Qin Shi Chubian 6C2: Analysis of Yuan Jue's Qin Shu 
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Chapter Six: Song and Yuan dynasties 1
Xu Jian, Introductory History of the Qin, p. 115-6

6.C. Qin Essays 2

2. Yuan Jue, 3 Qin Shu (Qin Narration) 4



Yuan Jue (1266 - 1327), nickname Qingrong Jushi, studied "Inner Chamber Tablature" (Gepu5) during childhood and later Zhe tablature (Zhe Pu6) from Xu Tianmin.7 His Qin Narration introduces the evolution of types of qin pu during the Song dynasty, asserting that although during the reign of the Song dynasty's Emperor Taizong (r. 976 - 997), it had been officially ordained that "those unskilled in inner chamber tablature could not be daizhao",8 "nevertheless other handbook styles existed". Among them, River-West tablature (Jiang-xi Pu9) was more comprehensive than Ge Pu, and the melodies collected are more varied, so "poets and soldiers enjoyed it and it was popular among them. It is said that anything not included in it were not worthy of being named."10 Later Zhe Pu gained popularity and replaced the previous two.

Zhe Pu music is that of the Zixiadong Pu compiled by Yang Zan and others. Some thought that it lacked tradition but Yuan Jue disagreed. He asked Xu Tianmin about the origin of Zhe Pu and compared it to the tablature collected by Zhang Yan. He concluded that both came from the same origin, i.e. Han Tuozhou's ancient tablature passed down from his ancestors. So he was resentful that Yang Zan "hid the names of predecessors to claim credit himself by not specifying the origins of his handbook". He also described, in Qin Shu, when Yang Zan sent someone to study Guo Chuwang's tablature from Liu Zhifang, providing historical information regarding the origin and formation of the Zhe school.

Qin Shu was an addition to and continuation of Zhu Changwen's Qin Shi. Zhu's history mainly took pre-Song historical information from history books, whereas Yuan Jue collected information regarding the spread of Song-dynasty qin melodies through actual investigation. He also recorded many key developments in qin tablature, which was more valuable to qin research.

Qin Shu was collected in Qingrong Jushi Ji.11 At the time, Yuan Jue wrote this essay as a gift to Huang Yiran. When he wrote it, he did not personally know Huang Yiran; it was only out of their common interest in the art of qin that he actively wrote regarding the development of qin tablature "to satisfy his curiosity in this life". Qingrong Jushi Ji also contained an essay dedicated to his student, Luo Dazhang, which discussed the northern Wanyan Furen Pu (see Wanyan Family Qin Tablature), also derived from the Song-dynasty Inner Chamber Tablature, and so forth.

(Continue with next, Cui Zundu, Qin Jian)

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. Yuan Jue 袁桷
Yuan Jue, nicknamed Retired Scholar with an Honorable Manner (清容居士 Qingrong Jushi). His writings were compiled into a Qingrong Jushi Ji, mentioned further below.

4. Qin Shu 琴述
48904.xxx; see in Rao Zongyi, especially Section 2 (pp.83-4 or 570). The full title of this essay, apparently part of Folio 44 of Qingrong Jushi Ji, is Qin Narration, Presented to Huang Yiran (琴述,贈黃依然 Qin Shu, Zeng Huang Yiran; see also Chapter 6.A., p. 94). Folio 49, 題徐天民草書 Ti Xu Tianmin Caoshu apparently has further related information. I have not yet been able to see the original articles. Xu Jian has the following quotes, perhaps all from Folio 44.

非入閣本不得待詔(,私相傳習....see my interpretation of this passage)

5. Gepu 閣譜 (Inner chamber tablature)
Gepu (42230.xxx) is also mentioned in Chapter 6b2 and discussed in Chapter 6a5. It is not yet clear to me to what extent this term refers to a collection of tablature, to a collection of melodies, or a style of qin play (see the description by Rao). During the Southern Song it was apparently preserved in the north as Wanyan family tablature.

6. Zhe Tablature 浙譜 Zhe Pu
Zhe Pu (178979.xxx; .17 浙派 Zhepai concerns Ming dynasty Hangzhou painters, poetry critics, or Qing dynasty Hangzhou seal carvers) might also be translated "Zhe music". The relationship between Zhe tablature and the Zhe school of guqin is not clear. Its origins also do not seem to be clearly laid out. The discussion of Yang Zhun in Chapter 6a3 seems to be suggested that it originated in the mid 13th century, while the essay by Cheng Yujian in Chapter 6c7 seems to date it to at least a century or more earlier.

Zhe Tablature is generally contrasted with Jiang-xi Tablature, which in turn is contrasted with Inner Chamber Tablature. This seems to suggest that (at least in Southern Song Hangzhou) members of the Zhe and Jiang-xi schools were arguing for the validity of the particular tablature they were using. The Zhe school seems to have centered on the famous players in Hangzhou discussed in Chapter 6a3.

7. Concerning Xu Tianmin
Perhaps the information here about the famous qin player Xu Tianmin comes from Yuan Jue's essay "Concerning the calligraphy of Xu Tianmin" (題徐天民草書 Ti Xu Tianmin Caoshu), apparently all or part of Qingrong Jushi Ji, Folio 49 (see below). It is also said that Xu Tianmin 曾在天封塔下南湖袁氏家塾教19歲的袁桷學琴 taught the 19 year old Yuan Jue at the Tianfeng Pagoda (the one in Ningbo?)

8. Daizhao 待詔
Presumably Qin Daizhao; see references under QSCB, Chapter 6a1.

9. River-West Tablature (Jiang Xi Pu 江西譜)
The word "pu" in the title literally means "tablature", but here the term also seems to be used to refer to the music itself. "Jiangxi" ("River-west", i.e., west along the Yangzi river) is the name of a province in central China, so here the same characters are Romanized "Jiang xi" or "Jiang-xi" to show that its meaning is not so specific: thus 17496.92 江西 is somewhat vague, saying 長江中流南岸之地,一作江右 the area along the south side of the middle Yangzi region, also called River-right (Jiang you 17496.71 does not specify the south side); in fact, it does roughly correspond to the area around Jiangxi province. The style of Jiang-xi pu was said to be in contrast to that of Zhe pu (Zhepu) as well as of Ge pu (Gepu).

According to Xu Jian in Chapter 6a5, regulations by the royal court (eventually) made gepu "even more separate from the masses, becoming something moribund, so that it was later replaced by the people's lively and vigorous Jiang-xi pu." He cites Folio 44 of Qin Shu by Yuan Jue.

Jiang-xi pu is apparently unrelated to what in the Ming dynasty was called 江派 Jiang school music (see Jiang Men).

10. 騷人介士皆喜而爭慕之,謂不若是,不足以名琴也

11. Qingrong Jushi Ji 清容居士集五十卷
Discussed in greater detail under Yuan Jue (also the footote).

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