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Chapter Five: Sui and Tang dynasties 1
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p.59 2

Part Two: Qin melodies

The Sui Annals have Qin Li Toubo, One Folio, which the Tang Annals call Qin Ji Li Tou Pai Bo; it includes over forty melody (titles).3 Also, at the end of the qin tablature for Jieshi Diao Youlan from early Tang dynasty, there was a list of over 50 melodies. Although these cannot reflect the complete picture of melodies at that time, especially because they do not include the large number of works from after the peak of the Tang dynasty, they still provide us with much information. In the above lists we see that famous melodies since Han and Wei dynasties, such as Bai Xue, You Lan, Caishi Wunong, Xishi Si Nong, Hujia Wunong and so forth still existed. There were also previously unrecorded melodies, such as Sanxia Liu Quan, Shishang Liu Quan, Qu Yuan Tan and so forth. Such a rich repertoire reflect the wide collection of qin music during the Sui and Tang dynasties, as well as the flourishing state of qin circles at the time.

The Tang dynasty saw the emergence of works characteristic to this period, such as Da Hujia and Xiao Hujia, which became popular as a result of the exchange of ethnic musical culture; Zhaojun Yuan, which was similar in form and subject; and Pili Yin, which was famous for its virility. Many melodies with long traditions, after improvement and development by Tang dynasty musicians, took on entirely new looks. Apart from inheriting and developing tradition, there was also new creation, such as Dong Tinglan's Yi Zhen and Chen Kangshi's Li Sao. Also, combinations with Tang poems yielded qin songs, such as Yangguan Sandie, Yuge Diao, and so forth.


Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. See footnote to the preface for details of the period covered (589 - 979).

2. Initial translation by 金秋雨 Jin Qiuyu

3. Qin Li: Qin melodies 琴歷,琴曲
The 38 qin melody titles listed under the 琴歷 Qin Li in 玉函山房輯 Yuhan Shanfang Ji are included here under the You Lan list. There references is made to 琴歷頭薄 Qin Li Toubo, said to be from the 隋志 Sui Annals, and 琴集力頭拍薄 Qin Ji Li Tou Pai Bo, its name in the 唐志 Tang Annals.

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