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Qin Biographies 古琴人物傳記

The biographies on this site include people of importance to the qin. Much of it falls better in the realm of lore than of history. In most cases it is not possible to know anything about their skills. They are arranged here according to the following sources. Below that are links to people not included in any of those collections. If you are looking for a particular name you can also search this site.

  1. Qin Shi (琴史 Qin History), by Zhu Changwen (1041-1098)
    135 biographical essays (some cover more than one person) from pre-history to the 11th c. CE.
  2. Qin Shi Bu (琴史補 Qin History Supplement, 1917), by Zhou Qingyun (1861-1931) 1
    115 more essays on players before 1100
  3. Qin Shi Xu (琴史續 Qin History Continuation, also 1917), by Zhou Qingyun
    404 essays on players from the 11th through the 19th centuries;
    transcendental (or Buddhist): folio seven; "graceful ladies": folio eight.
  4. Folio 14 (Biographies, A), from Qinshu Daquan (琴書大全 1590) 2
    115 entries, 91 from Qin Shi, 8 from Qin Shi Bu, 16 in neither
  5. Folio 15 (Biographies, B), from Qinshu Daquan (琴書大全 1590)
    86 further biographical essays; 56 from Qin Shi, 4 from Qin Shi Bu, 26 in neither;
    separate sections for Immortals, Daoists, Monks, and Ladies
  6. Other imperial era biographies
    Biographies not in the above sources
  7. Biographies of 20th century players
    Only a few are included at present
  8. Lists of qin "sages" found in some handbooks, usually with only a sentence about them or perhaps only naming a melody credited to them;
    Looking at QQQJ volumes I to XX these include lists in handbooks dated
    1585, 1596, 1625, 1670, 1691 (XII/465) and 1722 (XIV/394).

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 周慶雲 Zhou Qingyun
Zhou Qingyun was a salt merchant from 烏程 Wucheng (north of Hangzhou); another source gives his dates as 1861 - 1931. He was a great book collector and a friend of 楊宗稷 Yang Zongji, compiler of Qinxue Congshu. Zhou Qingyun's writings on qin include:

  1. Qin Shi Bu
  2. Qin Shi Xu
  3. Qinshu Cunmu
  4. Qinshu Bielu

2. Qinshu Daquan (Folios 14 and 15) has 201 biographical essays. These include

all 146 Qin Shi biographies (mostly identical, one split in two),
12 biographies also in Qin Shi Bu (not identical: 14: QSB #1, 3, 4, 47, 48, 59-61; 15: QSB #23, 66, 89, 102);
42 biographies not in the other sources.

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