Taiyin Chuanxi
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Taiyin Chuanxi
Transmission of the Great Sounds 1

This handbook consists of 81 melodies, none has lyrics; ten seem to have their earlier known occurrence here.2 All are preludes to longer melodies, as follows:

  1.   #6. Gufang Yin
  2.   #8. Ziyi Yin
  3. #10. Jiadun Yin
  4. #12. Qingxu Yin (commentary)
  5. #23. Junzi Yin
  6. #25. Duanjin Yin
  7. #27. Zhaozhao Yin
  8. #47. Chunyi Yin
  9. #57. Ganhuai Yin
  10. #59. Qinshan Yin

The compiler of this handbook, Li Ren, was apparently a scholar-official originally from Shandong province.3

According to the Preface by Zha Fuxi, Li Ren's handbook has melodies collected north of the Yangzi River. These were then transmitted south of the Yangzi, where many of them were published in Xingzhuang Taiyin Buyi (1557)4 and Xingzhuang Taiyin Xupu (1559)5. Those two Xingzhuang handbooks, compiled by Xiao Luan perhaps in Nanjing,6 were said to represent melodies in the Xumen Orthodox Tradition.

It should be noted that many of the melodies in Li Ren's Taiyin Chuanxi are published in versions identical or very similar to the same titles in Shen Qi Mi Pu.7 However, the versions of the melodies from Li Ren's handbooks that are included in the two Xingzhuang handbooks seem mostly to differ from the versions in Shen Qi Mi Pu.8

Of further note are comparisons between melodies in the Xingzhuang handbooks and those in two other important handbooks published around this time, Wugang Qinpu (1546) and Qinpu Zhengchuan (1561): see the Comparative chart. Qinpu Zhengchuan has 71 melodies, including the 42 melodies published in Wugang Qinpu, plus a further 29 from the Song family tradition. Wugang Qinpu was said to represent the Xumen Orthodox tradition, suggesting Wugang Qinpu melodies should be similar to those of the Xingzhuang handbooks, also said to represent the Xumen orthodox tradition.9

Taiyin Chuanxi was apparently located after Zha Fuxi's original research work of the 1950s, so his Guide does not include its melodies.

All 80 of the melodies in Taiyin Chuanxi (except for what is here considered #1, the exercises called Cao Man Yin) have prefaces beginning, "Mountain Friend, having examined the tablature, says".10 Mountain Friend (You Shan) was a nickname of Li Ren himself.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Taiyin Chuanxi 太音傳習
The characters 太音 tai yin immediately connect this book with the following two, #19 Xingzhuang Taiyin Buyi and #20 Xingzhuang Taiyin Xupu. Wu Zhao mentions musical connections.

2. Melodies with earliest occurrence in Taiyin Chuanxi
All have brief prefaces, usually connecting them to the following melody; see also the Table of Contents. I have not yet reconstructed any of these.

3. 李仁 Li Ren
Li Ren (Bio/886): style name 元夫 Yuanfu, was from 東阿 Dong A in Shandong; he attained his jinshi during 1522-67, then became a scholar-official, eventually rising to 兵部侍郎 Vice Minister in the Ministry of War. (14819.193xxx.) In his afterword and comments on melodies he refers to himself as Friend of Mountains (友山 You Shan).

4. Taiyin Chuanxi melodies not in Taiyin Buyi
All but 10 of the 81 melodies in Taiyin Chuanxi are included in Taiyin Buyi. The 10 not in TYBY are #s 5, 14, 15, 16, 17, 31, 32, 35, 36 and 72. However, the versions are often different.

5. Taiyin Chuanxi melodies also in Taiyin Buyi
Only a few of the melodies in Taiyin Chuanxi are also in Taiyin Xupu.

6. Compilation date for Taiyin Chuanxi
The Taiyin Chuanxi prefaces have dates from 1552 to 1561. The fact that the compiler Li Ren's own preface is dated 1552 may suggest that he compiled the melodies around that date, but the book remained in handcopy form until 1561. Since many melodies were then published in the Xingzhuang handbooks, with apparently a Nanjing connection, perhaps Li Ren's handbook was also published in Nanjing. Based on the theory that the melodies were actually compiled in 1552, this is often given here as the primary date.

7. Shen Qi Mi Pu melodies also in Taiyin Chuanxi
Shen Qi Mi Pu had 15 modal preludes and 49 titled melodies. Taiyin Chuanxi has 12 modal preludes and 69 titled melodies. All but two these 12 modal preludes (Guxian and Fugu) are related to SQMP preludes. 32 of the 70 titled melodies are related to 32 of the 49 titled SQMP melodies, though not always with the same title. The 17 omitted SQMP titles are #s 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 24, 25, 27, 47, 48 and 50.

8. Xingzhuang handbooks' relationship to Shen Qi Mi Pu
Shen Qi Mi Pu was compiled in Nanchang, but many of the melodies are thought to have originated in a handbook compiled in Hangzhou during the Song dynasty. The comments in this paragraph suggest either that the melodies in Shen Qi Mi Pu did not come from the Xumen orthodox tradition, or that the Xumen orthodox tradition was developing many of the SQMP melodies further (suggesting that it was quite an active tradition in the early Ming dynasty.)

9. Xumen orthodox tradition
There is some further discussion of this under Qinpu Zhengchuan and Taiyin Xupu, but to my knowledge there are no detailed studies comparing the versions of qin melodies published in these handbooks.

10. 友山考譜曰 Youshan kao pu yue
Li Ren signs his afterword 友山 "You Shan". See IV, p.187. See also the afterword by 葉筌 Ye Quan (IV, p.186).

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