Longhu Qinpu
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Longhu Qinpu
Dragon Lake Qin Handbook 1
Reproduced in 琴府 Qin Fu, 19712
The original tablature3            

This handbook has 2 folios and 30 pieces; 23 have lyrics, seven have none.4 It was compiled in Xiangyang5 by Chen Tai6 (nicknamed Dragon Lake) together with three other people.7

According to the forward by Zheng Jizhi8 these four were all ordered by a local prince to study with Shi Yuezhou,9 a qin master from what is now the Wuhan area, but then living in Xiangyang.

There is also an afterword by Chen Tai that recounts similar information to that supplied by Zheng Jizhi (referred to as "Mingxian"). He also mentions Xuejiang and Qiushan.

The original printed version in the Central Library in Taiwan is apparently the only surviving copy. It is in bad condition, so Tong Kinwoon had to make a number of corrections as he hand-copied it.10

Most of the melodies are related to versions of the same title in other handbooks. However, there are at least two that do not seem to have survived in earlier versions:

Dr. Tong's preface in Qin Fu, not yet translated, mostly concerns the condition of the original. He suggests that only one copy has survived because the melodies emphasized qin songs, which were not much appreciated by later qin players. He writes that Shi (and/or Chen?) was a qin master in Xiangyang.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Longhu Qinpu
49812.xxx; XII/1483; 龍湖 Longhu is traditionally said to be a place the Yellow Emperor went while riding on a dragon (reference is to YFSJ); also refers to a 朝廷 court.

2. 唐健垣,琴府 Taiwan, Lianshi Chuban She, 1981.

3. The original tablature
As mentioned above, the original of this was in bad condition and so for this another reasons Dr. Tong copied out the whole book by hand for inclusion in Qin. Subsequently the library has apparently digitized it, at least in part. The image here is from an archive site.

4. Seven melodies without lyrics
See ToC #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #28 and #29. All are grouped at the end, as though perhaps the compilers hadn't gotten around to adding the lyrics yet.

5. 襄陽 Xiangyang
Xiangyang is in northern Hubei province about 400 km up the 漢水 Han River from Wuhan. See also Xiangyang Ge

6. Chen Tai 陳泰,字(號?)龍湖
There seems to be no further information available about Chen Tai. In his afterword he calls himself 襄陽空塵山人陳泰 Empty-dust Mountain-dwelling Chen Tai from Xiangyang.

7. The four fellow students of 石月舟 Shi Yuezhou were (明中葉)
陳泰 Chen Tai, nickname 龍湖 Longhu
黃祿 Huang Lu, nickname 黃龍江 Huang Longjiang
王舉 Wang Ju, nickname 王槐泉、Wang Huaiquan
劉倫 Liu Lun, nickname 劉忠菴 Liu Zhong'an
The proper names were given in the preface by Zheng Jizhi.

8. Zheng Jizhi 鄭繼之 (nickname 鳴峴 Mingxian?)
He begins his forward by saying he was born in 峴襄 Xianxiang (8287.xxx but 8267.1 is 峴山 Xianshan, presumably specifying that this was the Xian mountain near 襄陽 Xiangyang (there are others). He seems to suggest that the book was compiled as a result of him recommending the qin to (朝)襄莊王 Prince Zhuang of Xiang (35354.xxx; 31795.9xxx). The prince then ordered the four people mentioned above to study the qin, adding that 適有江夏月舟石生而過襄焉 at the time Shi Yuezhou of Jiangxia was living in Xiangyang, so they studied with him.

9. Shi Yuezhou 石月舟 (石國禎 Shi Guozhen)
Shi Yuezhou is mentioned in the preface by Zheng Jizhi, but the main information about Shi seems to be that in the preface by Chen Tai to the one melody in the handbook directly credited to Shi, 秋聲 Qiu Sheng. The preface there says Shi's 諱名 proper name was 石國禎 Shi Guozhen (24574.xxx), and that he was from 古楚城江夏 the old Chu city of Jiangxia (various places in Hubei, mostly in Wuhan area. It adds that from birth he was clever and exceptional, enjoying refined sounds. It does not mention when or why he moved to 襄陽 Xiangyang, which is about 400 km up the Han river from Wuhan. He spent much time examining qin tablature, eventually 擬三十六調, which I understand to mean developed his own versions of 36 melodies (note that the handbook has 30 melodies). These were then learned and preseumably transcribed by the four students mentioned above.

It is not clear why this handbook of music played by Shi Yuezhou is named after the student who was in charge of copying down his melodies, Chen Tai. The qin tradition suggests that handbooks were often compilations by students of their teacher's repertoire. Perhaps it was because of the number of revisions made by Chen Tai, or because "Longhu" also referred to a local place where the qin players met, and Chen took his nickname from that. On the other hand, one definition for longhu (see above) is royal court; perhaps longhu was thus referring to the book being ordered by a local prince (see Zheng Jizhi preface).

10. TKW has extensive footnotes on corrections he made on p. 24-26 of an appendix at the end of Qin Fu; more general comments are on pp. 32-33. On pp. 11-12 of a second appendix he introduces the book itself.

Return to the Handbook ToC or the General ToC.