Qin Shi Chubian 6C1: Analysis of Chu Changwen's Qin Shi 
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Chapter Six: Song and Yuan dynasties 1
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p. 114

6.C. Qin Essays 2

1. Zhu Changwen, 3 Qin Shi (Qin History) 4



Zhu Changwen (AD 1038-1098), style name Boyuan, nickname Lepu. His grandfather Zhu Yi was the 刑部尚書 Minister of Justice during the reign of Song Emperor Taizong. Zhu Changwen became a jinshi at age 19, but did not become an official due to a foot injury during horseback riding. He read, taught, and wrote at his home in Suzhou. He collected some twenty thousand books at home and was quite influential locally. In his later years, he took civil service positions such as 太學博士 Erudite in the School of the State and 樞密院編修 Junior Compiler in the Bureau of Military Affairs. He believed that qin should have its own history written, much like calligraphy and painting. Thus he "read and researched widely" history books, biographies, records and collections, editing and writing Qin Shi in six folios. From pre-Qin to early Song, in chronological order, he collected records regarding 156 people who had connections to the qin.5 Zhu Changwen wrote the first book dedicated to qin history and thus contributed to the development of the study of qin.

Based on the writing style of history books, he gave overviews of individuals and focused on accounts relating to qin. In recounting history he often added his own commentary. He did not list certain historical data entirely objectively, instead often making his own judgements based on analysis of the material from many different aspects. For example, Xin Tang Shu: Biography of Fang Guan records that Dong Tinglan, relying on his influence on (Grand Councillor) Fang Guan, received numerous bribes. After quoting Du Fu and Xue Yijian's evaluation of Dong Tinglan, he rejected the version in Xin Tang Shu, asserting that it was written by an adversary of Fang Guan. Also, Jin Shu: Biography of Xi Kang records that Xi Kang stayed overnight at Huayang Pavilion, where someone professing himself to be "an ancient" taught him to play Guangling San. He firmly rejected this, writing that "it is strange and unsupported". Zhu Changwen's these views are all quite reasonable.

Although he held retrospective ideals as a feudalistic literatus, considering the specific state of the passing-down of ancient melodies, he was compelled to admit that it would be impossible for all ancient qin melodies to be passed down without change. For example, he wrote in Investigating the Modes (Shen Diao, the sixth theoretical essay in at the end of Qin Shi that "of melodies from the Zhou dynasty, few survived until the Han. Of those from the Han, few survived until the Tang. Of those from the Tang, many today can no longer be played. They gradually grow further away in history and die out from not being played." In Discussing the Tones (Lun Yin, the fifth theoretical essay) he used Caishi Wu Nong as an example, saying that Xi Kang considered it a "melody of vulgarity" so it must have been a popular, common melody at the time. But by the Song dynasty, "its sound is strange and the techniques too difficult to play". He also believed that the development and change of qin melodies comes from the practical creation of qin craftsmen. As an example, he cites Ji Yuanrong and Yang Gai of the Jin dynasty and the Ma Family (of Ma Rong?), and Shen and Zhu families (q.v.), of the Tang dynasty, who "took the lead in creating new sounds", thereby creating a situation in which "the sounds vary and so does the study of qin. Now a melody can be the same yet sound different". This is accurate of the development of qin melodies.

Although Zhu Changwen recognized certain patterns in the development of the art of qin, he did not approve of them, instead regretting that ancient music no longer exists. He criticized contemporary monks and taoists who contributed to qin developments, saying they "create elaborate, vulgar tunes designed to please". On the other hand, he praised Emperor Taizong of the Song dynasty and (his own grandfather) Zhu Yi. Of course this came from his class prejudices. Regardless, Qin Shi was still a valuable piece of work. Completed in AD 1084, it was not until AD 1233 that Qin Shi was published by his grand-nephew. Influenced by this book, the late Zhou Tingyun also compiled a Qin Shi Bu (Additions to Qin Shi) and Qin Shi Xu (Qin Shi Continued).

Continue with next, Yuan Jue, Qin Shu)

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chapter 6 covers these dynasties (dates, capital city [modern name]):

Northern Song (960-1126; Dongjing [Kaifeng])
Liao (907-1125; Dading Fu [Daning?])
Southern Song (1127-1280; Linan Fu [Hangzhou])
Jin (1115-1260; Zhongdu [Beijing])
Yuan (1206-1280-1368; Dadu [Beijing]) (Return)

2. Initial translation by 金秋雨 Jin Qiuyu

3. 朱長文 Zhu Changwen
See Qinshi Xu entry.

4. Qin History (琴史 Qin Shi)
According to an article by Rao Zongyi Qin Shi (see footnote) was completed 1085 but not published until 1233.

5. The Table of Contents has 144 biographical entries, but in the text #120 - 122 are combined into one, so the original probably had 146. Some of them cover more than one person, hence Xu Jian's figure of 1576.

Return to the top or to Song-Yuan in the Qinshi Chubian outline.