Thursday, January 12, 2017

比較仇英與董源


仇英 桃園仙境圖

"...仇英有功力,然無老骨。且古人簡而愈備,淡而愈濃,英能繁不能簡、能濃不能淡,非高品也" --[竹嬾論畫] 明 李日華
Ming dynasty artist and art critic Li Rihua criticize Qiu Yin (about 1495-1552) that Yin is very skillful but lacking of ancient bone. The highest works have the quality of simple and bland outside, rich and complete inside. Qiu Yin can do very complicated and delicate art works but cannot do simple, light work.

http://img7.ph.126.net/vWTFKZbO2BrZsBsQAgs59w==/6597565646400634307.jpg
仇英 玉洞燒丹圖卷 設色青綠絹質 30.5×357.4公分 台北故宮博物院藏




董源,平淡天真多。 唐無此品,在畢宏上。 近世神品格高,無與比也。 峰巒出沒,雲霧顯晦,不裝巧趣,皆得天真。 嵐色鬱蒼,枝榦勁挺,咸有生意。 溪橋漁浦,洲渚掩映,一片江南也。-- 米芾 畫史
Dong Yuan knows how to be plain and bland, natural and authentic [pingdan tianzhen], to the utmost degree. No one under the Tang could compare...[In his landscapes] mountain peaks appeared and disappeared; clouds and fog were illuminated or darkened. He drew upon no artifice but was spontaneously spurred to natural and true expression. The mist's color is of a deep blue; trunks and branches rise up, vigorous and straight. Everything here breathes life. (In Praise of Blandness p.131)

more Dong Yuan's painting

"Like blandness in poetry, blandness in painting bathes the landscape in absence: the various forms appear only to be withdrawn, opening upon distances that transcend them. But this blandness does not lead to insubstantiality; the trees exude an inner intensity. The basis for the bland is, once again, the natural." -- Francios Jullien (In Praise of Blandness) 
This really taught me how to appreciate ancient Chinese painting, and what 平淡天真 is.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

酒狂 Drunken Madness

"遠鶴無前侶,孤雲寄太虛。狂來輕世界,醉裏得真如。" -- 懷素 [自敘帖]
"狂" 對我來說絕不是發狂失控或情緒激動. "醉裏得真如" 是我一直想去體會的. 書法中的草書不失為引介.
Playing Drunken Madness, I don't feel the playing should presenting a "madness" or emotional out of control. As the phrase from the Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk and calligrapher, Huai Su's [self-post] "Flying far away the crane, with no companion. Floating clouds alone, entrusted to the Void. When mind is free and unrestrained, he look down the world. As drunkenness, one gets real."
In the running style Cursive writing of Chinese calligraphy, I find inspiration.



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Journals from FB in 2012

覺今是而昨非... 樂琴書以消憂
(Jué jīn shì ér zuó fēi... Lè qín shū yǐ xiāo yōu)
You feel the difference between today and yesterday... enjoy qin music and reading (or calligraphy) to let go worries.
12/21/2012
--------------------------------

We knew Jiang Kui 姜夔 was the famous Song dynasty poet and composed several beautiful songs such as 暗香, 疏影, 鬲溪梅令... but today is my first time saw his calligraphy from the book [Four Thousand Years of Chinese Calligraphy]. This is Jiang Kui's handwritten colophon to the rubbing, Ting Wu Lan-ting Xu. 
Compare Jiang Kui's calligraphy to the Tang poet Li Bai, both shows completely different personality. 此為姜夔臨摩定武蘭亭序後的跋文. 字跡清秀, 與唐朝大詩人李白可真是完全不同個性呀!
10/24/2012
------------------------------------------

太音大全集之品絃法
Tuning Method from Ming Dynasty Qin book Tai Yin Da Quan Ji, which was based on the Qin book, Tai Gu Yi Yin 太古遺音, from Song Dynasty. This tuning method has been using since then till now, and is using the pressing down vs. open string method. (Another method is using harmonic to check.)

My brief translation: When do the tuning...
A, 間四應九 (Within 4 strings, Correspond on the 9th dot)

1, tune the 7th string by plucking the open 7th string and then press down the 4th on the 9th dot, and listen if they are sound the same. (My note: If the 7th string is already very tight, then adjust the 4th to match the 7th)
2, pluck the open 6th string, vs the pressing down 4th on the 10th dot. If they are not sound the same, adjust the 6th string.
3, pluck the open 7th string, vs pressing down the 5th string on the 10th dot. If they are not sound the same, adjust the 5th string.

Now the 4, 5, 6, and 7 strings are tuned.

4, pluck the open 6th, vs the pressing down 3rd string on the 9th dot.
5, pluck the open 5th, vs the pressing down 2nd string on the 9th dot.
6, Pluck the open 4th, vs the pressing down 1st string on the 9th dot.

If any of the pressing down string that has the sound different from its corresponding open string, check if slightly moving the pressing down finger up or down will make the sound the same; if it is slightly above the dot (on player's right side) then loose that string a little bit to match the open string. Vise versa.

B, 間三應十 (Within 3 strings, Correspond on the 10th dot)(except open 5th)

1, pluck the open 3rd, vs the pressing down 1st on the 10th dot
2, pluck the open 4th, vs the pressing down 2nd on the 10th dot
3, pluck the open 5th, vs the pressing down 3rd on the 11th dot
4, pluck the open 6th, vs the pressing down 4th on the 10th dot
5, pluck the open 7th, vs the pressing down 5th on the 10th dot

That is for the Zheng Diao 正調 Standard Tune's tuning. If change to different tune, the changes will also based on the Zheng Diao tuning and then adjust one or two or three strings to become other tune.

At the end, the author reminded qin players that do not think that if one can play a lot of pieces and think that is good way. One must know that quantity does not equal to quality.

10/24/2012
------------------------------
"古谱中琴曲不记具体的节奏,所以除了一种活的传承,即师承以外,很多古谱必须由自己去进行二度创造,从而形成一个总的风格,即自己的流派风格。" -- [吳文光先生訪談錄]

從開始接觸古琴是喜歡她的聲音, 到會彈, 再到近一年真正地認真打譜, 才愈發覺得古琴真可堪稱得上是中國音樂藝術之冠, 雖然打譜的過程是如同任何藝術創作的過程一般辛苦, 但他是掘之不盡, 如倒吃甘蔗般地甜美.

Just read an article about an interview of Master Wu Wen-guang talking about his father. He mentioned something about dapu (interpret ancient qin msuic by one's own understanding) that there is no specific indication of rhythm on ancient Guqin notations, so one has to recreate the ancient qin music either by following his or her teacher's instruction or study by oneself, and therefore one's own style will gradually developed.

I quoted Master Wu Wen-guang's saying down because I deeply felt recognition of what he said. After the recent years of my seriously doing dapu that I really think guqin can arguably worthy regarded as the highest of Chnese Musical Arts. Like all the process of art creation, the process of dapu is hard but the joy is endless as you dig deeper and deeper, as you are eating sugarcane from the tip to the root.
10/15/2012
管平湖 - 白雪 http:// www.tudou.com/programs/view/b5myDFXuOeg/
also from SQMP 
神奇秘譜
------------------------------------
略談音樂理論
以西樂十二平均律輔助瞭解古琴調音問題
鋼琴鍵是我認為最易瞭解西樂十二平均律的工具
每一個白鍵與緊臨的黑鍵其音距為半個音(half step), 兩個半音為一個全音(whole step)
C D E F G A B 等為西洋音名(western note name)
一個#記號或一個b記號代表升半音或降半音(#-raise half step, b-lower half step)
Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si 為唱名(singing name)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 為數字音名(numeral note)
Do 到Re 的音距是一個全音, Mi 到 Fa 的音距是一個半音
(From Do to Re is one whole step, from Mi to Fa is half step)

請注意: Pleaase note:

C 可以是Do, 但不恆等於Do (C can be Do but not identically equal to)
同理, 1 可以是C, 但不恆等於C (1 can be C but also not identically equal to)

如果以中國五聲音階來說:Do Re Mi Sol La (1, 2, 3, 5, 6)其音距為:
全,全, 半全, 全
則只要符合"全,全, 半全, 全"這個型式的音都可以唱成Do Re Mi Sol La,
如: C D E G A, 或 Bb, C, D, F, G, 或 G, A, B, D, E 等等.
The steps of Chinese Pentatonic: Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La are: Whole, Whole, Half+Whole, Whole. So, as long as following this pattern -- W W HW W, any key can be Do. For example if C is Do, then the pantatonic will be C D E G A; if Bb is Do, then the pantatonic will be Bb, C, D, F, G, etc.

這是一個網上鋼琴鍵可實際操作聽其一個八度間聲音的關係:
http://www.bgfl.org/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks2/music/piano/
Here is a Virtual Keyboard, one can actually hit the key to listen the note and get familiar with the sound distance and their relationship in one octave.

古琴正調可唱成:Do Re Fa Sol La Do Re 或 (Sol La Do Re Mi Sol La), 並不一定第一條弦就必須是C, 如上所說只要是符合"全,全半,全, 全"的音程, 第一弦也可以是Bb, 特別是在絲絃若不想上太緊的情況下可相對調低一度音或半度音甚至一個半度音都可以. 其他絃也就相應調整到符合"全,全半,全, 全"的音程.
For silk string qin, those 7 strings do not have to tune to C D F G A C D, as long as it follows that W, WH, W, W pattern; the first string can be half step or whole step lower and the rest just lower accordingly.

Add: Si to Do is half step. Si 到 Do 是半音.


回答為什麼緊五是升半音?
首先要先知道正調的唱名與緊五絃的蕤賓調的唱名:
正調: sol la do re mi sol la

蕤賓調: re mi sol la do re mi
如果彈過鋼琴的人就知道沒有#mi 只有fa
緊五絃是一種"轉調"
當五絃升高半音後要唱成Re Mi Sol La Do Re Mi
不能唱成sol la do re FA sol la 
因為fa 在中國的五聲音階是不存在的
但是以相同的音距來說 fa sol la 就是 Do Re Mi
所以相對法其它四絃就唱成 re mi sol la

如果覺得還是太複雜就先死記:

正調唱成sol la do re mi sol la

蕤賓調(緊五絃)唱成 re mi sol la do re mi
然後用泛音調音法來檢查三絃四徽跟五絃五徽要一樣的音
不動三絃只動五絃

回到問題, 緊五為什麼五弦是升半音? 沒有為什麼就是轉絃換調 換一個調而已
為什麼不是升一個全音
因為升一個全音就不成調
mi 變成#fa (or #do) 不成調
就是這樣
10/1/2012
---------------------------
有朋友問如何挑選好的古琴? 我的建議是: 
People often ask me how to pick a good guqin, my suggestions are:

1, 如果是初學者則請老師幫忙挑, 
For Beginner, please ask your teacher to find one for you.

2, 如果自己挑:確定一下每一個按音都沒有雜音, 每一個泛音都是準確與清亮的,
Make sure each press down sound has no buzzing, each harmonic sound is accurate and clear. Which means all the 13 hui are inlaid accurately.

3,絃距離面板不要太高也不能太低, 龍齦處要能容一張名片的厚度, 岳山處要能容一食指, 如果絃距琴面太高, 容易抗指, 左手會按的很吃力.
The distance between strings and the surface of qin board should not be too high or too short. At the tail, it should be able to fit the thickness of a business card. Under the bridge area, it should be able to fit the thickness of one index finger.

4, 七條絃距要很平均(在岳山與龍齦處都是)間距不宜太大或太小, 要適合自己右手能掌握運作的距離.
The distance of each strings has to be even, also not too wide or too narrow. Your right hand should be able to pluck strings within a comfortable range.

5, 琴身沒有裂痕, 絃軫轉動不太困難 ,
There is no wood cracks. Tuning pegs are comfortable to turn.

6, 如果對聲音夠敏感的人且知道自己喜歡什麼樣音質的琴聲就去聽其聲音是否太火太亮((聲音很快散出來大聲不凝聚)還是溫潤飽滿沒有火氣(通常是木頭已有年代了) ,餘韻平穩慢長.
If you have good ear, and knowing what kind of sound quality you like, try to listen if the sound comes out evenly, not too loud, not too soft, and the leftover sound is smooth and last long enough.

7,不要在溼度很大的情況下挑琴, 聲音一般在這種時候會悶悶的,濕度保持在50%-70% 之間最好.
Try not to listen a qin in a very humid environment, such as if it has been raining for several days, it will affect the sound quality, most likely will sound kind of muffled. The best humidity, my experience is between 50%-70%.

8, 如劉善教先生所說最後就是還是需要一點好運
As master Liu Shan-jiao says, finally you also need some good luck. :)





9/21/2012
-----------------------------------

Would like to give this page a Chinese name, therefore "木上絲" is created. 木上絲 literally means silk on wood, which is also the ancient pictographic Chinese character "Yue" 樂 (music).
9/5/2012
--------------------------------------

The Guqin Right Hand Fingering: Juan 蠲, 有兩種彈法, seems has two ways of playing: (1) Ex, mo 3 gou 3, 例如抹三勾三連續; uninterrupted two sounds - 共兩聲 do do. (2) Ex, mo 3 , 4 and the middle finger rest on the 3, 例如抹三四連續,中止在三; uninterrupted two sounds - 共兩聲 do re. I use (1) more often.
蠲=涓(或姢,把女改為三點水) = 捐 = 益 = ㄙ = 如天馬攢蹄, 攢有彎曲,捲曲之意, 故蠲有如馬之彎曲其兩前蹄狀

Guqin Right Hand Fingering : Die Juan 疊蠲, similar to Quan-fu 全扶 but different rhythm. For example: 疊蠲= 抹一, 稍息, 抹二, 勾一, 勾二連續; mo 1, a pause, mo 2, gou 1, gou 2; total 1+3 uninterrupted sound.
Guqin Right Hand Fingering: Quan-fu 全扶 = 例如:抹一二,勾一二,名止在一 Example: mo 1 2, gou 1 2, then ring rest on the 1, 共四聲, sol la sol la, or do re do re in a rather fast speed to make a total 4 uninterrupted sound.


9/2/2012
------------------------------
This picture shows the basic 4 instruments, Sheng 笙, Se 瑟, Qing 磬 and Gu 鼓. This picture is the scenery of a musical ensemble accompanying acrobats. Excavated in 1969 from Tomb 1 at Wuyingshang, Ji'nan, Shandong Province. Painted terra-cotta. Second to first century B.C. (on page 103 of the book, [Music in the Age of Confucius] Published by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.)
David Badagnani The original "rock music"
August 4, 2012 at 8:00pmUnlike1Message
David Badagnani I attended that Smithsonian exhibition but unfortunately I don't own the book.
August 4, 2012 at 8:01pmLikeMessage
8/4/2012
----------------------------------------------
"During the period of the Western Han 西漢 (206 b.c. - a.d. 9), a public servant named Shih Yu 史游 recopied the text of the reader created by Shih Liu 史籀 of Chou 周 in Li-Ts'ao 隸草, a mixture of the Li and Ts'ao script forms. Today, only the opening six sentences of the text, called Chi-chiu 急就, meaning "done in a moment," have survived on handwritten Han woodsticks... " -- [Four Thousand Years of Chinese Calligraphy bu Leon Long-Yuen Chang and Peter Miller].
I wish to find an image of the survived Han woodsticks of Chi-chiu... The image here is the copy by Yang Zheng 楊政 in 1439 from Ming dynasty. Yang's copy was based on the Song dynasty replica by Ye Meng-de. 葉夢得. And Ye's copy was based on Huang Xian's replica, 皇象 Huang Xiang was from The Wu of the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) 三国吴。

7/19/2012
----------------------------
在查看查老的[存見古琴指法譜字輯覽]內第六冊中關於[打圓]之解釋
發現明以前包括明都說是挑勾稍息再二作共六聲
由此我相信明代對二作就是再兩作而不是共兩作
因此省三作有可能就明代相對於二作的邏輯應是稍息再三作(而不是共三作)
希望能看到不同的佐證
4/3/2012

打圓: 打挑或勾挑來回做三次共六聲
4/6/2012
--------------------------------------


From the book "In Praise of Blandness" by Francois Jullien, page36 & 38. there are these two pictures, on the left side is the Landscape of Ni Zan 倪瓚 1372 (National Museum of Taipei), and the right side is the same landscape that Ni Zan painted 33 years earlier in 1339 (John M Crawford Collection, New York). It is quite interesting to see how Ni Zan treated the same scenery differently when he wasyounger and older. The book says: "The artist, Ni Zan painted virtually the same landscape throughout his life. He did this not, it seems, because of a particular attachment to these motifs but, on the contrary, to better express his inner detachment regarding all particular motifs and all possible motivations."

It makes me think of guqin playing. 清微淡遠是一個追求的目標, 但30 年前的清微淡遠仍只是形式上的做到, 30 年後,是否能如倪瓚那樣,把自己曾經執著的東西,都讓他們與自我分離,而達到真正的意遠?
3/24/2012
---------------------------------------
from qin qu ji cheng the 明和東皋琴譜長相思(羽音)
3/29/2012
-----------------------------

Today, received the package from 中華古琴學會 listened again my playing during the Taichung concert and crop a picture from the video.
11/29/2011
-------------------------





Journals from FB in 2014-2016

To understand guqin music, one must understand the implicit part of Chinese culture first. It is not like eating candied fruit covered with sugar, but as eating olive - light with flavors. 
要了解古琴音樂, 必須要先了解中國文化中含蓄的那些東西, 它不是像糖葫蘆表面有一層糖漿包裹著, 而是"如食橄欖, 貴淡而有味". 好像法國哲學家Francois Jullien 對"淡" 的解釋之一: 
其表現出的是微妙的, 間接的, 從不需要具體證據證明的. 
"Its manifestation is subtle, indirect, never substantiated." 
詩品: 遇之匪深,即之愈希。脫有形似,握手已違...
You meet it, without going deep.
Search for it, and it grows ever more tenuous.
If, at last, it does take on form,
You've barely grasped its hand, and already it is gone.

11/14/2016
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
古怨
唱名可以是4 5 6 7 2 3 5 或著 1 2 3 4# 6 7 2 我決定用 1 2 3 4# 6 7 2 (1=宮, 2=商, 3=角, 4#=變徵, 6=羽, 7=變宮...)

如果我的打譜與姜夔當年創作的沒有差太多的話, 我感覺這是一首非常細膩的創作, 特別是在幾個使用半音轉調, 非常有情緒. 頭兩段起音多為羽音, 結束音為商音, 一個散擘六 變宮轉調, 進入宮音"世事呀~ 何據" , 到了"委塵土"又從半音間, 變徵, 回到羽音起, 商音尾 (發將素). . 最後"歡有"到"飛去" 也是運用變宮及變徵 讓整首仍舊能回到商音結尾, 可見其音樂的進行是非常豐富多情.

白石道人歌曲選中記錄此曲為"側商調" 就是商調加了變宮變徵為散聲者曰側弄, 側商之調久亡,
唐人詩云: 側商調裡唱伊州, 姜夔根據這句話尋找到伊州大食調黃鐘律法的商調, 是用慢角(鬆三絃)轉絃取變宮變徵, 三絃本來在正調是F作為do 的音, 慢了以後就降半音,變成降do 也就是變宮. 姜夔再慢四六絃以成側商,然後創作了[古怨 ]. 側商調不是三代 (夏商周)使用的調, 而是漢代的燕樂(宮廷宴樂, 與嚴謹的雅樂是相對的)所使用過的調. -- 2016,04,21

----------------------------------------------------------------------
古人說: "凡鼓琴 ... 如無知音,寧對清風明月、蒼松怪石、顛猿老鶴而鼓耳,是為自得其樂也." 吾就將院內摘回的杜鵑與蘋果樹枝插枝在小碗內, 對花兒撫琴,也算自得其樂吧. 可突然窗外風起雲湧. 罷了,待有清風明月時, 再獨樂(yue)樂(le)吧~
Old saying: "When playing the qin, ... If there is no audience who understand the music, one does not play the qin. Or rather to play the qin to clear wind and bright moon, to dark green pine trees and interesting rocks, to energetic monkeys and old cranes, in order to gain self enjoyment. " I play to my little flower arrangement to have self enjoyment. But suddenly heavy wind blowing and dark clouds covering the sky. Sigh... Let me just stop playing the qin and wait until when there is clear wind and bright moon.



3/28/2016
陳國燈 此情此景很適合彈山居吟之類的曲子。
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
古人說: "凡鼓琴 ... 如無知音,寧對清風明月、蒼松怪石、顛猿老鶴而鼓耳,是為自得其樂也." 吾就將院內摘回的杜鵑與蘋果樹枝插枝在小碗內, 對花兒撫琴,也算自得其樂吧. 可突然窗外風起雲湧. 罷了,待有清風明月時, 再獨樂(yue)樂(le)吧~

Old saying: "When playing the qin, ... If there is no audience who understand the music, one does not play the qin. Or rather to play the qin to clear wind and bright moon, to dark green pine trees and interesting rocks, to energetic monkeys and old cranes, in order to gain self enjoyment. " I play to my little flower arrangement to have self enjoyment. But suddenly heavy wind blowing and dark clouds covering the sky. Sigh... Let me just stop playing the qin and wait until when there is clear wind and bright moon.


3/28/2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
穆穆清風至,吹我羅衣裾。青袍似春草,草長條風舒。
漢·樂府民歌“穆穆清風至”

Peaceful and warm Spring is coming
Wind from north east floating through my hem of skirt
and my green robe is like the 
Spring grass stretching charmingly and gently 
-- Ancient poem from Han dynasty
2/5/2016

-------------------------------------------------------
越是到年節越容易讓人心浮動, 越是嘗試做更多事, 越容易被不理解的人甚至被自己的心指責, 做得不好, 或未達標準, 或有利益得失之心. 看來又是到修心的時候了, 找一件不與人接觸的事情專心做, 彈琴或研究琴是最佳的選擇. 讓琴引導我心平靜吧~ 
When it is closer to holiday season, mind is much easily to get interrupted and less calm. When trying to do more things relates to human and profits, it is also easily to get frustrated, and blame by others or even by self for not doing good enough or not achieve certain expectation. Therefore, it is time to meditate. Find a thing to concentrate, playing qin or studying qin is always a good choice, let the qin guide me to a peaceful land.


12/25/2015
-----------------------------------------

晨起 練琴 曦光 簾影
Morning got up 
Practicing the qin
Early dawn 
Shining through

10/11/2015
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Really glad to see students who put his or her heart into learning and practicing the guqin and I am very glad to see Mike's progress. Thank you for your hard working.

Michael BornKnowledge Johnson Thank you laoshi. Without you're knowledge and instruction this may not have come to be. I truly thank you. Am glad we have crossed paths in this life.
Yann Costantini When technology meets tradition: seeing a guqin on skype. What a beautiful instrument! Congratulations Michael!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10/27/2015
昨日漫遊花蓮市 因緣普連寺遇一善人 聊到古琴 善人遂贈送此物 雖為舊物 滿心歡喜 意義于我 非凡




---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Incorrect posture -- X
Correct posture -- O

Left thumb pressing: the thumb and index finger shape as imagining a phoenix holding a roll of paper in its beak.
"拇按而食覆" literally means thumb pressing and index covering over. Please see master Wu Zhao-ji's left hand posture of the thumb and index finger."

8/28/2015

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
幽蘭微見 袁中平
------------------------------------------


3/16/2015
--------------------------------------------------------

敬祝
琴友們
新年快樂
寧靜致遠
Tranquility yields transcendence.
Happy Chinese New Year to all my qin friends.

2/18/2015


琴就是你自己

或著我可以這麼說嗎?

琴是我想要卻很難做到的自己 
(因為生活上的種種因素讓我們戴上面具或擋上盾牌)
是我很難讓人瞭解的深藏的自己
無法用言語表達
只有琴能幫助並讓我感受到

"Qin is yourself"
Or may I say that Qin is the part of me that I am hardly can be. 
(Because we have to deal with daily life challenge, that makes us putting on a mask or a shield)
The part of me that is hidden and hardly can be explained.
Therefore only the qin can help to let me know who I really am and let me be my true self.


Today we visited the Taipei Qin Dao Hall, a tranquil place for calming our mind and soul. 今訪台北琴道館, 一個能讓心靈寧靜的完美所在.
2/13/2015
---------------------------------
My dear students who seriously practicing and submitted your homework of the qin, I am really happy to see your progresses. Keep the good works and always practice with a calm spirit. 
我親愛的有認真練習並交作業的古琴學生們, 為師的我真的很感動看到你們的進步. 請繼續努力, 並永保一顆冷靜的心彈琴.
1/29/2015
--------------------------------


學琴不能太急切也不能太隨意. 耐心是建立功夫的良方. 
Learning the Guqin cannot be too eager nor too casual. Patient is the best treatment to establish skills.
1/3/2015
---------------------------
Thanks for one of my Skype student allowing me to share this photo. 每一個人都有一些背後的故事, 這位學生的手曾經受傷過, 因此食指與中指的指甲已無法像正常的指甲生長, 但他還是盡力克服了這些障礙, 目前要繼續克服的障礙是無名指與小指的肌肉, 使它們能輕鬆伸直, 他很認真的讓練琴來訓練不靈活的肌肉. 精神可佩, 並也漸漸看到進步.
Everyone has their story behind. This student's right hand was once injured, so his index and middle finger's nails couldn't grow as normal finger nails. But he is practicing hard to overcome these obstacles. Currently he also needs to conquer the challenge of improving the flexibility of the mussel of ring finger and pinky. I see his progress every week and really think highly of his perseverance.
10/11/2014
---------------------------------

信意閒彈秋思時,調清聲直韵疏遲。
近來漸喜無人聽,琴格高低心自知 -- 白居易[彈秋思]
Another poem about enjoying playing the qin alone, from Tang dynasty poet, Bai Juyi [Playing Autumn Thought]
my attempt translation:
Let alone my mind, peacefully playing Autumn Thought
Clear melody, slow rhythm, profound sound
I've recently begun to enjoy playing alone without an audience
Good or bad I know my style very well.

10/7/2014
------------------------------------------
Thanks for Glenn's generosity to allow me to share this photo with everyone. I think the photo says it self. To have a better energy flow, wrists better keep flat. 左圖為坐腕,不利氣行,是不好的姿式. 當如右圖, 平腕.
9/19/2014
--------------------------
要想彈好真正的古琴, 不能忘本丟源. 追溯其本源那是脫離不了儒釋道的思想. 如果只用西方理論, 只想用科學理論來解釋古琴的種種, 會失去一種根本的文化精神, 將只徒具形式沒有靈魂一樣. 因此我相信若能吸收各方優點,但最重要不忘本,那才是彈琴最高尚的精神呈現. 
I believe that the highest qin playing spirit is not only with good playing skill, but extend the roots deep. The roots of the guqin is the Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism culture roots. Qin player should not forget or abandon it's origin.
9/18/2014
--------------------------------
Chinese saying: 聽君一席琴話, 勝讀十年書. 
"話"也可以是"琴"
I profit more from one consultation with you and your qin playing than from my ten years of reading.
9/14/2014
----------------------------

清微淡遠- 青山的"遠"
第一次讀徐青山的溪山琴況是在十三年前. 經過十幾年的彈琴經驗, 以及人生經驗, 到今天才能說約略能感受到什麼是徐青山的二十四琴況中的"遠" 的意味.

"遠以遲似, 而實與遲異. 遲以氣用, 遠以神行."

所以"遠"是精神層面的不是物質或物理(彈琴指法技法)的層面. (相對於清, 微, 淡), 遠, 是一種藝術欣賞.

"蓋音至于遠, 境入希夷, 非知音未易知, 而中獨有悠悠不己之志. 吾故曰: 求之絃中如不足, 得之絃外則有餘也"

許健先生也在[虞山派的清微淡遠]中論過"遠" -- 他說: 成功的演奏可以使人"音至于遠. 境入希夷" 引導人們深入奇妙的藝術境界. 浮想聯翩. 意趣無窮. "而中獨有悠悠不己之志" 所謂"得之絃外則有餘"

老子說:視之不見名曰夷, 聽之不聞名曰希

"遠" 不是聽到音樂的什麼音什麼調, 而是聽到音樂後所產生的情感想像.

9/2/2014
----------------------------

從[烏夜啼], 到"楚聲"...

讀許健的<<評[神奇秘譜]>>中提到[烏夜啼]是傳自南北朝西曲民歌.
困惑什麼是西曲?

(吳哥西曲)是南北朝時代的民歌, 指保存於[樂府詩集 清商曲辭]中的南朝民歌,被貴族采入樂府.
"吳歌"以建業(南京)為中心, "西曲" 以湖北江陵為中心, 在荊, 樊, 鄧, 之間. 即現今湖北中西部向西涉及湖南,四川,貴州,一帶的民歌與舞蹈, 反映城市生活,以情歌為主, 語言清新自然.

"江南吳歌" "荊楚西聲" 這個"荊楚西聲"(楚國又稱荊)應當指的就是西曲, 是否指的也就是楚聲.

《唐书.礼乐志》说:“周隋管弦杂曲数百,皆西凉乐也,鼓舞曲皆龟兹乐也。惟琴工猶傳楚漢舊聲及清调...” 就是說琴人所彈的很多都是楚漢舊聲而不是外來音樂聲,如西涼樂,龜兹樂...

網上有人說吳歌西曲繁榮的原因之一是統治者的提倡: 南史. 張貴妃傳: "(陳)後主每引賓客對貴妃等游宴, 則使諸貴人及女學士與狎客共賦新詩, 互相贈答. 采其尤豔麗者, 以為曲調, 被以新聲, 選宮女有容色者以千百數, 令習而歌之. " 所以說被文人取用並紀錄下來的多是他們覺得特別豔麗的音樂.

神奇秘譜的烏夜啼一曲運用了很多"鎖" 使同一條弦上短時間內產生快速的連續重覆的音. 這樣的指法運用是古曲"韻少聲多"的特色. 是否也是受到所謂"豔麗"的影響?

所以古楚聲是否多為豔麗? 取聲多繁複?烏夜啼是否接近古楚聲? 木上絲的喃喃自語...

8/27/2014
---------------------------

有一種很奇妙的發現... 當感到頻率不對時, 會煩, 會生氣, 會懷疑, 會辯論, 會逃避, 會氣餒,會挑剔. 可是一但頻率對了, 心會很自然的平靜, 無聲便勝過有聲, 什麼也不用表態, 那是一種心領神會, 很棒的感覺. 我跟古琴之間的關係也是這樣, 琴音琴絃的好壞只有在用過之後發現是那麼自然平和又悅耳順手,又不傷荷包的狀況下時, 我無言了, 不再懷疑, 不再挑剔, 因為無須再多說什麼, 我已經感覺到了我跟她之間的平衡關係. 同理也出現在很多其他事物中.
A wonderful discovery... When the frequency was wrong, I'll feel annoyed, angry, doubt, debate, frustrated, escape, picky.... But when the frequency is right, my heart will feel calm. Nothing need to be positioned, described, and explained. It is known intuitively. My relationship with the Guqin is like that. For example, when the qin and its strings are good match, which pleased my ears, my hands, and my wallet, I'll have nothing to say. No more doubt, no picky anymore, nothing to proclaim. I have already found the balance between me and her. Same as to many other things. :)
8
8/13/2014
--------------------------------------


For qin friends who are interested in the study of [Flowing Water]... This picture is showing a paragraph from Mr. 查阜西's research of [張孔山流水] 傳本考異 in June 9, 1957.
 "諸譜亦間有之, 但只載首尾, 中缺滾拂. ... 非古人之不傳滾彿也, 時滾彿一段, 可以意會, 不可言傳." -- the "72 gun fu" part was omitted out from many qin tablature, not because ancient masters didn't teach this part, it is so difficult that can only be sensed but not explained.

Until Taoist pr
iest Zhang Kong-shan (who was teaching qin at Si-chuan Provence between 1851-1894) and his pupils started to try to write down the techniques of this missing part. 

Zhang did not invent the "72 gun fu" but learned from his teacher, 馮彤雲 Feng Tong-yun. According to Zha Fu-xi, Feng did not create the "72 gun fu" either. It should be already existed since then, and since it is so complicated that can only be taught by oral explanation and physical demonstration.
The foot note for #1 is : 見張孔山傳[百瓶齋流水譜]抄本和楊時百[琴學叢書] 刻本.
6/24/2014
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Master Wu Zhaoji's 吳兆基 explanation of "dapu" 打譜 -- "dapu" is a meticulous and complicated work of recreating ancient melody. Based on what the qin tablature indicates, and based on one's understanding of what the composer had encountered in his or her life. Then to fathom the composer's thoughts and emotions. Because every qin player has his or her own playing style, personality, and different understanding of music, the result of each person's "dapu" can be vary.

David Badagnani Thank you for taking the time to explain this. I haven't read such a clear explanation before. But can you help to explain why the character "打" is part of the term? Doesn't that mean "to hit/strike" (as in percussion 打击)?See Translation
UnlikeReplyMessage1June 18, 2014 at 1:18pm

Peiyouqin 木上絲 David, checking the dictionary http://www.zdic.net/z/1a/js/6253.htm
"da" has several meaning, and I think in this link, the #18 is an appropriate explanation: "Conduct certain activities." Do you think that fit the meaning of the da from "dapu"?

LikeReplyRemove PreviewCommented on by Peiyou ChangJune 18, 2014 at 2:24pmEdited
David Badagnani Like "打酱油" 
UnlikeReplyMessage1June 18, 2014 at 2:25pm
Peiyouqin 木上絲 haha... yes,
LikeReplyCommented on by Peiyou ChangJune 18, 2014 at 2:25pm
David Badagnani Like you are "grabbing" or "catching hold" of the original music creator's intent. I really like this idea.
UnlikeReplyMessage2June 18, 2014 at 2:26pm