Luqi Xinsheng
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Luqi Xinsheng
New Sounds of Green Silk 1
"Mr. Nanshan" 2                
Lu Qi, the name of a famous qin in antiquity, is sometimes used simply to mean qin itself; "new sounds" suggests that all 13 of the melodies here are either new arrangements or new compositions. Comprising five modal preludes and eight titled melodies, all with lyrics, these are said to represent the tradition of the qin master Xu Shiqi.3 The present edition was apparently revised by Zhou Lüjing4 together with Wu Xuezhou.5 Zhou then included it in his book collection called Yimen Guangdu.6 The contents were subsequently reproduced 14 years later in a book called Qin Shi (Qin Pleasures).7

All compositions have lyrics.8 The three new compositions, numbers 10, 12 and 13, are as follows:

  1. Hujia Shibapai (Eighteen Blasts of the Nomad Flute, VII/33)
    18 sections; set to Cai Wenji lyrics (in Yuefu Shiji)
  2. Moshang Sang (Mulberry Lane; VII/47)
    7 sections; set to anonymous lyrics (in Yuefu Shiji)
  3. Si Si Ge (Song of Four Laments; VII/49)
    4 sections; set to a poem by Zhang Heng (CE 78-139).

As for my recordings from this handbook, they include the latter two of the above three plus one of the modal preludes,

Although all 13 melodies are repeated in Qin Shi (1611), they do not seem to occur in this form elsewhere. However, some of the lyrics may do so.9

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 綠綺新聲 Luqi Xinsheng (QQJC VII/1-50)
Luqi Xinsheng contains music as played by 徐時琪 Xu Shiqi. The version in Vol. VII, in 3 folios, reproduces the handbook from a copy now in the Beijing Library. The handbook was included in Yimen Guangdu, a large compilation by Zhou Lüjing (see below). At the beginning of each of the three folios in Luqi Xinsheng is the comment that the writing was by Xu Shiqi, with revisions by Zhou Lüjing.

There is a two-line entry on this work in Qinshu Cunmu, saying mainly that it is listed in two book catalogues:

千頃堂書目 Qianqingtang Shumu, which says it has 2 folios
絳雲樓書目 Jiangyunlou Shumu.

The latter writes the title as 綠綺心聲 (same pronunciation). The former apparently refers to the author as 徐琪 Xu Qi, then also lists the same title in 5 folios by 周履靖 Zhou Lüjing.

2. Image of Xu Nanshan (QQJC VII/3)
This image is on the second page of the handbook; the text inside it says 南山先生像 Image of Mr. Nanshan. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether Nanshan is simply a nickname or whether it means that Xu Shiqi was from a place called Nanshan. According to 2798.16 南山 Nanshan refers first to the 詩經 Shi Jing, saying Nan Shan (southern hills) can also be called 終南 Zhong Nan. It also identifies various Nanshan, including one in 金華 Jinhua district of Zhejiang, about 150 km southwest of Shaoxing. Nanshan is also given as a nickname for a number of people but no Xu.

As for the Zhongnanshan of Xu Shiqi (below), in Shaanxi province south of Xi'an there is a 終南山 Zhongnanshan (Zhongnan Mountain), and although 27984.47 is only 終南 Zhongnan, its text refers to 終南山 Zhongnanshan and says it can also be called 南山 Nanshan. It was once well-known as a home for hermits (see under Chong Fang). This suggests that if Xu Shiqi was from Shaanxi, Zhongnanshan and Nanshan could be considered interchangeable, with his nickname Nanshan coming from his connection to Zhongnanshan.

3. 徐時琪 Xu Shiqi (Bio/xxx)
Xu Shiqi is thought to have created and/or revised all the music in Luqi Xinsheng, pairing all the music with lyrics. The handbook begins with the picture above (comment) of a man called 南山先生 Mr. Nanshan. Then, at the beginning of each of the three folios, there is the following statement:

終南山徐時琪著 Xu Shiqi of Zhongnanshan (zhong Nanshan?) wrote it
嘉興周履靖 Zhou Lüjing of Jiaxing (and)
夢溪吳學周同校 Wu Xuezhou of Mengxi together revised it.

This seems to suggest that Xu Nanshan is the same as Xu Shiqi of Zhongnanshan. The problem is that, according to Xu Jian (see comment under Chen Dabin in QSCB, Chapter 7a4), there was a 徐南山 Xu Nanshan of 紹興 Shaoxing well-known as a Ming dynasty qin player who applied lyrics to music, while Zha Fuxi's preface to Luqi Xinsheng in Qinqu Jicheng seems to say at the end that Xu Shiqi was a different person from the Xu Nanshan of Shaoxing. Unfortunately, neither in those writings nor in Luqi Xingsheng itself is any effort made to clarify this, or indeed to give any information about either a Xu Nanshan of Shaoxing or Xu Shiqi, whether from Zhongnanshan in Shaanxi or somewhere else. Perhaps there is something in the rest of Zhou Lüjing's 夷門廣牘 Yimen Guangdu (see below), or in the commentary with Qin Shi, but I haven't yet heard of it, nor have I found any other evidence connecting Xu Shiqi to any specific place other than "Zhongnanshan".

Could there have been a Zhongnanshan near Shaoxing? Although 2798.16 南山 Nanshan (see above) includes a Nanshan in Zhejiang province, it is in 金華 Jinhua district, about 150 km southwest of Shaoxing.

All this suggests that perhaps one should consider the possibility that "zhong" has another meaning here. According to 9/792 and 27964.0 終 zhong, its basic meaning of "finished" can be used also for "deceased" ("retired"?). This would mean the book is calling him "the deceased Xu Shiqi of Nanshan". However, I have never heard of zhong actually being used in this way.

The QQJC preface for Lixing Yuanya (QQJC VIII/2) says that although its creator 張廷玉 Zhang Tingyu does not discuss the source of his qin learning, his lyrics suggest that perhaps he studied with Xu Nanshan. Unfortunately, once again there is no attempt to clarify the issue of possibly two qin players from the same period both named "Xu Nanshan".

4. Zhou Lüjing 周履靖
Bio/1552 (which mentions 梅墟先生別录 as a source) and 3597.739 (which gives 明詩綜六十五 as its source) both say he was from 嘉興 Jiaxing in Zhejiang (between Hangzhou and Shanghai), style name 逸之 Yizhi; the former says his nickname was 螺冠子 Luoguanzi and called himself 梅顛道人 Meidian Daoren. However, he is also referred to as 梅墟周履靖 Zhou Lüjing of Meixu; according to the internet Meixu (Plum wilderness; seems to refer to an area around Ningbo, east of Shaoxing in Zhejiang. Bio/1552 credits Zhou as the author of several writings including 梅墟雜皋 Meixu Zagao, 梅顛稿選 Meidian Gaoxuan and 梅塢貽瓊 Meiwu Yiqiong. His book collection, called 夷門廣牘 Yimen Guangdu (footnote below), contained Luqi Xinsheng. The source of this information seems to be 明詩綜六十五 Ming Poetry Selection 65. He and 夢溪吳學周 Wu Xuezhou of Mengxi (next footnote) were perhaps students and/or friends of Xu Shiqi: see comment at the beginning of each of the three folios in Luqi Xinsheng.

5. Wu Xuezhou of Mengxi 夢溪吳學周
Wu Xuezhou of Mengxi (Bio/xxx; Xuezhou means "study the Zhou dynasty" but, along with Zhou Lüjing (previous footnote), was perhaps a student and/or friend of Xu Shiqi: see comment at the beginning of each of the three folios in Luqi Xinsheng that he and Zhou did revisions together. As for Mengxi, the estate where Shen Gua lived was called Mengxi ("dream stream"), but this is perhaps another place.

6. Yimen Guangdu 夷門廣牘
Zhou Lüjing's Yimen Guangdu (Vast Documents of Yimen), according to 5977.42, was comprised of 158 folios in 21 categories. As for Yimen, 5977.41 and 2/1497 夷門 say that during the Warring States period it was a city gate of Kaifeng in Henan, named after a hill on the east side of the city; hence it came to refer to Kaifeng itself. If, as suggested above, Zhou was from Zhejiang, this connection to Kaifeng is unclear. However, it does make a connection to the Zhongnanshan of Shaanxi somewhat more natural.

7. 琴適 Qin Shi (Qin Pleasures; QQJC, VIII; 1611)
See Appendix

8. New melodies
The new pieces, 10, 12 and 13, all use famous poems for their lyrics.

9. The lyrics for two of these new compositions, numbers 10 and 12, are all also in 1618, but with different music.

琴適 Qin Shi (Qin Pleasures)
Qin Shi
Qin Pleasures
"Four Leisure Time Pleasures" 

Qin Pleasures is the first section of a book whose full title is Four Leisure Time Pleasures (燕閒四適 Yanxian Si Shi; 19876.163 only 燕閒﹕休閒). The cover of this is shown at right. According to the QQJC preface (VIII/1) the original is in the Shanghai Library.

The four pleasures are in fact the Four Arts of the Chinese scholar: qin, chess, books and painting. The whole book was edited by the Fujian scholar 孫丕顯 Sun Pixian (Bio/xxx). The edition in QQJC begins with a general preface to Yanxian Si Shi dated 1611, by 孟夏瓠落生劉朝箴 Meng Xiahu (Bio/1616xxx) born Liu Zhaozhen (Bio/694xxx).

The section Qin Pleasures apparently consists only of materials copied from other sources, but there does not seem to be any mention of what these sources are. Qin Pleasures is divided into four folios, but the edition here is missing the first page of the fourth folio, which has the opening phrases of Hujia Shibapai. Folio 1 begins with the statement "compiled by 孫丕顯 Sun Pixian, revised by 王基 Wang Ji, (both) from 七閩 Qimin (north Fujian)".

The contents of Qin Shi in QQJC can be grouped as follows:

  1. Aforementioned general preface dated 1611, in very difficult grass writing (VIII/3)
  2. A complete table of contents for Qin Shi (VIII/5)
  3. Essays: includes all essays from Luqi Xinsheng, but reordered and mixed in with many more (VIII/7)
    -includes Tuning Strings Method (調絃法 Tiao Xian Fa) that mentions 仙翁 Xian Weng (further; VIII/14)
  4. Tablature for all 13 melodies (VIII/19-59) from Luqi Xinsheng (VII/11-50)
  5. A hand diagram, then sketches of 34 hand positions/finger techniques for playing qin (VIII/59)
  6. Sketches of 44 historical qins, plus commentary (VIII/64)
  7. Short closing essay quoting Shen Gua, Mengxi Bitan, 樂律二 from Folio 6 (VIII/69)

Regarding the essays, it is not clear whether there was any copying here from those in Luqi Xinsheng, or whether both were copied independently from earlier sources. The latter is perhaps suggested by some comparisons between the two. For example, the Luqi Xinsheng essay 琴學須知 What must be known about studying qin (VII/4) becomes in Qin Shi two essays, 太音紀原 Recorded sources of the great sounds and 琴學須知 What must be known about studying qin (VIII/12-13).

Within the tablature section itself Qin Shi copies Luqi Xinsheng almost exactly, to the extent that when the earlier book has a mistake the latter one has the same mistake. There are, however, a few differences between the two. For example, Qin Pleasures omits any mention of Xu Shiqi, not to mention Zhou Lüjing or Wu Xuezhou. It pairs the lyrics to the melody as in Luqi Xinsheng, but it also puts the lyrics of each section at the front of that section. And the author of Si Si Ge is identified directly as Zhang Heng instead of by a shortened nickname, Zhang Ping.

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