Yuwu Qinpu
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Yuwu Qinpu
Jade Tree Qin Handbook 1
"Autumn Goose": the only image in Yuwu Qinpu 2 
The credited compiler of Yuwu Qinpu is Zhang Jinchao,3 a eunuch at the imperial court in Beijing who had studied qin from Cui Xiaotong of Henan.4 The handbook has 52 melodies, four with lyrics. Nine of the melodies seem to appear for the first time here: two new titles with new titles, four new melodies for older titles, and three modal preludes with new names.5 In addition there is one new title for a melody published earlier; this is the one melody I play from this handbook:

Shuilong Yin (very similar to the Ruilong Yin of 1579)

As the Preface to Yuwu Qinpu by Zha Fuxi6 points out, this is just one of several qin handbooks published by court eunuchs.7 He writes further that the music here is very different from that of Wugang Qinpu, published by a eunuch 30 years earlier, but he also mentions two places where parts of this handbook are later copied in Zangchunwu Qinpu (1602), also published by eunuchs, though apparently in Nanjing instead of Beijing.

Comparing Yuwu Qinpu and Zangchunwu Qinpu in more detail, the former has 52 melodies while Zangchunwu Qinpu has 65. Only one of the 52 is not in the latter handbook, its last melody, Da Ming Yi Tong. Of the 14 melodies in the latter handbook that were not in Yuwu Qinpu, four appear for the first time there, all attributed there to a qin master named Shen Taishao.8 The other 10 are all versions of melodies found in other handbooks. Almost all of the melodies that occur in both handbooks seem to be identical to each other in all details (see details).

Return to the Guqin ToC

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Jade Tree Qin Handbook (玉梧琴譜 Yuwu Qinpu) (QQJC, Volume VI/1-105)
21296.xxx; 4/xxx. The "wu" usually refers specifically to wutong, a tree from which qins were commonly made, so the title could suggest "Jade Qin Handbook. Yuwu may have been a nickname for Zhang Jinchao (see below), or even a place he lived or worked.

2. Image
Copied from QQJC VI/102, where it is appended to the end of the melody Qiu Hong. To the lower left of the image is written: "秋鴻,見宋磁器 Autumn Goose, see Song dynasty porcelain ware."

3. Zhang Jinchao 張進朝
Bio/xxx; a 太監 eunuch apparently at the court in Beijing, his name means "Zhang who entered the palace"; 玉梧 Yuwu seems to have been a nickname. The preface by Wang Zudi refers to an Attendant-in-ordinary Yuwu (玉梧常侍 Yuwu changshi). The preface by Hu Zhili says Zhang was 易水之毓秀自髫年入內庭 from Yishui (in Hebei). (For 毓秀 Yuxiu: 7/xxx; 17108.3 gives only an unrelated nickname; 育秀 6/xxx; could yu be "born" and xiu "cultivated".) When very young he entered the inner court. According to his own afterword, Zhang was then a eunuch in the Directorate of Imperial Horses within the palace.

4. Cui Xiaotong 崔小桐
Bio/xxx; the preface by Hu Zhili says Cui was a qin historian (琴史 !) from Henan; the preface by Wang Honghai refers to a 中州崔益甫氏 Cui Yifu of Henan (Yifu 23498.24 nickname of unrelated people).

5. Nine new melodies in Yuwu Qinpu
See the ToC. In addition to the new title Shuilong Yin, already published in 1579 as Ruilong Yin, the new items are:

Two new titles:
Chao Hui Yin
Canglang Yin
Four new melodies for older titles,
Chong He Yin
Han Gong Qiu
Chibi Fu
Da Ming Yi Tong
Three modal preludes, for which some may have earlier related melodies under different mode names:
Man'gong and

6. 查阜西 Zha Fuxi; edited by 吳釗 Wu Zhao.

7. In both Beijing and Nanjing?

8. 沈太韶 Shen Taishao
See under Zangchunwu Qinpu; also discussed in Qinshi Xu together with Yan Cheng.

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