Recalling a Prince 憶王孫 Yi Wangsun
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Recalling a Prince 1
Yu mode (羽音 Yuyin) 2
Yi Wangsun  
  Opening of Yi Wangsun as preserved in Japan3            
Yi Wangsun is preserved only in Japan.4 Its opening four notes are the same as those of Zhu Zhi Ci (XII/222) with harmonics on the first two (the Zhengben is the same). The connection or comparison with Zhu Zhi Ci is also interesting because of their relative structures. Zhu Zhi Ci has the structure (7,7;7,7.) of a 絕句 jueju (more under Poetry with lines of regular length); the structure of Yi Wangsun seems to be a variant on this structure (7, 7; 7+3, 7.). In the present reconstruction an effort is made to bring out this 3-character variant on the jueju form; the 3-character phrase is perceived not as a separate line but as an extension of the third line.

The lyrics here, by 秦觀 Qin Guan, 1049 - 1100), also called 秦少游 Qin Shaoyou, are elsewhere subtitled 春閨 Chun Gui (another structure).

There is both a transcription and a recording of this based on a transcription by Wang Di (Wang Di).6 In her comments Wang Di says the lyrics are by 李重元 Li Chongyuan (Northern Song dynasty). In fact, what she has done is first to give the original lyrics, then append below that three poems by Li whose lyrics are in the same pattern, as follows:

  1. 風蒲獵獵小池塘。過雨荷花滿院香。

  2. 颼颼風冷荻花秋。明月斜侵獨倚樓。

  3. 形雲風掃雪初晴。天外孤鴻三兩聲。

Another poem in this form is the following by 沈宜修 Shen Yixiu, mother of 葉小鸞 Ye Xiaoluan (d.1616 - 32)


Translated in Red Brush, p.387

The translation below is by 許鳶沖 Xu Yuanchong (see Yang, p.66). Another translation, by 秦大川 Qin Dachuan, can be found on on another site.

Original preface
None; says only "Qin Guan"

Melody and Lyrics (timings follow 聽錄音 my audio recording; see transcription) 8

00.12 (after closing harmonics, used as prelude)
Qī qī fāng cǎo yì wángsūn.
The luxuriant grasslands remind me of my prince,

Liǔ wài lóu gāo kōng duàn hún.
Beyond the willows in my tall tower in vain my spirit breaks.

Dù yǔ shēng shēng bù rěn wén,   yù huáng hūn,
The cuckoo's home cries I cannot bear to hear,
        we approach dusk.

Yǔ dǎ lí huā shēn bì mén.
As rain beats down on the pear blossoms I securely close the gate.

雨打梨花深閉門。   (phrase repeated in harmonics)
Yǔ dǎ lí huā shēn bì mén.
As rain beats down on the pear blossoms I securely close the gate.

01.07 (End)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Recalling a Prince (憶王孫 Yi Wangsun)
11558.1: cipai; 7,7,7.3,7. (here the last 7 is repeated)

2. Yu mode
The mode is not very focused, but Wwith relative tuning 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 the melody ends on la (yu, 6).

3. Image: Yi Wangsun as preserved in Japan
From Meiwa edition, QQJC XII/255/6. See also Hewen (XII/215) and TKKP (IV/37) editions.

4. Tracing 憶王孫 Yi Wangsun
Zha Guide 35/--/509

6. Recording based on Wang Di transcription
The Wang Di transcription (#46; pp.98-99) has note values quite different from the present interpretation but there seems to be only one note change: on the second character of the second line 外 the finger pluck is changed to the third string, making the note two pitches higher. Below the transcription are four sets of lyrics: the first is by Qin Guan, the other three by Liu Yuxi, as shown above.

The recording is of a performance with qin (metal strings but barely audible), Chinese flute and dramatic male voice. In the performance Wang Di's version of the melody is played six and a half times, with the last phrase always repeated an extra time. The first two and a half times it is played the male voice recites the four sets of lyrics. Then the ensemble suddenly fades out, beginning again by playing the coda. It then plays through the melody four more times, this time with the voice singing each of the lyrics. (Total length: 6.10.)

7. Preface
At front the only comments are to name the mode and identify the author. At the end is the comment 東皋越杜多挍正(校正?) Toko Etsu the Monk made correstions. There are no further introductions.

8. Melody
Recorded in the Studio for Seeking Solitude, January 2010

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