Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu 潞王朱常淓
 T of C 
Qin as
Qin in
/ Song
Analysis History Ideo-
Personal email me search me
Qin Bios     Guyin Zhengzong ToC 網站目錄
Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu
- Qin Shi Xu #65
潞王朱常淓 1
琴史續 #65 2
A Luwang qin 3          
Zhu Changfang (1608 - 1646) was Prince of Lu (or Lu and Jian, after his father4). Lu was a district centered on Weihui5 in what is now northern Henan, next to Lu'an district of Shanxi.6 In 1644, as the Ming dynasty was collapsing, he left Weihui (throughout the Ming dynasty Ming princes had not been allowed to leave their fiefdoms), soon arriving in Hangzhou. Here for two years he engaged in various activities that included qin making. However, he was also one of the princes considered as a possible emperor. Presumably because of this in 1646 he was taken to Beijing and executed along with several other princes who had resisted the Qing. He is now buried at the mausoleum of his father, a cultural heritage site in Xinxiang, about 100 km north of Zhengzhou.

Zhu Changfang, in addition to being known for his work reprinting old books in large format editions,7 was a noted painter and calligrapher, also writing a book on chess. His importance to the qin is two-fold:

  1. He compiled an important qin handbook, Guyin Zhengzong (1634);8 its 50 melodies include the earliest surviving version of one of the most famous of all qin melodies, Yan Luo Pingsha (Wild Geese Descend on a Sandbank). Zha Fuxi's preface to the handbook (QQJC IX/2-3) says that (unlike other handbooks associated with Ming princes) its tablature seems to have come not from imperial collections or even from earlier handbooks but rather from private individual copies. Note also that many of its melodies partially indicate finger positions using the new decimal system, particularly in higher positions. He may have created several of the melodies himself.9
  2. He made, or directed the making of, a large number of qins (as at right; see further). He began this in Weihui, but apparently increased the output once he had arrived in Hangzhou (unless he had brought with him many instruments). These may have numbered in the hundreds - some even claim thousands - but most surviving "Luwang qins" look exactly alike and often have a rather bad sound. It is known that many are forgeries, but others seem to be of very high quality. Thus the provenance of many so-called Luwang qins is often uncertain.

Zhu Changfang's responsibilities as prince, as well as his sources of income, are not clear. He was the third son of (Zhu) Yiliu (1568 - 1614), known as Prince of Lu and Prince of Jian. By the end of the Ming dynasty there were many princes with little or no money or power, but presumably this was not the case for Zhu Yiliu, as he was the fourth son of the Longqing emperor (r. 1567 - 73) and a younger brother of the Wanli emperor (r. 1573-1620), who designated Yiliu as Prince of Lu in 1584, his princedom being Weihui district of Henan province. The mausoleum of Prince Lu below Fenghuang Mountain, 13 km north of Xinxiang in northern Henan province, is today a major local tourist site. As Zhu Yiliu's son and successor, Zhu Changfang was also known as Xiao Luwang, Younger Prince of Lu.

The Weihui district of Henan is very close to Lu'an district of Shanxi province, part of the Shen region, apparent home of 朱珵坦 Zhu Chengtan, who had somewhat earlier compiled the Wuyin Qinpu (1579); Zhu Changfang's Guyin Zhengzong seems to have little in common with it. Most accounts seem to suggest that Zhu Changfang, once he became Prince of Lu in Weihui in 1618, fought to save the Ming in the face of rebellions and then attacks from the Qing. Finally in 1644 he fled to Hangzhou, but in the end he was arrested and taken to Beijing, where he was beheaded in 1646.

The biographical entry in Qinshi Xu is as follows:11

Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu, had the personal nickname 敬一道人 Jingyi Daoist. He was a son of 簡王翊鏐 (Zhu) Yiliu, Prince of Jian. In 1618 Changfang inherited his feudal title. Later as the Ming dynasty perished he lived in Hangzhou. When the Qing soldiers arrived Changfang came out on the road and surrendered to them. The people of Hangzhou then respected him, calling him 潞佛子 Buddha Lu. By nature Changfang was lofty and elegant. He was good at music, made hundreds of qin, editing words and arranging them (calligraphy?), at that time ordinary people could not acquire these. Wen Junyan of West Lake made qins in this style, unattainable for a long time...

Translation incomplete. (Text at the end may be corrupt: Wen Yanjun of West Lake? Literary gentlemen's qins?)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Sources for 潞王朱常淓 Zhu Changfang, Prince of Lu (Wikipedia)
Regarding Zhu Changfang himself, Bio/571 begins, "朱常淓字中和,號敬一主人,又號敬一道人 Zhu Changfang, style name Zhonghe; nicknames Jingyi Zhuren and Jingyi Daoren." (敬一 Jing Yi: honor unity? If so then "Master of Honoring Unity", "Daoist Honoring Unity"?). See also Chinese Wiki and Chinese Baidu. He is sometimes referred to as a 藩王 fanwang, "fan" suggesting prince of a higher rank. His later interest in Buddhism led him also to be called the Buddhist master of Lu (潞佛子 Lu Fozi). He apparently also wrote a book about chess. Regarding 潞 Lu see reference below.

The only source mentioned in Qinshi Xu is Chunhu Manlu.

Jerome Kerlouegan discussed Zhu Changfang in his "Printing for Prestige? Publishing and Publications by Ming Princes", East Asian Publishing and Society, 2011 (see details).

In Vol. 1 (pp. 39-73) Kerlouegan says, et. al.,

(p. 51fn) Zhu Changfang emerges from the sources as a literatus and eccentric Buddhist antiquarian prince who was surrounded by eunuchs. He was the one prince who the Donglin sympathizers recommended to rule in Nanjing after the fall of Beijing in 1644; he was in the end not selected. He did, however, become one of the Southern Ming puppet emperors, only to suffer execution by the Manchus. His biographies (Li Qing, Sanyuan biji, 243; Weihui fuzhi 1788 [1968 reprint], 521; Qian Haiyue, Nan Ming shi, 1503-06; Lin Huiru, Mingdai yiwen, 440-41, "Lu wangfu zhenwu" 潞王府珍物 entry) do not say a word about his publications, despite the fact he was the most prolific princely publisher of the late Ming period. His publications include the Caoyun bianti 草韵辨體 (1634), a dictionary of cursive script (already republished by the Palace in 1584); the same year, a treatise on chess (weiqi 圍棋) that drew on various similar treatises, the Wanhui xianji qipu 萬彙仙機碁譜, and a music treatise, the (Lufan zuanji) Guyin Zhengzong (潞藩纂集)古音正宗 (Zhu Changfang had these two books, together with a qin and a weiqi set, brought to a local man of letters, who wrote a preface). ....
It seems likely that a whole team of courtesans helped him compile these voluminous tomes. It is not clear why he published them one after the other within such a short period of time. Was it a feeling that the end of a world was imminent, a world which, as a prince of royal blood, he embodied more than anybody else? (The Lu 潞 principality was located in Weihui, Henan, where the civil war, in the years 1634 to 1636, had already dramatically unfolded.)

(p. 69) Ming princes maintained a plethora of courtiers. Many literati without office hovered around them — and brought them books....In the same manner, it has been assumed that courtiers showed Zhu Changfang materials on music that the prince later reprinted (or compiled?) under the title (Lufan zuanji) Guyin zhengzong (潞藩纂集)古音正宗 (1634).

Ming princes who have published any of these qin handbooks are listed here.

2. Folio 2 #10 (overall #65) original title is 潞王常淓 Luwang Changfang; 5 lines.

3. Illustration of a qin by 潞王琴圖 Lu Wang (Prince of Lu) Luwang "zhonghe" style qin (from 1634)    
The illustration at right is from Zhu Changfang's handbook, Guyin Zhengzong (QQJC IX/272; 1634) while the image above came from the website of Xiling Yinshe Auction House. In 2015 they auctioned this "Lu Wang style qin inscribed by Lu Hongqi" for about 1,000,000 RMB.)

As mentioned above and in his Qinshi Xu entry (also above), Zhu Changfang is said to have made hundreds of qin, though perhaps it would be more accurate to say they were made in his studio. These were all apparently numbered. As for their style, although some Lu Wang qin are said to be "Liezi style" (q.v.), and most are said to be in "Confucian style" (中和 zhonghe q.v.), in fact almost all have a uniquely distinctive (because of angularities) version of the Confucian style. This style is clearly seen in the qin illustrated in the sketch at right. Many also had/have the same inscription as what is written on the one in the illustration above.

It has been said that most of the instruments made by Lu Wang were made to give to Zhongzhen (the last Ming emperor), who then would give them away to various people apparently in a effort to enhance his own prestige. The high regard these instruments then once had is said to have led also to there being many forgeries.

Some experts have said that examination of the actual instruments claiming to be Luwang qins makes it fairly easy to spot the forgeries. On the other hand, others have pointed out that the quality alone of a "Lu Wang Qin", or its inscriptions, does not necessarily prove that they came from the actual studio of the Prince of Lu. In addition to the easily spotted fakes that are of very bad quality (bad sound as well as unattractive shape), as the biographical entry above states, there were also instruments in this style known to have been made by skilled Hangzhou craftmen such as 西湖文君彥 Wen Junyan of West Lake. It is also known that many Lu Wang qin (whether fake or real) have subsequently been re-made, in some cases improving their appearance and perhaps their sound. In sum, determining the "authenticity" of a "Lu Wang Qin" does require expert examination.

Many instruments attributed to Lu Wang survive today. As stated by Van Gulik (Lore, p.215)

The Prince of Lu is especially known as a builder of (qin). Specimens of instruments built at Hangzhou by him or under his direct supervision are often met with in Chinese collections; most bear dates from the Zhongzhen period (1628-44).

Several detailed studies have been made focused on surviving Luwang qin. These include (Chinese only):

Searching the internet for these titles yields a number of interesting articles and images.

Notable existing instruments attributed to the Prince of Lu include:

As this list shows, there are Lu Wang qins in at least two American museums, the above-mentioned Metropolitan Museum of New York and the the Minneapolis Institute of Art (where it is apparently displayed in a scholar's studio). Note that the partial translation of the transcription on the back of the Minneapolis qin shows that at least part of the inscription is the same as with the Metropolitan Museum instrument. When I used the former for a performance at the Metropolitan Museum I thought the sound was very good but perhaps not exceptionally so (possibly because it is seldom played). I have not heard the MIA instrument.

Note that the Minneapolis qin is incorrectly displayed: long term it should it should never be left resting on the pegs (or legs, for that matter), as this could lead to warpage.

4. 潞簡王翊鏐 Prince of Lu and Jian (Zhu) Yiliu (1568 - 1614) 潞簡王墓 Lu Jian Wang Tomb   (Baidu)    
(This mausoleum is now a cultural heritage site; there are more images here. Its museum is said to have relevant publications.)
Zhu Changfang's father, 朱翊鏐 Zhu Yiliu (1568-1614) was the fourth son of 穆宗 the Longqing emperor, r. 1567-73 (Wiki). This Unesco account of his tomb refers to him as King Lujian but Prince Lujian is more common. His original title was apparently Prince of Lu (潞王 Luwang), with Prince of Jian (簡王 Jianwang) being his posthumous title. Within a year of his death the mausoleum (also called the Mausoleum of Prince Lu (潞王陵 Luwang Ling) had been built for him in what is now 新鄉 Xinxiang City. On maps it is about 100 km north of Zhengzhou (see Weihui below).

It is not clear whether, like his son, Zhu Yiliu had an interest in the qin. He has been said to have collected many qins, but I have not been able to find out any details or the source of this claim. Perhaps in this regard see under Qinshu Daquan.

5. 闈輝府 Weihui district (闈輝府)
Modern maps show Weihui in 新鄉省 Xinxiang district of northeast Henan province, about 65 miles north northeast of 鄭州 Zhengzhou. On old maps this is next to 潞安府 Lu'an district of what is today Shanxi province (next footnote).

6. 山西 潞安府 Lu'an district of Shanxi province
Neither 18839 潞 Lu nor any of its sub-entries mentions either Henan or 潞王 Lu Wang (Prince of Lu). However, they do associate Lu with various places and rivers mostly in Shanxi near the border with Henan. Meanwhile, historical maps have a 潞城 Lucheng in the middle of 潞安 Lu'an district, and modern maps show 潞城 Lucheng to be a little over 100 km northwest of 新鄉 Xinxiang and 闈輝 Weihui in Henan. (N.B. this webpage has an interesting inscription in running style by Zhu ("己卯中秋又登望月樓,其夕風清月白,夜靜蘭馨。時案頭有秦嘉鑒一圓,孤因興感,取鑒鎮紙之中。偶作此圖,工拙不暇計也,一笑。敬一。潞王之寶。) but mistakenly says that Lu was in the vicinity of Hangzhou.

7. Zhu Changfang as a printer of books
See the article
above by Jerome Kerlouegan.

8. Orthodox School of Ancient Sounds (Guyin Zhengzong 古音正宗) (1634; IX.3)
separately; see also its Table of Contents.

9. Zhu Changfang: creator of qin melodies?
According to a Chinese Hudong site, "朱常淓也善于琴曲创作,有《中和吟》、《宗雅操》、《养生操》、《悲秋》等作品 Zhu Changfang was good at creating qin melodies, his output including Zhonghe Yin, Zongya Cao, Yangsheng Cao, Bei Qiu and so forth". These are all melodies published for the first time in Guyin Zhengzong. It is not clear why this article attributes these to Zhu and not the others published here for the first time, in particular, Ping Sha Luo Yan.

Perhaps relevant to the possibility of Zhu being a creator of qin melodies, it has been written elsewhere (see, e.g., Kerlouegan) that Zhu Changfang often worked with courtesans and was in constant contact with courtiers (again Kerlouegan). Some of them could have had tablature that they played not just for self-cultivation but also for enjoyment.

See also the following for more speculation about possibly relevant activities:

During the late Ming there seemed to be a surge of popular (might one say "middle class"?) interest in the qin, influenced by its philosophical connections but also intrigued by its musical possibilities. But also for a pessimistic account of what happened next see this article by James Watt.

11. Original text of biography (Qinshi Xu #65)
The original Chinese is,

Return to the top or to the Guqin ToC.