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Xu Xiaoshan 徐曉山

Xu Xiaoshan was the nickname of Xu Mengji, a famous qin player in the latter 14th century.1 He was apparently a grandson (or second generation descendent through Xu Qiushan) of Xu Tianmin, and the father (and/or) teacher of Xu Hezhong.2 The line through these players is said to have formed the Xumen Orthodox Tradition of qin play.3

Xu Tianmin had been a famous qin player in Hangzhou at the end of the Southern Song dynasty. During the 14th century Xu Xiaoshan was sent to be an official in Siming, a hilly region between Ningbo and Shaoxing.4

Other references so far have been mentions of him in mid 16th century qin handbooks. For example, Xiao Luan mentions Xu Xiaoshan in Taiyin Buyi in a way that suggests a man of this name might have been his teacher. However, it seems more likely that Xiao Luan was referring to ancestors of whoever his own teachers were (or perhaps to the names mentioned on tablature he studied).5)

Xu Xiaoshan is mentioned in connection with a number of melodies on this website, often simply as Xiaoshan. There is also mention of a Xiaoweng who quite likely is the same person. References include,

  1. Chang Qing in Qinpu Zhengchuan (Xiaoweng).
  2. Qiao Ge in Qinpu Zhengchuan (Xiaoshan).
  3. He Wu Dongtian in Qinpu Zhengchuan (Xiaoweng)

These references often mention Zixia Dong Pu in connection with Xu Xiaoshan. This was a apparently a famous Song dynasty tablature collection also drawn on by Zhu Quan for his Shen Qi Mi Pu.

More to be added.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1 徐曉山 Xu Xiaoshan (Bio/xxx). His proper name, 徐夢吉 Xu Mengji, is given with the Qinshi Xu biography of Xu Hezhong. (Return)

2 徐和仲 Xu Hezhong (徐詵 Xu Shen; Bio/xxx)
See Xu Jian, QSCB, 7.A.. (Return)

3 See Xu Jian, QSCB, 6.A. (p. 90) as well as a separate footnote. According to that information, Xu Tianmin was probably born no later than 1250 CE. (Return)

4 四明 Siming is the name of some hills west of Ningbo. Sometimes Xu Hezhong is said to be from Ningbo itself. Presumably this means 寧波府 Ningbo district, not Ningbo city itself. (Return)

5 Xiao Luan would perhaps have begun studying qin around 1500. Also of note, an essay by Chen Jing in Wugang Qinpu, published around the same time as Xiao Luan's essay, refers to Xu Xiaoshan as an old man, suggesting perhaps again that he was his teacher; again it seems more likely he meant that his tradition came through Xu Hezhong. Chen Jing's article also mentions Xu Xuejiang (Xu Tianmin) and Xu Qiushan. (Return)

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