Saturday, November 17, 2018

樂圖論

宋 陳暘 制 樂圖論

共200卷 1-95卷為訓義, 96卷專論律呂本義
100卷 : 十二律總論, 旋宮
119-120卷  雅部 絲之屬
電子書 (有圖)

141-143卷 俗部 絲之屬
電子書

163 卷 犯調
樂府諸曲 自古不用犯聲 以為不順也 唐自天后末年 劒氣入 渾脱始為犯聲之始 劒氣宮調 渾脱角調 以臣犯君 故有犯聲 明皇時 樂人孫處秀善吹笛 好作犯聲 時人以為新意 而効之 因有犯調 亦鄭聲之變 削而去之 則聲細者不抑 大者不陵 而中正之雅 庶幾乎在矣 五行之聲 所司為正 所欹為旁 所斜為偏 所下為側 故正宮之調 正犯黄鍾宮 旁犯越調 偏犯中呂宮 側犯越角之類

陵: 古同“”,侵犯,欺侮。
* 庶幾: 差不多;近似
* 欹: 倾斜, 斜靠

155卷 歌琴
夫作五絃之琴歌 南風之詩 實自舜始也 盖南風生養之氣也 琴夏至之音也 舜以生養之 徳播夏至之音始也 其親底豫而天下化終也 其親底豫 而天下之為父子者定然 則所謂琴音調 而天下治豈不在兹歟 然舜歌南風之詩 不過詠父母生養之徳 達孝思之心 以解憂而已 豈特解民慍 阜民財哉 顔回援琴而歌 豈亦得於此歟 漢司馬相如之為琴歌 魏曹植之為琴調 其歌雖與古同 其所以歌亦在去取之域矣

琴曲 南風歌, 陳暘的樂圖論認為是在詠父母生養之德, 表達孝思之心. 

2018 London International Guqin Conference Records

Saturday 25th August, 2018 I attended the London International Guqin Festival Conference at Khalili Lecture Theatre, SAOS

Here is my record of the conference. (still not done yet, will try adding more photos and notes)
--------------------
Session 1: Organology, Social and Cross-cultural Meaning
Chair: Luca Pisano

10:00  A Silk-Stringed Qin and Its Three Western Sinologists: Robert van Gulick 高羅佩, Laurence Picken 畢鏗(音坑) and Stephen Jones 忠思弟, presented by Cheng Yu (SOAS, University of London)

 

10:30 Yangzhou as a Thriving Center of Guqin Societies And Manufacturing - Jiang He (Masters student, Sichuan Conservatory of Music)




 11:00 Tea break and networking

11:30 The Qianlong 乾隆 Emperor's Guqin: Craftmanship, Nostalgia and Virtue - Edward Luper (Chinese art specialist at Bonhams auction house)



"of pearl-string (lianzhu) type, the tapering body modelled with a gently convex upper surface with cusped edges along the neck and waist, the underside with two peg guards on one end, supporting the musical instrument with seven celadon jade tuning pegs and two circular celadon jade goose feet, the front inlaid vertically with thirteen golden studs (hui), the ridge (yue mountain) and brow (drew receptacle) set with a pale celadon jade panel, the tail similarly framed with celadon jade, the reverse with four apertures, a rectangular peg pool near the head framing the tuning pegs, a shapely ruyi-shaped dragon pool and phoenix pond, interrupted by an oval sound hole and the pair of jade goose feet, one incised with cranes and ruyi motifs, the other with petal lappets and circular markings, each stringing three or four of the seven silk chords, the front of the instrument decorated with traces of cranes and clouds against the lacquered surface, the evenly lacquered exterior detailed overall with circular markings simulating ancient 'prunus crackles' (meihua duan) and accentuated with 'serpent belly crackles' (shefu duan), finely inscribed on the unlacquered wutong  interior with three main inscriptions visible through the apertures on the underside, an imperial poem eulogising the   qin  with a   yuzhi  mark in clerical script and a faint cinnabar seal mark seen through the dragon pool, the sound hole revealing a further inscription in clerical script dated to the autumn of the tenth year of the Qianlong period (1745), stating that the qin was made in Butong shuwu ['Replenished Wutong Library'] according to Qinding lulu Zhengyi    [Imperial musical encyclopedia]  followed by a cinnabar seal mark, possibly reading bide  (‘virtuous [as jade]’), all above the name of the   qin   in seal script reading Xiangjiang qiubi    (‘Clear Autumn Skies above the Xiang River’) visible through the phoenix pond, the tuning pegs attached with tassels
101 公分,39 3/4 英寸"





不解攫醳解琴意,七弦掛壁何不可?
暉十有三丁晨星,導和理性圖書左。
湘江夜月來水仙,牕暎飄蕭綠陰鎻。
何須鳴玉覓金儒,愛渠亦復周旋我。






- Founded in 1680 by Kangxi
- Responsible for making, repair and inventorying of all objects for the Imperial household
- Massive system of manufacturing logistical supply and record keeping served
  the whims and needs of the emperor alone
- Led by princes and bondservants, orders conveyed by Eunuchs 
- Emergence of "technocrat" class



考《清宮內務府造辦處檔案總匯》有關此四琴製做事項,始於乾隆十年末,先命莊親王、汪尤敦、張若靄等商酌,統理製琴事務。仿古樣製辦請旨:琴腹寫詩,遴選良工,呈覽琴胎,何處取玉製岳山、琴軫等配件,後交蘇州織造圖拉,1 依畫樣花紋顏色等做漆。此等均一一記載,鉅細無遺,前後共計費時約十個月,四琴方成

圖拉,乾隆五至十六年間(1740-51年)管理蘇州織造,乾隆十七年(1752年)卒。在他任職期間,所有蘇作織繡品、玉作、漆作等均由他交回造辦處。當時織造、鹽政及監督均由宮廷委派,他們多為皇帝身邊之人,甚知皇帝的品味。 

[乾隆十年] 十二月初二日。鍍金作。郎中色勒來說為乾隆十年十一月十五日汪尤敦、張若靄奉旨所製四琴著莊親王遴選良工會同造辦處悉心斟酌,其金徽、玉軫等件俱仿古樣製辦,琴腹中寫詩之處著汪尤敦、張若靄商酌辦理,統於製,就細胎時呈樣請旨。欽此。…… 

十二月初二日:私庫白世秀七品首領薩木哈,將現做琴四張持進交太監呈覽。奉旨,琴上龍池不必開,將御題刻在龍池的迎手上,琴名刻在鳳池的迎手上,其字或寫、或刻,著汪尤敦、張若靄酌量帖樣呈覽。准時罩金漆,再需作古,上等做法,爾等仔細、好生莊重成造。欽此。

於本月二十二日太監胡世傑傳旨,要現做活記呈覽。欽此。 於本日私庫白世秀將做得四琴持進交太監胡世傑呈覽。奉旨,此琴上應嵌之玉岳山、龍尾、枕足等處,將交莊親王舊琴內有嵌玉的,將玉拆來嵌用。如無,有再庫內查玉成做。庫內再無玉,著買玉做。欽此。 

於本月二十三日七品首領薩木哈將莊親王送來白玉枕足十副持進交太監胡世傑呈覽。奉旨,將此玉枕足內選四副用,其餘六副造辦處收貯。再此琴上應用龍吟、蛟尾、成路、岳山之處做樣交南邊照樣做白玉的送來。欽此

於十一年正月初八日七品首領薩木哈來說:奉莊親王諭,現做四琴上岳山、成路(承露)、蛟尾(焦尾)、龍音(齦)、下龍音(齦)、托尾、下托尾俱係用玉成做,若用木做樣交南邊恐其性軟,抽小彼處照木樣成做。未免於琴上不合尺寸,著用或凍石、或滑石做樣,送去其石性縱軟,再不至抽小。彼處照樣做來方能合式。記此。

乾隆十一年二月初一日。蘇州。七品首領薩木哈來說太監胡世傑傳旨:現做琴四張著交南邊漆做。欽此。於本月初六日七品首領薩木哈來說太監胡世傑交按古琴斷紋顏色仿畫琴樣四張,傳旨:著交南邊照此畫樣花紋、顏色一樣漆做。欽此。

於本年九月初五日將蘇州織造圖拉做得送到漆琴四張隨匣、錦套持進交太監胡世傑呈進訖。
於十一年十月二十日司庫白世秀將圖拉做得漆琴四張持進交太監胡世傑呈進訖。


《明报》引述香港苏富比中国艺术品资深专家李佳表示,乾隆时期的宫廷工艺制作技术,是中国工艺美术的巅峰时期,因乾隆不但非常热爱工艺美术作品,也是一个非常念旧的人,于其诗集作品中,记有他年少时在中南海中的一组建筑,其中一个小院落内的「补桐书屋」,这是乾隆当时读书的地方;屋前原有两株老桐树,其中一株因病枯死,其后补种一株,也是此屋名「补桐」的由来。书屋门前所有梧桐老树,于乾隆九年(1744年)全告枯死,当时乾隆已封帝,便下令「内务府」造办处以此梧桐树木材制成四张古琴,各赐其名并题诗。四张古琴于乾隆十一年秋季制成后,一直存放在补桐书屋内,不曾弹奏。
李佳指出,古琴于大拍卖会中出现,多年来寥寥可数,清代制的古琴更少之又少;从乾隆琴中的题诗及几首其他有关补桐的诗词,她估计或也包含忆祖父康熙的情感,让此琴有非比寻常的意义和价值。再者,有御题之琴,在清代文献记载中约有十来张,且多为唐宋制成古琴,大部分属博物馆珍藏,但乾隆亲令御制之琴便仅有此四张,几经世代交替,辗转流传约270年,能重现人间,只有这张「湘江秋碧」琴,其珍贵程度可想而知。
补桐书屋为北京中南海中的一组建筑,是太湖石上的一个小院落,院内南屋名补桐书屋,北屋名随安室。雍正年间,身为太子的乾隆就在这里读书。(https://www.chinatimes.com/cn/realtimenews/20161006005342-260409)
傳世之乾隆御器,無不為精心妙作,屢見巧創奇想,然儘管珍器滿堂,唯甚少可與此琴媲美。乾隆生性慕古好雅,如斯珍愛此梧桐漆木琴,題詩銘刻,其心性與嚮往可見一斑。
二十世紀日本古董巨商山中定次郎,曾從滿清親王貴族手上購得海量重器珍品,本琴為其中之一;二戰時美國政府將其財產充公拍賣,在最後、即第三場拍賣會上,年輕西藏先鋒探險家 F. Bailey Vanderhoef Jr. 相中此琴,儘管當時署年與資料皆語焉不詳,他喜以為宋代古琴,並在1976年借展於聖塔芭芭拉藝術博物館一場漆器展,時展覽圖錄誤以為琴上紀年乃補修記錄。
近年研究揭示,本琴實為一組四張乾隆十一年(1746年)完成的御製古琴之一;原木取自一株古梧桐樹,乾隆仍為皇子時,於梧桐所在的庭院讀書受教,甚愛此樹。關於本琴,清宮檔案記載甚繁,詳述當中選材、選匠、樣式與製作工序,讀者如歷在目。乾隆為四張琴各製一首御題詩,鐫刻其上;此後連續十月,宮人源源向乾隆禀報此琴的製作進度,直至完成後呈送至補桐書屋方止。凡此皆可見乾隆對本琴的珍視。
http://www.sothebys.com/zh/auctions/ecatalogue/lot.3605.html/2016/important-chinese-art-hk0675

12:00 Robert van Gulik and the Qin Today - Marie-Anne Souloumiac-van Gulic (creative entrepreneur and founder of DEE Projects 狄公)



You can watch the full film of Robert van Gulik's story at:
https://vimeo.com/150994641
password:vangulik2016

13:00 Lunch
--------------------
Session 2: Aesthetics and Iconography
Chair: Edward Luper

14:00 Preliminary Remarks on Qin Iconography from Chen Yang's 陳暘 Treatise on Music Iconography (Yuetulun 樂圖論) - Luca Pisano (Associate Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Kore University of Enna, Italy)

14:30 A Philosopher's Qin Sound - Peiyou Chang (New York Qin Society)

15:00 Tea break and networking

15:30 The "View of Nature" in the Musical Aesthetics of the Guqin in Terms of Comparing the 24 Epithets of Guqin Music (二十四琴況, [谿山琴況] ) and 24 Epithets of Poems ([二十四詩品]) - Mei-Yen Lee (Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, National Pingtung University, Taiwan)

16:00 Living Off the Landscape - the Spatial Aesthetics of the Guqin in Literature - Yuhan Wang (Masters student, National Taiwan University)

16:30 Representations of the Guqin in China Today: From Recurrent Nostalgia, Cultural Etiquette to Revival MovementsOmid Christoph Burgin (Lecturer and Researcher at the UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Music Studies, Department of Musicology, University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar & Friedrich Schiller University, Jena)

He mentioned this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Music-China-Today-Bernhard-Hanneken/dp/386135652X

17:00 Finish (followed by Evening Concert at 19:00)

--------------------
Sunday 26th August

Session 3: Notation and Education
Chair : Omid Christoph Burgin

9:00 Some Remarks about the Past, Present and Future of a Special Notation System for the Guqin - Dorothee Schaab-Hanke (Department of History, University of Bamberg)

9:30 Developing Standards of the Guqin: Towards a Critcal Approach Pedagogy of the Guqin, Musicology, and its Culture - Juni Yeung (Toronto Guqin Society)

10:00 Short tea break and networking

10:15 Qin Rhythms with analysis of stroke patterns and first lyric setting for Guangling San in over a thousand years - Marnix Wells (Independent Researcher; LYQS)

10:45 From Habitual Imitation to Systematic Training- An Idea for the Construction of a Guqin Teaching System - Zeng He (Lecturer in Chinese music and guqin performance, Sichuan Conservatory of Music)

11:15 Short tea break and networking

12:00 Round table discussion: The future of the Guqin
Chair : Hwee San Tan and Cheng Yu
All presenters, and guqin masters Li Xiangting, Zeng Chengwei and Zeng He.

13:00 Lunch (followed by Grand Yaji at 14:00 and Evening Concert at 19:30)


Monday, September 3, 2018

Presentation of A Philosopher's Qin Sound

On August 25, 2018, I had the honor to participate the London First International Guqin Conference, located at SOAS University of London, organized by London Yolan Qin Society. 

At 2:30pm I gave a talk. My talk was in session 2: Aesthetics and Iconography, after Mr. Luca Pisano (Associate Professor of Chinese Language and literature, Kore University of Enna, Italy) who presented "Preliminary Remarks on Qin Iconography from Chen Yang's 陳暘 Treatise on Music Iconography (Yuetulun 樂圖論)"

Chair was Mr. Edward Luper (Chinese art specialist at Bonhams auction house) who also gave a presentation in the morning session about The Qianlong 乾隆 Emperor's Guqin: Craftsmanship, Nostalgia and Virtue.




Here is my presentation and some of the slides that I have used, including those that I did not use (under dash lines) , due to limited presentation time. 


My topic is A Philosopher’s Qin Sound. And the subtitle is Comparison of Two Qin Players Performances to Understand Their Interpretation.



The qin player, Xu Hong, who lived from the late 16th century to early 17th century, wrote a very important text about the aesthetic of Guqin, called Xi Shan's Epithets on Qin music. Xu Hong mentioned that he was constantly seeking three kinds of harmony. First, harmony between strings and fingers, then harmony between fingers and the sound, and finally harmony between the sound and the mind. He believed that once these three are in harmony, the highest degree of harmony is achieved. Influenced by the idea of a “harmony between the sound and the mind”,

I have analyzed the two masters: Yue Yin from last century in Beijing, and Zhuang Xi who passed away two years ago in Taiwan. I have used recordings of LZYF from each artist to help in my comparison.



Master Yue Ying and Master Zhuang Xi are two interesting candidates for this study. The reasons are : Their playing is considered quite moving. They have very different playing styles. They both are female qin players and specialized in Silk string. YY was The only female recording collected in *Lao Ba Zhang, The Old 8 Collections.  Not many female philosopher qin players are well known, ZX was a philosopher qin player, she studied philosophy in college. They both *dapu and played the Daoist piece *Liezi Rides On The Wind 列子御風 *Dapu is the activity of teaching yourself a particular piece from the original notation without a teacher.


The categories of comparison that I am going to discuss today are :
A. Two Master’s Life backgrounds.
B. Their playing of Liezi Yufeng.





Now I will brief talk about their life backgrounds

Here are photos of Yue Ying from young to young adult to her mid age.  From these photos, we can sort of see that Yue Ying was growing up in a traditional art atmosphere environment and living a rather wealthy life at that time.


Yue Ying was born in Beijing in 1904. She was the first daughter of Yue Jingyu 樂鏡宇 who was the owner of the oldest and now the largest Chinese pharmaceutical company 同仁堂. Yue Ying started learning the guqin at age 8 from Jia Kuo-feng 賈闊峰 (who was a businessman before he became a guqin teacher). Jia’s teacher was Huang Mian-zhi 黃勉之 (1853-1919). Huang was the most famous guqin teacher in Beijing during the late 19th to early 20th century. Yue Ying had her first public performance at age 13 in 1917. In 1962, she recorded Liezi Rides On The Wind at age 58.


Here are some Photos of ZHuang Xi. The 2nd one from the right was taken in 2013 when she performed the LZYF at Nantou Taiwan, when she was 64 years old, and that was the playing she decided to put into her solo album - The Crane Singing Collection 鶴鳴集.


Zhuang Xi was born in Shinchu Taiwan, majored in Philosophy in 輔仁 Catholic University. She studied guqin with Master Sun Yuqin when she was 23 years old in 1972. She established 天穆閣絲弦琴社 in 2003. She wrote several articles related to guqin and arts. In 1998, at the Guqin- Exploration of body and mind event, she mentioned that quote,

…我覺得我們應該走回歸的路, 回歸到內在精神的探求, 而不要迷失在音樂的唯美之中, 並不是說音樂的美不好,  而是說最好是在音樂真正的內涵中尋求進展...
“… I feel that we should seek inner spirits and not simply lose ourselves in the aesthetics of music. This does not mean that beautiful music is not good music, but that it is best to seek progress from the true inner meaning of music…”
-- Zhuang Xi

Recording Resources
錄音來源


Yue Ying’s LZYF is collected both in The Old 8 Collections 老八張 and Jue Xiang 絕響.
Zhuang Xi’s LZYF is from her solo album The Crane Singing Collection 鶴鳴集.
(I have more writing about these records below at the bottom two slides)

Now let’s look the piece LZYF.


From Ming to Qing Dynasties, there are 34 qin manuscripts carrying this piece. 神奇秘譜 (published in 1425) is the earliest surviving manuscript carrying LZYF. According to SQMP, it was composed by 毛敏仲 from Southern Song Dynasty, based on a daoist story from [Liezi] Huangdi (yellow emperor) chapter 列子黃帝. Master Yue Ying was using 研露樓琴譜 published in 1766 . Master Zhuang Xi was using  自遠堂琴譜 published in 1803 . 自遠堂琴譜 had a statement mentioning that 研露樓琴譜 was one of the Qinpu that 自遠堂 used for reference. These 10 titles from SQMP could help qin players to understand this piece better, although Yan pu and Zi pu do not have these titles. Now let’s see how different 列子御風 is in these two handbooks.


Here is a record of differences in each section in both handbooks. From my next slide, we can see some examples.


In general, LZYF in these two handbooks are about 80% the same with 20% differences. They both have 10 sections, and the construction of each section is the same. This is the first section of both handbooks and the red lines are the differences, such as Bo vs Tuo, Repeat from ] or repeat from the beginning, Duan Suo vs Xiao Suo, and where to do vibrato such as yin or nao, chuo, zhu, zhaung, do, huan, and the comma, period, and pause indication.


Regarding the Bo and Tuo, according to the fingering explanation of both handbooks, basically Bo in YYL and Tuo in ZYT means the same that they both are plucking the same direction with the right thumb. And it does not affect the sound pitch.


Here is a chart I list out the differences on hui positions indication by strings. For example, on the 5th string, one note YYL indicate on 6th hui while ZYT indicate on 6.3 hui. And the two players played differently as well. YY played on 5.8 while ZX did play on 6.3.  The biggest difference between the players playing is a note on the 6th string that created a two and half step difference in pitch, while the handbooks indicated the same hui position.


Here is another difference of how many times the indication of “rapid” and “slow” shows in both handbooks. By checking the notation of “Rapid” and “Slow”, it might help us to sense the tempo of the piece. Section 6 has more rapid indication in Yanlu Lou qinpu than Zi Yuan Tang Qinpu.

Now we are going to hear some music.


Before I play some of the sound recordings, I would like to explain that with respect to the note and pitch analysis, I first had to lower the pitch of Yue Ying’s recording by 1.01 semitones without changing the tempo, in order to make the comparison easier. Yue Ying’s playing was pretty fast,  I just have to assume that the recording of YY’s playing is accurate on tempo. This slide is to show pitches of the 1st and 2nd notes from the very beginning of both recording. On the left, I have two images together, the adjusted and the original recordings of YY. On the right is from ZX’s recording. Assuming A=440Hz, Yue Ying’s original tuning were closer and higher to B, at the 1st string, while Zhuang Xi’s tuning were closer and higher to Bb at the first string.


Here I marked up two phrases from the beginning of the first section of both players. The top one is from YY’s playing, the bottom one is from ZX’s playing. If we read the notes starting from the left, we can see that ZX played a longer opening note as if she had a “少息” noted there. And this is just her interpretation, it is not noted in the tablature. Now let’s see the blue arrow which is different between the two tablature, where the phrasing of the tablature is indicated with a period. If you look above, the blue arrow shows that YLL qinpu indicates that the opening phrase should be longer by three notes. However, both players interpreted different. ZX’s  phrasing is as if she moved the period over to the second note next to it. And the blue underlines from YY’s part is that the tablature indicate to repeat from the angle mark while ZYT qinpu indicate repeat from the beginning. YY did play repeating from the angled mark and she played in different tempo within two times, while ZX totally omitted the repeating. Then we see a red note added on both recording, that is Li 6 to 2 and both player played li 7 to 2. And then YY’s recording sound like she did not play Lafu but a sliding on first string up to 7th hui then lift up her left hand. While ZX’s recording sound like her left middle on first string 7th hui was omitted and quickly did a stronger accent on the la and fu. Let’s listen. When we hear the recording, we will hear YY’s playing first, then follow by ZX’s recording.




This slide is to show one similar fingering which are those two red underlined notes, Duan Suo and Xiao Suo. Duan Suo is to repeat a note to create total 5 notes, while xiao Suo is to repeat a note to create a total 3 notes.  One player followed exactly while the other altered. We will hear that Yue Yin played exactly 5 notes (which I marked 5 red Vertical bars), while ZX only played 2 notes, which is onenote less than the technique xhao suo suppose to create.



Here we will hear a recording from section 6. Yue Ying add an extra note to play together with tiao 5th as Cuo 撮 to make the sound bolder. At the bottom, ZX again, played slower and she changed one vibrato note, zhuang 撞 to a sliding note Zhu xia 注下 to simplified the sound. And the blue color is one specific fingering that suppose to create total 8 notes but YY played total 11 notes while ZX played 8 notes.



The previous slide shows the two handbooks indicate one same playing technique, but the players took liberties. This slide shows a phrase from section 9 where the handbooks differ, and the players also took liberties here which were respect to hui positions. The red circled notes shows the hui positions differ in the two handbooks.  And the red numbers I marked are the hui positions the players played.



The next recording we are going to hear is from couple phrases of section 6. Yue Ying followed the handbooks she was using, excepting some sliding and vibratos. While ZX took her liberties by omitting 6 notes (which are those green colored ones)  and adding one sliding and one plucking note. She also very her technique such as sliding down to the 8th instead of plucking that string on the 8th hui. And she seems to have more accented notes than Yue Ying.



After hearing some of the recording, here is a chart to show how many notes both players omitted or added.  Obviously, Zhuang Xi omitted more notes than Yue Ying and also add more notes than Yue Yin.


However, even Zhuang plucking fewer notes, she still used more time than Yue Ying. This is a chart to show time used in seconds of each section of both players.  The yellow color is Yue Ying’s playing, the blue color is Zhuang Xi’s playing. Yue Ying used total 7 minutes 14 seconds, while ZHuang Xi used total 9 minutes 24 seconds.

The red lines in this slide indicates the tempo. This is my best attempt to finding the tempos of each piece. YY has bigger range of tempo and it does show that she played faster on section 5 to section 7,  while ZX’s tempo is more even.

Conclusion

The difference between each handbook that the two players were using, could make qin players play differently. But the major difference is still relying on the interpretation of the qin players.

Zhuang Xi simplified some of the fingerings to play fewer notes but add more vibrato to elongate the distance between notes to create more “yun” 韻. She used the ancient notation as a frame and developed her own new piece of Liezi Rides on The Wind based on that frame. That is well reflect to her talk in Guqin - Exploration of Body and Mind. She was seeking her ideal genuine ancient sound to match her mind.

Yue Ying, although not much information left for us to study, through her recording, one can still recognize that she was more discipline to the notation she was using and played with energetic, well-knit and firm sound.

As you know, the way that qin music is noted allows for a great deal of interpretation in tempo, timbre, dynamics and accent, however these two scholars went beyond the notation on the page and added some of their own notes and techniques based on the underlying tablature. Almost like a little bit of improvising.

Finally, Although they had very different playing styles, they both reached the highest degree of harmony between the sound and the mind.

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Sides not have shown in the presentation


… 我們說左手韻, 右手聲, 當聲多韻少時, 它的表達是很直接的; 韻是在宋明之後, 明朝的琴譜中大量出現吟, 猱等類的指法, 但上海的林友仁先生寫了 一篇文章, 指出在歷史上是由聲多韻少, 演變到韻多, 並預期未來可能會是多聲多韻的時代. 但我覺得這種演變似乎並不是很好.我覺得我們應該走回歸的路, 回歸到內在精神的探求, 而不要迷失在音樂的唯美之中, 並不是說音樂的美不好,  而是說最好是在音樂真正的內涵中尋求進展...
“… We say that the left hand plays “yun,” while the right hand plays “sound”. When “sound” is more than “yun”, the expression is very straight. “Yun” developed more after in Song and Ming dynasties. A lot of yin and nao vibrato techniques showing more on the Ming dynasty qin books. A qin master in Shanghai once predicted that in the future, it’ll be more yun and more sound. But I do not think it is a good direction of progress. I feel that we should seek inner spirits and not simply lost in the aesthetics of music which does not mean that beautiful music is not a good music, but that it is best to seek progress from the true inner meaning of music…” -- Zhuang Xi
… 我的整個生活史中, 我大部分都是跟創作者在一起: 畫者, 文學作者, 思考者, 我們都認為我們是在藝術中完成自己的, 這是自己對自己的交代; 另一方面, 如果我們進行思考的話, 我們希望這思考是原創性的, 而不是沿襲既成的想法去思考人的心靈, 去觀察人的內涵, 所以,在我的彈琴生活裡, 有三件事是真正重要的 : 第一, 安靜的生活環境, 即平靜的心靈空間; 第二, 人的內在, 這是非常影響我的因素. ... 第三點重要的因素才是文化...
… My whole life is hanging out mostly with creative people: painters, literatures and thinkers. We all think that we are expressing and achieving ourselves through art.  On the other hand, if we think, we hope it is genuine, instead of following the established ideas to think about human mind, and to observe the connotation of human. Therefore, there are three important parts in my life of playing the guqin: 1st, a quiet living environment, that is a peaceful mind.  2nd, the connotation of human, that influence me very much… and the last is culture….” -- Zhuang Xi


My Qin Plays My Heart
“...就我彈琴來講,困頓的時候比順暢的時候多。...到了中年,大概四十歲左右,我突然間很嚮往道──道的精神,所以我把老師東西通通丟掉了。因為老師是文人,而且是情韻很重的文人,他的東西對我當時的心境來說通通都是扞挌,好像完全不對勁了,所以我就把它丟了。”
"As far as my qin playing, difficult times were more than smooth times… in my 40’s, suddenly, I was longing for the Dao - daoist spirit, so I gave up all the ideas that I had learned from my teacher. Because my teacher was a literati and was a very sentimental literati, his ideas were in conflict with my state of mind then. Everything felt not right to me, so I put them away…”
“...因為道是極為內化的...”
“...because Dao is very internalized…”
因為我們樂曲的結構,是根據內心語言呼吸的句法;我們不是根據旋律的構造。旋律的構造是很直線、很呆板的。這個內心語言的句法,一定心要很清才有。心很清,你就是『我琴彈我心』就得了。...”
“... Because qin music construction is based on our inner heart language phrase and breath, but not based on the construction of the melody. The construction of a melody is very straight and rigid. The heart must be very clean and clear, then there is the inner heart language phrase and breathing rhythm. If your heart is very clean and clear, then just play the qin by following your heart, that’s all.”
-- Zhuang Xi


Here are two paintings by Zhuang Xi and one painting of Zhuang Xi, by Mr. Ye Shiqiang who was an artist and a qin maker and a friend of Zhuang Xi. The two on the left are the paintings painted by Zhuang Xi.  She did not have professional training in traditional painting. From her paintings, we can see the simplicity and elegant style. The abstract one on the right is called "A Small Image of Zhuang Xi" painted by Mr. Ye Shiqiang. Does that look like a crane? These three images are from the album Heming Ji. The Crane Singing Collection.


If you are interested in this piece by Yue Ying that I am analysing or any other pieces from her, you can see there are not many recordings as far as I know. This chart shows Yue Ying’s recording in both sets of albums.  The original 1962 recording of Yue Ying’s LZYF by Shanghai China Record is collected both in The Old 8 Collections and Jue Xiang. Yue Ying recorded it when she was in the age of 58. Now there is a total 13 pieces of 8 melodies of Yue Ying’s qin playing recording published. (the ? marks -- in Jue Xiang, there might be a mistake of copying the record pattern # down, two different pieces has the same number)


Here is the chart of ZX’s recordings collection in Heming Ji, The Crane Singing Collection. There are a total of 8 pieces in Heming Ji. LZYF is the most recent recording of the pieces on this album, and was recorded at the Yaji of the 1st Taiwan Contemporary Qin Making Exhibition at Nantou, Taiwan, when she was at the age of 64.


Other than the 8 pieces of sound recording in Heming Ji, people also can find 8 videos of Zhuang Xi’s qin playing including one talk on Youtube.


For the Duan suo, both handbooks indicate to repeat a note to create total 5 notes, however, ZYT was using Xiao Suo, which was not listed in its fingerings explanation. Judging by taking reference from other books, Xiaoxuo is same as Beisuo, which is repeating a note to create total 3 repeating notes.


That is a fingering call Qia Cuo Three Sound.  I want to say that qia should be
pronounced tao,  there maybe some here who pronounce it tao, which as far as I know
is the correct pronunciation, but all the cool kids say qia, so I pronounce it cha. (that was
a joke). Here you can see the 2 handbooks the player used, had the same explanation
of the Qia Cuo Three Sound that it will create a total of 8 notes.


The Old 8 Collections which contains the LZYF piece by Yue Yin, is a set of guqin music recordings. It was recorded by China Record Shanghai Company and edited by China Art Research Academy . The full title is [An Anthology of Chinese Traditional and Folk Music  - Traditional of Music Played on the Guqin]. It has collected 22 qin players performances with total 53 pieces and was primarily recorded in 1962 with a few recorded in 1956 and 1958. It was not published until 1992. Same recording can also be found in Jue Xiang, which was published last year in 2017.


For Zhuang Xi’s sound recordings, there is only one album, The Crane Singing Collection which contains only pieces performed by Zhuang Xi. This CD was published on Jan, 2016, three month before Master Zhuang passed away.  LZYF was recorded when she was at the age of 64.  According to one of the editors of the Heming Ji, Mr. Liu Xingyi, says that this piece had a harder time to work on, as the public yaji had a lot of background noise. They did a very good job to reduce the background noise and still maintain the sound of the playing as nature to its original sound as possible. This CD was published successfully thanks to her students’ hard working on design and editing by following Master Zhuang’s wishes. Fortunately she was able to see it and approve it.

Q&A

After the talk, in Q&A, Mr. Omid Burgin asked two questions: what software I was using and why use 44 for the time signature? My answer was: Reaper and MuseScore, and using 44 is due to my limited western music knowledge so I decided to use the basic time signatures just to help a little bit of the comparison, although it is not the best way to show. 

Mr Marnix Wells pointed out the three four notes on ZX's part which I did notice while I was working on transferring ZX's music from reaper to MuseScore. In order to make two comparison less complicated, I decided still make ZX's part to 44 instead of 34.
I want to thank Omid's suggestion of a free program to use for analysis music: https://www.sonicvisualiser.org/videos.html

Many Thanks to

要謝謝很多朋友: 包括, Marilyn Gleysteen, Juni L Yeung, Jiawei Mao, Lu Dan, 林嶽, 行一, 以及回我email 的幾位朋友. 要講謝辭, 才發現名單其實越來越多, 還包括現場技術幫忙的兩位年輕人, Dennis and Max? not sure their names. And president Cheng Yu, secretary Julian JosephCharles Tsua from LYQS. 最大的感謝是 my beloved husband.

Video including Q & A