Wang Duo  
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Twentieth century     At least 7 Wang Duo CDs   首頁
Wang Duo 1
Wumen School
Wang Duo, from his Hugo Bai Xue album2          
At present I have seven CDs of recordings by Wang Duo himself (the content of these CDs is listed beginning here), pluse one double CD with one track by him and the rest by people playing reconstructions, also on silk string qins (content listed here). None of them has any English except the two Hugo CDs, which translates only the song titles (but not either album title); none has any romanization. Some of them will have links to an mp3 file with the sound of that particular track.

The following is adapted mostly from a self-introduction by Wang Duo himself. 3

Wang Duo's family "old home" is 徽州 Huizhou (Anhui province, near Huangshan), but in 1938 he was born in Suzhou. His father practised traditional medicine, his mother was a qin teacher. From an early age he studied classical arts such as qin, books and calligraphy, and with one or both of his parents would often attend the "怡園雅集": elegant gatherings at the "Garden of Pleasance" in Suzhou. These were led by Wu Lansun; he then became an avid disciple of Wu Lansun's son, Wu Zhaoji. At the same time the scholar 李子昭 Li Zizhao influenced him and he became particularly fond of reading the Eight Great Prose Masters of the the Tang and Song dynasties.

Wang Duo studied exhaustively under Wu Zhaoji for three years before entering the geography department of Peking University. During six years in Beijing he would visit the Beijing Music Research Institute to listen to and converse with all the qin players there and elsewhere in Beijing.

Studies finished, Wang Duo went to the nearby 越州山野 Yuezhou wilderness area to engage in the "四清 Four Cleanups". Then the Cultural Revolution broke out an it was over 10 years before he could return to the cultural practices he loved. Having returned, though, he returned to his profession and taught geography as his career.

However, he also returned to his guqin activities, and in particular after retirement, Wang Duo has focused on reconstructing old melodies, encouraging the use of silk strings, and cultivating a Daoist approach. In his reconstructions of old melodies he has particularly focused on the handbook whose compiler 汪芝 Wang Zhi, like Wang Duo himself, hailed from Huizhou.

To further encourage silk strings Wang not only teaches by example, he encourages his pupils to make their own high-quality silk strings. Since 2004 he has been holding recitals around China, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei. He has concurrently been an adviser to the Kunju and Guqin Research Society of China, to the China Academy of Guqin, is Vice President of the International Society of Guqin for Life Enhancement and has been Head of the Guqin Research Center of Suzhou University of Science and Technology. Special research topics include: silk strings, music reconstruction, qin melodies with Daoist themes, and a Daoist approach to playing guqin.

Footnotes (Numbers refer to entries in Zhongwen Dacidian)

1. Wang Duo (王鐸 1938- ; Baidu
An internet search for "王鐸" (Wang Duo) is complicated by the fact there was a very well-known calligrapher of the same name who straddled the Ming and Qing dynasties (1592-1652; Wiki). And it is also the name of a Tang dynasty military official (? - 884; Wiki).

An internet serach for "Wang Duo" is similarly complicated because it is the name (in Chinese written 汪鐸) of a Chinese film star. In both cases add the word “guqin” or "古琴".

2. Wang Duo plays qin
Copied from inside his Hugo Bai Xue album. Both Hugo albums have translations of the titles of the melodies. Otherwise none of the albums listed starting here has any English or even romanization.

3. Program notes for 道家琴曲 Daoist Qin Melodies (converted pdf; original jpg)
The album has no English and the Chinese is in simplified characters. To make the attached pdf file I used OCR to transcribe the Chinese characters then used a program to convert the simplified characters into standard characters Designs on the paper behind the characters caused problems in some places. while both conversion programs raised problems.

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