Fei Qiong Yin  
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Flying Snow Crystals
- Standard tuning2 : 1 2 4 5 6 1 2
飛瓊吟 1
Fei Qiong Yin  
  Flying Snow Crystal Pipes: Relevant?3      
The literal meaning of this title, Fei Qiong, is (snow looking like pieces of) whirling gemlike snow. Stories connected to "feiqiong tell of a female immortal dating from the time of the Han dynasty Wudi emperor. There are two surviving but unrelated melodies with this title. Neither seems to concern an immortal.4

This melody, as with the following melody, entitled Plum Blossoms,5 has lyrics attributed to Lin Bu (Wiki). The structure of both poems is the same, though those of the latter, entitled How Plum Flowers Embarrass a Garden, are much more famous. In theory the lyrics should be interchangeable between the two melodies, but the feelings of the two are very different.

The lyrics appearing here under the title Flying Snow Crystals (飛瓊吟 Fei Qiong Yin are themselves actually entitled 雪三首 Xue San Shou, Three Verses about Snow. The author of the lyrics is 林和靖 Lin Heqing, i.e., 林逋 Lin Bu. There is no record of when, how or why this poem might have been sung, so it is even more unclear whether the others might ever have been sung to the same tune.6

Musically the melody begins in the lowest octave. In the second line it moves up through the second and third octaves, reaching the fouth octave in the first half of the third line. It then descends, getting back to the second octave by the end of line three. Line four is completely back in the second octave. The melody can also be characterized by its paucity of ornamentation (only two yin vibratos) and a relative lack of slides.

Original preface

Music and lyrics (bad translation and incomplete reconstruction (tentative transcription)

Wǎ gōu rú fěn dié lóu yāo, gāo huì shuí néng jiě jiǔ diāo.
Tile grooves become powder, layering the building's waist.
        High gather who can release wine and sable.

Qīng jiā xiǎo lín chū luò suǒ, lěng hé chūn yǔ zhuǎn piāo xiāo.
Clear hold dawn forest desolate and lonely,
        cold spring rain becomes withered and dilapidated.

Kān lián què bì lái xián dì, zuì ài sēng chōng guò duǎn qiáo.
Pity the bird fleeing here to a remote place,
        most love the monk rushing across a short bridge.

Dú yǒu bì guān gū yǐn zhě, yī xuān pín bìng zài yán piáo.
Alone behind a closed gate is a solitary recluse,
        a single terrace poor and sickly at a colored ladle.

Work needed so that this makes some sense.

Some terms:
酒貂 40665.xxx "wine into sable"? (貂裘換酒)
顏瓢 44545.xxx ?

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Fei Qiong Yin (QQJC XII/202)
44974.336 飛瓊 says only that Feiqiong is the name of a female immortal at the time of Han Wudi. 12/708 adds that it can be white flying objects, such as snow, quoting a ci poem by 辛棄疾 Xin Qiji (1140-1207). The introduction in 1559 suggests the literal meaning was intended there, and the present lyrics also have no intimation of an immortal.

2. The handbook calls the mode 商音 Shang Yin. (Return)

3. Image above: (expand)
An image search for 飛瓊 feiqiong tends to show images of impossibly glamorous women. Searching for 雪花, 雪蓮, 雪晶 and so forth seems to bring similar results. The above image was one of the few exceptions.

The image above. "Image at Qingdu: Feiqiong Pipes (anonymous) is thus tentatively examined for use. It can be found in several places on the internet, such as,

The commentary on the latter site was headed: 宋詞鑒賞-宴清都·春訊飛瓊管(盧祖皋) Appreciation of Song dynasty poems: Feast at Qingdu, Feiqiong Pipes (flutes?) as a harbinger of spring. This is a reference to a ci poem by 盧祖皋 Lu Zugao (1174–1224). 宴清都(初春)Feast at Qingdu (Beginning of Spring) is the name of the ci poetry structure. The poem here is,

宴清都 (commentary here)

Not yet translated, but this and the image don't seem to have much to do with what seems like a rather sad poem.

4. Tracing Fei Qiong Yin
Zha Guide 24/203/506 has two, the other an unrelated melody from 1559 with no lyrics.

5. Plum Blossoms
This "Plum Blossoms" is melodically unrelated to an instrumental melody with the same theme, Moon Atop a Plum Tree, but it can be used as a prelude for that purely instrumental melody.

6. The complete 雪三首 Xue San Shou
The other two poems under the title 雪三首 Xue San Shou are the following:




Also not translated.

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