Song Yu
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Song Yu
- Qin Shi #44
宋玉 1
琴史 #44 2
Song Yu mourns 3        
Song Yu (ca. 290 - ca. 223) is said to have been a nephew of
Qu Yuan, as well as his disciple, but nothing about Song Yu is certain.

A supposed conversation between Song Yu and King Wei of Chu is related by Liu Xiang in his Xin Xu. See Qinshu Daquan, Folio 16, #33.

In a 賦 fu (Rhapsody) called Rhapsody on Persuasion (諷賦 Feng Fu) he is said to have written about playing You Lan on the qin, but the attributation of the poem to Song Yu is not certain.4

See also Song Yu Bei Qiu and Yan Guo Hengyang.

The original Qin Shi essay begins as follows.

Song Yu was a man of Chu and a disciple of Qu Yuan. He was a good writer of rhapsodies (fu poems) that express great sadness and 曲 qu songs that extended lyrical commentary. 楚威王 King Wei of Chu once asked him (this story is also in Wen Xuan) who would not praise him, since he was such a good person. Song Yu said, Once there was a visitor who sang there in 郢 Ying (the capital of Chu). First he sang (the folk tune) 下里巴人 Xiali Baren, and thousands of people accompanied him. Then he sang 陽陵 Yang Ling and 采薇 Cai Wei and hundreds accompanied him. When he sang Yang Chun and Bai Xue dozens accompanied him, but when he sang 引商 Yin Shang and 刻角 Ke Jiao mixed with 流徵 Liu Zhi only a few accompanied him because the better the tune, the fewer will be those who appreciate it. What Song Yu says here is also applicable to the qin, as is proven elsewhere by the fact that Song Yu is said to have once taken up his qin and played the melodies 和竹 He Zhu and 積雪 Ji Xue. Also, the older the qin tune the easier it is to play it incorrectly....

Further details in preparation.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Song Yu 宋玉

2. 10 lines (Return)

3. Closeup of Image 1 from Jiu Bian illustrations.

4. Rhapsody on Persuasion (Feng Fu)
The original text is


The source is given as 古文苑.


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