousand li back to Zhou to straighten things out (ctext). The present afterword says King Yan of Xu "移周祚" and that as a result "徐方御宸極". "徐方" apparently means "the region of Xu", but otherwise I am not sure of the meaning. Presumably it refers to a version of the story told in the Shi Ji story.

13. 徐偃王 King Yan of Xu
Nienhauser, I, p. 88 fn 25 says Yan lived in the early 7th century BCE. 3/981 徐偃王 Xu Yan Wang quotes stories from 荀子 Xunzi (非相 Feixiang 5.5), 韓非子 Han Feizi (五蠹 Wudu), Shiji and elsewhere. The stories don't agree, but generally tell of a virtuous ruler who was not strong enough ("Yan" means cease or desist).

14. Letting My Feelings Arise While Resting in My Studio (齋居感興 Zhaiju Ganxing)
The whole poem by Zhu Xi has twenty sections. The quote above is the last line of Section 4; the whole section is:


See also 3/397 徐方, which also quotes this poem.

15. Han Feizi reference
See Watson translation "Five Vermin" Chapter 49 (五蠹 Wudu) Section 4 (ctext). Here two virtuous rulers are compared:

In ancient times King Wen lived in the area between Feng and Hao, his domain no more than a hundred li square, but he practiced benevolence and righteousness, won over the Western Barbarians, and eventually became ruler of the word. King Yan of Xu lived east of the Han River in a territory five hundred li square. He practiced benevolence and righteousness, and thirty-six states came with gifts of territory to pay him tribute, until King Wen of Jing, fearing for his own safety, called out his troops, attacked Xu, and wiped it out. Thus King Wen practiced benevolence and righteousness and became ruler of the world, but King Yan practiced benevolence and righteousness and destroyed his state. This is because benevolence and righteousness served for ancient times, but no longer serve today. So I say that circumstances differ with the age.

N.B. King Yan lived after King Wen!

16. Why not make corrections?
The original says, "此篇音調古雅,識者當自得之." Zhu Quan may have expressed a similar reticense in Shen Qi Mi Pu.

17. Original afterword
The original afterword is as follows,


Translation is so far tentative.

18. Chinese lyrics
The poem, as included in the Zuo Zhuan, is as follows:

See transliteration and translation above.

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