Sun Deng
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Sun Deng
- Qin Shi #80
孫登 1
琴史 #80 2
Sun Deng plays3 his one string qin4            
Sun Deng was apparently an historical person, living under the Wei in perhaps the 3rd century CE. However, our record of him is enriched by many fables. The ones discussed here are mainly connected to the qin. He is said to have studied qin from
Zhou Taibin,5 then later to have developed a particular fondness for a one-string qin. He was already a well-known recluse when he taught Xi Kang (223 - 262).

The free flowing hair in the left-hand image at right is specifically mentioned in the description of Su Deng with his one-string qin. The qin illustration to its right is noteworthy in that you can actually see that there is one string: otherwise it looks like an ordinary qin.

Qinshu Daquan has several stories related to him. See, e.g.,

Folio 17, #44.

The original essay in Qin Shi is as follows.

Sun Deng, style name Gonghe, was from 汲郡共 Gong in Jijun (Henan). Having the Dao, he became a recluse. He enjoyed reading the Yi Jing and playing the qin. By nature he did not have great passions. Ruan Sizong (Ruan Ji) and Xi Shuye (Xi Kang) were once his followers. Travelling with him, they spoke a lot but he did not reply.....

Translation incomplete.

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. 孫登 Sun Deng
7135.324/3 孫登 Sun Deng, style name 公和 Gonghe. The following description of Sun Deng is from Donald Holzman, Poetry and Politics, The Life and Work of Juan Chi (A.D. 210 - 263). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973, p. 149.

Sun Deng, whose zi was Gonghe, was a man of 共 Gong in 及 Ji commandery. He was homeless, but stayed in the mountains in the north of the commandery, where he lived in a cavern in the earth that he had made for himself. In summer he wove grasses to wear as a shirt and in winter he let his hair down to cover himself. He liked to read the Yi Jing and played a 1-string qin....

2. 6 lines (Return)

3. Sun Deng Image
The image of Sun Deng playing the one-string qin is from Liexian Quanzhuan (a Ming publication expanding from Liexian Zhuan).

4. One string qin image
This image is from Deyintang Qinpu (1691; QQJC XII, p. 459). Compare it with the One String Qin depicted in Taiyin Daquanji (Image 37): both look like ordinary qins except for the number of strings.

5. 周太賓 Zhou Taibin
The biography of 周太賓 Zhou Taibin also mentions another one-string qin player, Maming Sheng.


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