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Chen Kangshi
- Qin Shi #133
陳康士 1
琴史 #133 2

Qin Shi calls him Chen Kang, but it seems to be the same person that other historical sources call Chen Kangshi: both are referred to as famous qin players with the literary name Andao. In addition, here is evidence that Chen Kangshi was also referred to as Chen Jushi.3

If Chen Jushi ("Master Chen") indeed refers to Chen Kangshi, then the surviving Chen Jushi Finger Technique Explanations are actually by Chen Kangshi. These are included in Taiyin Daquanji as well as in Qinshu Daquan, Folio 8.

Biographical dictionaries and Xu Jian's Outline History, Chapter 5. A.,4 mention only the period 874 - 888/9, but the Qin Shi biography (which he quotes) seems to suggest Chen Kangshi began his activities during 806 - 825. Several contemporary qin handbooks,5 now lost, apparently had tablature recording his versions of quite a few melodies. His Qin Shi biography quotes from his own preface to one of these collections. The famous poet Pi Rixiu (c.834 - c.883) apparently wrote a preface to another of the handbooks.

Qinshu Cunmu includes nine entries (#58 to #66) attributed to Chen Kangshi:

  1. 琴譜,十三卷 Qin Pu: Qin Tablature
    Qin tablature for 100 章 zhang in 11 sections (? sections have names like 宮調 as well as 離騷) (10 lines)

  2. 琴譜敘,一卷 Qinpu Xu: Qin Tablature Arranged
    (4 lines)

  3. 琴調,四卷 Qin Diao: Qin Melodies
    (4 lines)

  4. 琴譜調,三卷 Qinpu Diao
    (5 lines)

  5. 琴書正聲 Qinshu Zhengsheng: Correct Sounds of Qin Writing
    Tablature for 10 melodies (listed
    6) (3 lines)

  6. 琴調,十七卷 Qin Diao: Qin Melodies
    (2 lines)

  7. 琴譜記,一卷 Qinpu Ji: A Record of Qin Tablature
    (1 line)

  8. 楚調五章,一卷 Chudiao Wuzhang: Tablature for Five Melodies of Chu
    (1 line)

  9. 離騷譜 Li Sao Pu: Tablature for Li Sao
    (1 line)

The Qin Shi biography begins:

Chen Kang, style name Andao, truly loved the elegant qin. When his name became known in the upper levels of state, the melodies he had created were gathered into a collected edition. For this he wrote a preface that said, "When I studied qin, although my sounds were informed in accord with my teachers, later I came to my own realizations. I looked everywhere for (Qin?) Zheng Sheng Jiu Nong, 7 Guangling San, and the two Hujia (short and long), which could be called the sounds of ancient flavor (gu feng) that had not been destroyed. The other melodies, moreover, were completely neglected and difficult to continue. From the years of Yuanhe (806 - 21) and Changqing (821 - 25), gentlemen of those past generations who had become well-known often did not understand the technical side of music. Perhaps the those with virtuoso technique were inflicted by prevalent customs, those who created surpassing sound plagued by 直置 unsubtle expression; they all brought an end to their teachers' traditions, not following what they had learned through study....

Not completed.8

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 陳康士 Bio 1389 says he lived during 僖宗 Xizong (r, 874 - 889); its source is given as 文獻通考 Wenxuan Tongkao, Folio 186. The Qin Shi entry has his name only as Chen Kang, but this is thought to be a mistake rather than a different person.

2. 9 lines

3. 陳居士 Chen Jushi
居士 means something like "the honorable". When this name is credited to finger techniques the assumption seems to be this is 陳康士 Chen Kangshi, but I have not yet seen these two names used together.

4. page 57

5. These collections of qin melodies apparently were only copied out by hand, so there would have been few copies. There may have been some overlap between collections, and perhaps not all versions of any particular melody would have been identical.

6. 琴書正聲 Qinshu Zhengsheng: Correct Sounds of Qin Writing
The entry says this was compiled by Chen Kangshi, adding that it was not recorded in either of the Tang annals, giving reference instead to the Song Annals and 崇文母 (崇文總目 Chongwen Zongmu? See Rao, Section 2). The ten titles listed here are:

  1. 游春 You Chun
  2. 淥水 Lu Shui
  3. 幽居 You Ju
  4. 坐愁 Zuo Chou
  5. 秋思 Qiu Si
  6. 楚明光 Chu Ming Guang
  7. 易水 Yi Shui
  8. 鳳歸林 Feng Gui Lin
  9. 接興 Jie Xing
  10. 白雲 Bai Yun

The appendix in Rao, Section 2, lists the first five. These are also known as the Five Melodies of the Cai Clan; Rao mentions these but it is not clear whether he intends that as a separate title.

7. 遍尋正聲九弄廣陵散....
Xu Jian seems to understand this as, "I looked everywhere for the correct sounds of (Xi Kangs's) Jiu Nong, Guangling San...."

8. The original Chinese begins (and ends),

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