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Other Qin Books and Tablature
See also the Qin Bibliography (partially annotated)1

This site has commentary on several melodies in the modern repertoire that that have no tablature in the early handbooks on which I have focused.2 Most of these are melodies I originally studied with Sun Yuqin but if I play them today it is from the earliest printed version, not the modern one. They include:

  1. Changmen Yuan
  2. Pu'an Zhou
  3. Yulou Chunxiao
  4. Yi Guren
  5. Zui Yu Chang Wan
  1. 長門怨
  2. 普庵咒
  3. 玉樓春曉
  4. 憶故人
  5. 醉漁唱晚
Early books concerning qin, but without tablature, include the following:

  1. Qin Cao
  2. Qin Ji
  3. Yuefu Jieti
  4. Qin Yuan Yao Lu
  5. Taiyin Daquanji
  6. Qinshu Cunmu
  7. Qinshu Bielu
  1. 琴操
  2. 琴集
  3. 樂府解題
  4. 琴苑要錄
  5. 太音大全集
  6. 琴書存目
  7. 琴書別錄

In addition to Qinshu Cunmu, which includes the names of ancient handbooks that no longer exist, there are also other lists of other reputedly ancient titles, such as the "List of Historical Qin Books" (歷代琴書目 Lidai Qinshu Mu) in Qinshu Daquan Folio 16 (V/372-3).

The following are some of the publications with modern transcriptions into staff notation of old qin melodies (see also my own):

  1. Guqin Qu Huibian (A Repertory of Guqin Melodies, 1956)
  2. Guqin Quji (Collected Guqin Melodies), Vol. 1, 1962
  3. Guqin Quji (Collected Guqin Melodies, Vol. 2, 1983
  4. Qin Ge (Qin Songs, 1982)
  5. Zhongguo Gudai Gequ (Old Chinese Songs, 1990)
  1. 古琴曲彙編,1956
  2. 古琴曲集,第一集,1962
  3. 古琴曲集,第二集,1983
  4. 琴歌,1982
  5. 中國古代歌曲,1990

For transcriptions into number notation see the 2009 Guqin Quji, designed as a Chinese Conservatory Syllabus for guqin.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Here is some more detail on several books mentioned briefly in the Qin Bibliography; all are only in Chinese

  1. 楊蘟瀏(編)﹕古琴曲彙編。北京,中央音樂學院, Yang Yinliu (ed), Guqin Qu Huibian, 1956
    A Repertory of Guqin Melodies.
    Transcriptions into staff notation of 17 pieces as played by 夏一峰 Xia Yifeng (reprinted in 琴府 Qin Fu), each with commentary. The 17 melodies are:

    1. Guanshan Yue
    2. Liangxiao Yin
    3. Pingsha Luo Yan
    4. Jing Guan Yin
    5. Yu Qiao Wenda
    6. Oulu Wang Ji
    7. Changmen Yuan
    8. Shuixian Cao (also called Quzi Wen Tian and Qiu Sai Yin)
    9. Pu'an Zhou
    10. Gao Shan Liu Shui
    11. Yu Ge
    12. Qiujiang Ye Bo
    13. Yi Guren (also called Shanzhong Yi Guren and Kongshan Yi Guren)
    14. Feng Lei Yin (1)
    15. Qiu Feng Ci
    16. Feng Lei Yin (2)
    17. Yangguan Sandie

  2. 古琴曲集,第一集。北京,人民音樂出版社,1962 (Guqin Quji; often reprinted).
    Collected Guqin Melodies, Vol. 1.
    Transcriptions into staff notation of 62 qin recordings made during the 1950s research project led by Zha Fuxi.
    (More detail to be added. Meanwhile,
    Search this site for "guqin quji")

  3. 古琴曲集,第二集。北京,人民音樂出版社,1983 (and reprinted)
    Collected Guqin Melodies, Vol. 2.
    Transcriptions into staff staff notation of a further 17 qin recordings made in the 1950s (and later?). Those discussed on this site include:
    (More detail to be added. Meanwhile,
    Search this site for "guqin quji")

  4. 王迪(編)﹕琴歌,文化藝術出版社,北京 Wang Di [ed.]: Qin Ge, Wenhua Yishu Chuban She, Beijing), 1982
    Wang Di, Qin Songs
    Staff notation of 52 qin songs. This includes both short songs and long ones (including Hujia Shibapai). 14 are from Japanese handbooks, including Ziye Wu Ge and Fenghuang Taishang Yi Chui Xiao.

    Also by Wang Di:

    王迪﹕絃歌雅韻,中華書局,北京 (Wang Di: Xian'ge Yayun, Zhonghua Shuju, Beijing), 2007.
    Wang Di, String Songs Elegant in Sound (includes two CDs)
    This book has number notation for 100 qin songs as interpreted (定譜 dingpu) by Wang Di. (Regarding dingpu, commentaries have said this is the same as 打譜 dapu, often translated as "reconstucted"; however, on some melodies Wang Di makes so many changes from the original that "interpret" is probably a better term.) All pieces have qin tablature included. The first 92 are from identified old handbooks; 93-100 are identified only as from "抄本琴譜 hand copied qin tablature". This is followed by an appendix that consists of two papers by Wang Di on qin songs, notation and lyrics (no tablature) for the 24 tracks on the two CDs, then a final afterword by Wang Di's daughters, 鄧瑩 Deng Ying and 鄧鴻 Deng Hong. On each track the lyrics are first read, then the music is sung to the accompaniment of guqin and at least one other instrument, usually xiao flute or erhu fiddle. The source of some, such as CD 1 Track 10 Longtou Yin, is not always made clear. The last four tracks of the second CD have Wang Di's own compositions. (Some of these melodies are included in the 2010 double CD by Deng Hong and Chen Shasha.)

    In the transcriptions of 2007 some corrections have been made in identifying sources, but these also are still not always clear. Entries that call for further comment include:

    Although Wang Di's transcriptions published in 1990 (see below) are mostly selected from 1982, the actual transcriptions are not always the same. Likewise there are some further differences in the 2007 publication (which also seems to have omitted about 10 of the 52 entries from 1990). Only 2007 includes the original tablature, and in all three the qin's melodic lines are evened out for singing through octave transpositions.

    A few of the melodies here seem to be Wang Di's transcriptions for qin of folk melodies played originally on other instruments. As for her transcriptions of qin melodies, some of these have been performed elsewhere, usually on other instruments (perhaps most notable is her version of Hujia Shibapai); since this is generally done without attribution, the implication is that one is hearing old melodies as handed down to the present. However, as with all such performances it should be remembered that these are in fact modern reconstructions: traditional qin tablature gives no direct indication of note values. Here it might also be noted that, in addition to Wang Di sometimes changing notes as written in the original tablature, these also get further changed in performance. The books give no indication of changed notes, or information about whether the note values she used conform to any actual performance practice - some may have been reconstructed by or with the help of her teacher Guan Pinghu.

  5. 孫玄齡、劉東升,中國古代歌曲, 人民音樂出版社,北京
    Sun Xuanling and Liu Dongsheng [ed.], Zhongguo Gudai Gequ (Old Chinese Songs), Renmin Yinyue Chubanshe, Beijing), 1990.
    Section #4 (of 6), Qin Songs, has 20 transcriptions into staff notation. They are by:

    王迪     Wang Di: 6, all from Wang Di 1982 (above); the three from Japanese handbooks include Ziye Wu Ge.
    許健     Xu Jian: 5
    夏一峰 Xia Yifeng: 2
    張子謙 Zhang Ziqian: 2
    管平湖 Guan Pinghu: 1
    吳景略 Wu Jinglue: 1
    楊蘟瀏 Yang Yinliu: 1     (Gu Yuan)
    姚丙炎 Yao Bingyan: 1   (Fenghuang Taishang Yi Chui Xiao)
    查阜西 Zha Fuxi: 1         (Su Wu Si Jun)

2. Other melodies
At present the melodies listed above were all part of my original repertoire (see under Sun Yuqin). For a long time my focus on reconstructing melodies as printed in early and middle Ming dynasty sources meant I rarely or never played these. However, since 2008 I have also been re-examining these, and now play several from their own earliest printed sources.

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