Chen Changlin 陳長林  
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Chen Changlin
With a focus on his 8 CD album (2012/13; see appendix) 2
8-set CD cover 3          

Chen Changlin is a qin master well-known not only for his expressive playing but also for the size of his repertoire (see Appendix) and for his work developing a computer program for digitially re-creating traditional qin tablature.4

The results of Chen Changlin's guqin work have been included in a set of three books published in 2012 and 2013, as follows:5

  1. 陳長林 古琴專集 Chen Changlin Guqin Album (8 CDS; contents listed below) 6
    105 tracks, including 72 pieces he has personally reconstructed, another 9 that he has arranged from melodies in other repertoires, plus pieces he originally learned from other masters (sometimes via recordings). It includes only a few of his silk string recordings. For these and other recordings see this footnote.
  2. 陳長林 古琴譜集 Chen Changlin Guqin Collected Notation 7
    88 transcriptions, including all of music on the first six CDs
  3. 陳長林 琴學文集 Chen Changlin Qin Study Essays 8
    About 40 essays and three appendices plus a DVD with videos of one lecture and three melodies.

Further translations of these materials are needed. Here at present there is only some brief biographical information.

Chen Changlin was born in 1932 in Fuzhou, Fujian province. As a teenager he studied Fujian-style qin play ("Min pai"), his teachers including his father 陳琴趣 Chen Qinqu,9 a maternal aunt 吳子美 Wu Zimei,10 and another Min school player 吳基西 Wu Jixi.11

In the 1950s Chen studied in Shanghai and Beijing with the leading players of the time, including Wu Jinglue, Zhang Ziqian, Zha Fuxi and so on. He joined the 今虞琴社 Jinyu Qin Society, then became involved with the 北京古琴研究會 Beijing Guqin Research Association. In 1958 he began doing and writing about dapu.

Professionally Chen became a 中國科學院計算技術研究所研究員 member of the China Science Academy Computer Technology Research Department. This led to his above-mentioned well-known work on developing software for writing guqin tablature (further details).

Footnotes (Shorthand references are explained on a separate page)

1. Chen Changlin (陳長林; 1932 -)
Chen Changlin earlier wrote his name 陳長齡 and 陳長令 (both "Chen Changling"). A 中國科學院計算技術研究所研究員 Researcher at the Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, he was originally from Fujian province but has lived in Beijing for many years. Further biographical details are here and under Sitong Shenpin.

2. Chen Changlin CD recordings
In addition to the recordings in the Chen Changlin collected works he has also made several other recordings, in particular a 1996 Hugo CD entitled 閩江琴韻 Min (Fujian) River Qin Music. Chen made almost all of these recordings using nylon/metal qin strings. For recordings with silk string, the 30 CD compilation Sitong Shenpin includes seven tracks with him playing with silk strings; these were all made in the 1950s. On the other hand, the 8 CD set called Lao Ba Zhang has no recordings of him, though he was apparently involved with that project, and the 74 CD compilation Jue Xiang has credits and commentary by Chen Chenglin but no recordings.

3. 8-set CD cover
The cover shown above of this book of transcriptions is very similar to the cover of the book of essays.

4. Digital transcriptions (Computer-generated tablature, such as at right Guangling Xinpu, Page one  
As outlined in this brief bio, in 1981 Chen Changlin designed a computer processing system whereby one could input letters and numbers and the program would turn this into standard qin tablature, both the decimal style used today and the style used during the Ming dynasty (see comparison). At right is a sample of this from the publication of his transcriptions (mentioned here) of the recordings listed in the Appendix. From this it looks as though the system was designed to be aligned with number notation, though it is also possible the system requires in addition a rather laborious lining up of notation with the tablature.

It is not clear to me whether this is an open-ended system that can be used for pretty much any tablature, or whether it is based on a listing made (presumably by Chen himself) of all the clusters, or part clusters, that actually exist. If the latter, then if someone uses it to write out the tablature for a piece that has not been done before, and if that piece has clusters/combinations that have not previously been used, it may become necessary to write new code into the system.

Another method used by Chen in his transcriptions is to scan the original tablature, select from this each individual cluster, and then insert those clusters under the respective notes they represent in the transcription. The only actual example of this I have found so far is for the Shen Qi Mi Pu version of Da Hujia. Could this have been because Da Hujia has so many unusual clusters?

5. CDs: Part of the Chen Changlin collected works
His collected works were published in three volumes by 文化藝術出版社 Culture and Art Pubishing House, 2012/20133 (CDs 130 元; transcriptions 80 元).

6. 陳長林 古琴專集 Chen Changlin Guqin Album
8 CDS; contents listed below. The recordings included here were presumably intended to include Chen Changlin's complete repertoire at that time, though not every recording of each piece. Several of the pieces here have linked recordings (search for "listen")

7. Transcriptions: Contents of 陳長林 古琴譜集 Chen Changlin Guqin Collected Notation (2013)
This book has 88 transcriptions, including all of music on the first six CDs; but the book also has transcriptions of seven pieces that are not recorded on these CDs (marked in the appendix below with * in place of the track number). CDs 7 and 8 seem to have no transcriptions, though the transcriptions numbered 86-88 in CD 6 are in fact of pieces included in the last two CDs (I have not yet checked to see if they are the same versions).

8. Contents of 陳長林 琴學文集 Chen Changlin Qin Study Essays (2012)   (cover)
Online commentary introduced this as follows:
This book is divided into six parts: melody reconstruction; general comments on guqin; qin music and technology; Reminiscences; Correspondence; Appendices. The main content includes discussions of the guqin melodies "Long Xiang Cao" and "Long Shuo Cao", and the adaptation of the melody Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye."

His DVD contains:

  1. 琴律漫談 Casual Discussion of Qin Rules (44.44)
  2. 莊周夢蝶 Zhuangzhou Meng Die (1425; 5.40)
  3. 白雪 Bai Xue (1425; 4.28)
  4. 鳳求凰 Feng Qiu Huang (1525; 4.38)

It is all in Chinese except for one article concerning computer notation, "Preliminary Application of Computer Technique to GuQin Music Research" (from Journal of Computer Science and Technology. 4, 85–96 [1989]). "

9. 陳琴趣 Chen Qinqu
This was the 字 style name of 陳澤鍠 (陈泽鍠) Chen Zehuang? Did he write 琴趣樓詩 Poetry of Qin-Interest Chamber?

10. 吳子美 Wu Zimei

11. 吳基西 Wu Jixi
Wu Jixi is said to have been a student of "祝桐君 Zhu Tongjun", i.e., 祝鳳喈 Zhu Fengjie, and thus in the standard tradition of the Fujian 閩派 Min qin school, 浦城一脈 Pucheng branch.

Contents of 陳長林 古琴專集 Chen Changlin Guqin Album (8 CDS; 2013)
With links to my own commentary and recordings for these pieces

Part of Chen Changlin's collected works; see also here and here. Below, after the original title and its romanization, the list adds my translations of the titles. Links given are to separate commentary on this website, where available, then the relevant item and page number (e.g., "1: 19") in the separately published book of transcriptions, 陳長林 古琴譜集 Chen Changlin Guqin Collected Notation. There are transcriptions for 88 of the 105 tracks on the 8 CDs; further details of this (in particular regarding those marked *) are given in the footnote.

The eight historical recordings by Chen Changlin included here are all found here as well; the fact that 6 of these recordings here use non-silk strings allows interesting comparions: below these are linked beginning here with Duan Qing. Several other of the recordings here also use silk strings, but although there are interesting comparisons to be made, one should keep in mind that the recording process can easily dim some of the differences. This is because the distinctiveness of the silk strings sound lies largely in the rich overstones produced by the combination of silk and wood. It is quite difficult even for professional equipment to pick up these subtleties, so the early and/or ordinary systems find it even more difficult. Added to this, if there are sound engineers "cleaning up" the sound, the distinctions can be further obscured.

Many of the links on this list, in addition to going other versions of the same melody, go to comments on recordings of my own reconstructions: I have done my own versions of most of the first 57 pieces included here.

第一輯 CD 1: 15 pieces reconstructed from Shen Qi Mi Pu

  1. 秋月照茅亭 Qiuyue Zhao Maoting (Autumn Moon Shining on a Reed Pavilion; 1: 19)
  2. 山中思友人 Shanzhong Si Youren (Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend; 2: 22)
  3. 黃雲秋塞 Huang Yun Qiu Sai (Yellow Clouds of Autumn at the Frontier; 3: 24)
  4. 小胡笳 Xiao Hujia (Small Version of Nomad Reed Pipe; 4: 27)
  5. 澤畔吟 Zepan Yin (Marshbank Melody; 5: 37)
  6. 楚歌 Chu Ge (Song Of Chu; 6: 40)
  7. 華胥引 Huaxu Yin (Huaxu Clan Prelude; 7: 46)
  8. 離騷 Li Sao (Falling into Grief; 8: 49)
  9. 列子御風 Liezi Yu Feng (Liezi Rides the Wind; 9: 56; 聽 listen)
    *凌虛吟 Lingxu Yin (Ascending the Great Void; 10: 61)
  10. 八極游 Baji You (Roaming to the Eight Corners; 11: 63)
  11. 飛鳴吟 Fei Ming Yin (Calling out in Flight; 12: 67)
  12. 陽春 Yang Chun (Sunny Spring; 13: 69)
  13. 短清 Duan Qing (Short Clarity; 14: 75; 聽 listen 5.56; compare his silk)
  14. 神化引 Shenhua Yin (Metamorphosis; 15: 81)
  15. 天風環珮 Tian Feng Huan Pei (Jade Pendants in a Heavenly Breeze; 16: 83)

第二輯 CD 2: 11 pieces reconstructed from Shen Qi Mi Pu

  1. 白雪 Bai Xue (White Snow; 17: 86)
  2. 古風操 Gu Feng Cao (The Ancient Style; 18: 91)
  3. 忘機 Wang Ji (No Ulterior Motives; 19: 95)
  4. 招隱 Zhao Yin (Seeking Seclusion; 20: 97)
  5. 獲麟 Huo Lin (Captured Unicorn; 21: 100)
  6. 鶴鳴九皋 He Ming Jiu Gao (Cranes Cry in the Nine Marshpools; 22: 105)
  7. 瀟湘水雲 Xiao Xiang Shui Yun (Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers; 23: 111)
  8. 烏夜啼 Wu Ye Ti (Evening Call of the Raven; 24: 118)
  9. 大胡笳 Da Hujia (Grand Version of Nomad Reed Pipe; 25: 125 聽 listen; 12.00; compare his silk)
  10. 龍朔操 Long Shuo Cao (Melody from the North; 26: 132)
  11. 廣寒秋 Guang Han Qiu (Autumn in a Lunar Palace; 27: 139)

第三輯 CD 3: 15 pieces, 3 reconstructed from Shen Qi Mi Pu then 12 from Xilutang Qintong

  1. 雉朝飛 Zhi Zhao Fei (Pheasants' Morning Flight; 28: 142)
  2. 莊周夢蝶 Zhuangzhou Meng Die (Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream [1425]; 29: 150; 聽 listen)
  3. 山居吟 Shan Ju Yin (Mountain Life; 30: 156)
    *臨邛引 Linqiong Yin (Linqiong Melody; belongs with Feng Qiu Huang below; 31: 159)
  4. 流觴 Liu Shang (Floating Wine-Cups; 32: 162)
  5. 仙佩迎風 Xian Pei Ying Fen (Fairy Jade in the Wind; 33: 167)
  6. 秋宵步月 Qiu Xiao Bu Yue (Autumn Night Moon Walk; 34: 169 聽 listen)
  7. 秋夜吟 Qiu Ye Yin (Autumn Evening Intonation; should precede Qiu Xiao Bu Yue 35: 173; 聽 listen)
  8. 扊扅歌 Yan Yi Ge (Doorbar Song; 36: 175)
  9. 鶴舞洞天 He Wu Dongtian (Cranes Dance in the Grotto-Heaven; 37: 179)
  10. 春曉吟 Chun Xiao Yin (Spring Dawn; 38: 181)
  11. 孤館遇神 Gu Gong Yu Shen (Encountering Spirits in an Isolated Mansion; 39: 183)
  12. 春思 Chun Si (Spring Thoughts; 40: 189)
  13. 鳳求凰 Feng Qiu Huang (A Phoenix Seeks his Mate; 41: 193)
  14. 定慧引 Ding Hui Yin (Fixed on Mental Pursuits; prelude to Dunshi Cao; 42: 198)
  15. 關雎 Guan Ju (Cry of the Ospreys; 43: 200)

第四輯 CD 4: 15 pieces; 2 reconstructed from 1525 then 13 from 12 different handbooks

  1. 離騷 Li Sao (Falling into Grief [1525]; 44: 206)
  2. 修禊吟 Xiuxi Yin (Purification Ceremony Melody; 45: 215)

  3. 古怨 Gu Yuan (Ancient Lament; 46: 217)

  4. 開指黃鶯吟 Kaizhi Huang Ying Yin (Prelude, Intonation of the Golden Oriole; 47: 220)

  5. 文君操 Wenjun Cao (Wenjun Melody; 48: 221)

  6. 伯牙吊子期 Boya Diao Ziqi (Boya Mourns Ziqi; 49: 223)

  7. 陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie (Thrice [Parting for] Yangguan <1491; 50: 225)

  8. 清江引 Qing Jiang Yin (Clear River Prelude; 1585; 51: 234)
    *秋江送別 Qiu Jiang Song Bie (Autumn River Departure; 52: 235)
    *陋室銘 Lou Shi Ming (Inscription on a Crude Dwelling ; 53: 243)

  9. 胡笳十八拍 Hujia Shibapai (Nomad Flute in 18 Sections [1597; details]; 54: 245)

  10. 孔聖經 Kong Sheng Jing (Sacred Confucian Canon [1592; prelude omitted]; 55: 267)
  11. 釋談章 Shitan Zhang (Stanzas of Siddham [omits 9 of 18 sections from the central chant]; 56: 272)

  12. 色空訣 Se Kong Jue (Canon of Form and Emptiness; 1625; 57: 279; Heart Sutra text; 聽 listen)

  13. 摩訶般若波羅蜜多心經 Moheboreboluomiduo Xinjing (Hail the Prajna-Paramita Sutra [Heart Sutra]; 1875; 58: 284; 聽 listen)

  14. 四大景 Si Da Jing (Four Grand Vistas; 1844; 59: 288)

  15. 牧笛 Mu Di (Shepherd's Flute, from 1709 [XIII/507]; 60: 291)

第五輯 CD 5: 14 pieces reconstructed from six sources plus two arrangments of folk melodies

  1. 花宮梵韻 Hua Gong Fan Yun (a version of Shitan Zhang, again omitting sections; from ~1802; 61: 293)

  2. 漁樵問答 Yu Qiao Wenda (Dialogue between a Fisherman and Woodcutter [1589 & Japan]; lyrics omitted; 62: 301)

  3. 那羅法曲 Naluo Fa Qu (Melody of the Naluo Rule [1893]; 63: 306)

  4. 漁歌 Yu Ge (Song of the Fisherman [1722]; 64: 311)
  5. 莊周夢蝶 Zhuangzhou Meng Die (Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream [1722]; 65: 323)

  6. 風雲際會 Fengyun Jihui (Instability brings Chance [1864]; 66: 333)

  7. 鷓鴣天 Zhe Gu Tian (Partridges Overhead [1907]; 67: 340)
  8. 小普庵咒 Xiao Pu'an Zhou (Small Incantation of Pu'an [1907]; 68: 342)
  9. 武陵春 Wuling Chun (Spring at Wuling [1907]; 69: 344)
  10. 耕莘釣渭 Geng Xin Diao Wei (Plow Herbs and Fish in the Wei River [1907]; 70: 346)
  11. 廣陵散新譜 Guangling San Xinpu (New Tablature for a Guangling Melody [short; 1907]; 71: 348; 聽 listen)
  12. 天籟 Tian Lai (Heavenly Music [1907]; 72: 353)

  13. 茉莉花 Moli Hua (Jasmine Flowers; from a Jiangsu folksong; 73: 355)
  14. 洪湖水,浪打浪 Hong Hu Shui, Lang Da Lang (Waves on Honghu Lake, from a 1958 revolutionary musical; 74: 359)

第六輯 CD 6: 13 pieces transcribed and played by Chen Changlin from other repertoires

  1. 春江花月夜 Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye (Spring River Flowers on a Moonlit Night [移植 adapted]; 75: 363; 聽 listen; 8.18; compare his silk)
  2. 二泉映月 Er Quan Ying Yue (Two Springs Reflect the Moon; 76: 376)
  3. 化蝶 Hua Die (Changing Butterfly; 77: 380)
  4. 釵頭鳳 Chai Tou Feng (Phoenix Hairpin; 78: 384)
  5. 寒山僧蹤 Hanshan Seng Zong (Hanshan Monk Indulging; 79: 387)
  6. 六字吉祥頌 Liu Zi Jixiang Song (Six Character Lucky Ode; 80: 389)
  7. 楞嚴一笑 Leng Yan Yi Xiao (Overcoming Obstacles with a Smile (Buddhist song); 81: 392)

  8. 陽關三疊 Yangguan Sandie (Thrice Parting for Yangguan [1864; 聽 listen; compare his silk)

  9. 平沙落雁 Pingsha Luo Yan (Wild Geese Descend on a Sandbank [as transmitted by 吳基西 Wu Jixi]; 83: 399; 聽 listen; 4.54; silk!, as here)
  10. 易水慨古 Yishui Kai Gu ([from 吳基西 Wu Jixi, who said it was from Mao Zhongwen]; 84: 404)
  11. 秋江夜泊 Qiujiang Yebo (Autumn River Night Anchorage [from 吳基西 Wu Jixi, based on 1864]; 85: 407; 聽 listen; 3.34; silk?)

    *瀟湘水雲 Xiao Xiang Shui Yun ([from Zha Fuxi, based on 1802; 86: 410)
    *欸乃 Ai Nai (Fisherman's Cry [from Guan Pinghu based on 1876#3?; 9 sections]; 87: 422)
    *古琴吟 Gu Qin Yin (Old Qin Melody [1864]; 88: 429)

  12. 普庵咒 Pu'an Zhou (no transcription; "comes from 今虞琴社 Jinyu Qin She")
  13. 憶故人 Yi Gu Ren (no transcription; "studied from 彭祉卿 Peng Zhiqing"; 聽 listen; silk?)

第七輯 CD 7: "9 pieces" (? there are 11, one of the 9 being repeated; old recordings of pieces learned from other teachers; no transcriptions)

  1. 歸去來辭 Gui Qu Lai Ci (from 程獨清 Cheng Duqing; 聽 listen; 4.16; silk!, as here)
  2. 平沙落雁 Pingsha Luo Yan (from 張友鶴 Zhang Youhe)
  3. 長門怨 Changmen Yuan (from 鄭穎蓀 Zheng Yingsun)
  4. 漁樵問答 Yu Qiao Wenda (from 徐元白 Xu Yuanbai)
  5. 醉漁唱晚 Zui Yu Chang Wan (from 衛仲樂 Wei Zhongle)
  6. 漁樵問答 Yu Qiao Wenda (from 吳景略 Wu Jinglue)
  7. 龍翔操 Long Xiang Cao (from 張子謙 Zhang Ziqian)
  8. 洞庭秋思 Dongting Qiu Si (from 查阜西 Zha Fuxi)
  9. 慨古引 Kaigu Yin (from 查阜西 Zha Fuxi)
  10. 瀟湘水雲 Xiao Xiang Shui Yun (from 查阜西 Zha Fuxi)
  11. 流水 Liu Shui (from 溥雪齋 Pu Xuezhai)

第八輯 CD 8: 11 pieces: the first six studied from teachers, the latter 5 are second versions of ones already done
本輯共十一曲。前六曲由長林向老師學習古自學;後五曲已見于上述諸輯,現在留存其他的歷史版本。 此十一曲全部由陳長林演奏

  1. 四大景 Si Da Jing (Four Grand Vistas, from Guan Pinghu)
  2. 欸乃 Ai Nai (Fisherman's Cry, from Guan Pinghu)
  3. 關山月 Guanshan Yue (Moon over Guanshan, from Mei Yanqin)
  4. 廣陵散(節本) Guangling San ("1425"; "節本 abridged": 7'24")
  5. 酒狂 Jiu Kuang (Wine Mad; triple rhythm)
  6. 古琴吟 Gu Qin Yin (Old Qin Intonation)

  7. 大胡笳(節本) Da Hujia (Grand Version of Nomad Reed Pipe, abridged; 6'34")
  8. 離騷 Li Sao (Falling into Grief [1525])
  9. 龍翔操 Long Xiang Cao (Dragon Soaring Melody; from Zhang Ziqian)
  10. 欸乃 Ai Nai (Fisherman's Cry, from Guan Pinghu)
  11. 大胡笳 Da Hujia (Grand Version of Nomad Reed Pipe, abridged; 11'04")

For most melodies links have been added to the commentary elsewhere on this site. For most of these are are further links to my own recordings of these pieces (always the earliest known publication of any particular melody).

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