Thursday, May 26, 2016

水平線的力量 The beauty of Horizontal lines

聽蔣勳先生講漢朝美學, 漢隸, 與中國建築飛簷的關係, 讓我想到其實與古琴美學也有很大的關係, 都強調的是水平線的力量, 而不是如西方建築強調垂直線的力量. 彈琴手勢不宜高舉, 過絃不覺, 來去無跡, 蠶頭燕尾, 綽上注下, 飛猱定吟..., 均可仔細玩味.



 Watched this video of Mr. Jiang Xun talking about Han dynasty aesthetics, such as Han li, the clerical script of Han calligraphy and its relations to the aesthetics of Chinese building, the line of roofs (Roofs with a sweeping curvature that rises at the corners of the roof.), that they are both emphasizing the beautify of horizontal lines. Not like western buildings of church, more emphasize the power of vertical lines.

The emphasis on horizontal line can be also related to the aesthetics of qin playing. For example, when we play the guqin, the hand gesture should not be held too high, but keep as closer as possible to the strings, like ancient qin masters suggested that come and go without a trace, let no one notice the qin player's hand movement of crossing strings. The sliding up (Chuo) and down (Zhu), flying or stabilized vibratos... one can carefully ruminate it.

Han Dynasty Qin Playing  Pottery Figures.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

近代中國出土有關琴的文物 About Lyre Unearthed

大陸湖北文物考古研究所公布,棗陽郭家廟曾國墓地近日出土一張春秋早期的琴. 棗陽郭家廟曾國墓是2014年11月到2015年1 月進行挖掘. 


圖/取自湖北日報 棗陽郭家廟曾國墓春秋早期的琴 During late 2014 to beginning of 2015, Zaoyang Guojia Miao unearthed a qin dated back to the early of Spring and Autumn period.  

10 stringed qin from the tomb of Zénghóu Yǐ 曾侯乙, in Léigǔ dūn, Suízhou city 擂鼓墩 隋州市, Hubei Province, dated sometime after 433 BC 十弦琴.

In 1993, a seven string Qin unearthed from Hubei Province  荊門 Jīngmén 郭家店 Guō jiā diàn, a tomb of mid of Warring states period (from 4th to 3rd century BC)  公元前4世纪中期至3世纪初,戰國中期, 七弦琴.

海昏侯劉賀(前93/92年—前59年)墓於2011年三月出土的琴. In 2011 March there unearthed a qin from the tomb of Liu He, Marquis of Haihun at Nanchang city,  Jiangxi Province.

馬王堆漢墓琴及長沙五里牌十弦琴: 這篇王子初先生的撰文  提到"半箱式"與"全箱式," 無徽, 尾部實心並上翹, 與現在的琴實屬兩個系統的產物.而半箱式琴應是流行於楚文化範圍的"楚式琴." 王子初先生說楚式琴流行的同時,可能還有更接近今日合體全箱式琴的存在. 全箱式的琴很可能是在偏北邊地區(中原)的琴式, 但因地理關係,濕濕乾乾的環境無法保存下來, 而無法在出土文物中發現. 全箱式帶徽的琴是到南北朝時的竹林七賢畫像磚上確定那時已存在. 徽大約出現在公元前二世紀上半.

1973年湖南長沙馬王堆3號墓出土七弦琴,現藏湖南省博物館. In 1973, Hunan province Mawangdui unearthed a 7 string qin from the western Han dynasty.

湖南省博物館撰文中有湖北九連墩2號墓出土的戰國浮雕十弦琴. Hubei Province, Jiu Liandun No. 2 tomb unearthed a Warring States ten-stringed lyre with relief (sculpture) surface.
戰國浮雕十弦琴 A 10 string qin from Warring states period. 


以上都屬"半箱式" 無徽琴


From here above, all the qin unearthed are Half (Sound) Box Style and no hui (dots) which is different from the qin we are playing now that is Whole (Sound) Box Style, according to Mr. Wang Zichu who is a Chinese musical archaeologist. He believes that the Half Box Style Qin and the Whole Box Style Qin are two different system.  


四川省博物館漢代撫琴俑之琴已成全箱式
Whole Box Style Qin can dated back to Han dynasty the earliest, based on some of the unearthed tomb qin playing figures.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

太古遺音指法手勢圖 (左手)

[太古遺音]又稱[太音大全集], 為明初琴學專書, 1413年之前成書


Left Thumb Pressing 左大指按. Notation is written as 女. The image is a phoenix holding a scroll in mouth. 肉甲相半揉絃上, half muscle half nail rubbing the string. 而用力不覺, not feeling using force. 拇按而食覆, when left thumb is pressing, the index finger cover above it. The gesture of the left thumb and index are as the beak of a phoenix holding a scroll. So the point is that the index has to position above the thumb. "拇按而食覆" 是大指按絃的重點. 有如鳥嘴啣書.

Left Index pressing 食指按 -- using muscle to press. Notation is written as 艮 or 人. The image is using a bird like Japanese Bush Warbler that this kind of bird has soft calling and elegant appearance and people usually heard their singing more often than seeing the bird. That makes me think that we don't use the left index as often as other fingers and when using the index, it has to be an elegant and grace appearance, as the soft talking spring bird. 現現其音, 謂之按指之雍容, 有如軟話之春禽

Left ring kneeling: 跪 (Guì) notation is written as 危 or 足. Bend the ring finger and pressing down called Guì. The image is a leopard holding a prey. 就窺其班, 狀其形而取象, 蓋在乎作勢之間. looking at a group of leopard, using the shape of them holding their prey and image and imitate between its tendency and gesture.

對按(duì àn) usually following by 掐起(qiā qǐ) which means that the left thumb was pressing on the 9th dot 4th string for example, then the left ring pressing down on the 10 dot 4th string (duì àn - pressing oppose to it), simultaneously the left thumb pluck up the 4th string (qiā qǐ). The poem of the image is saying that when it's going to rain, the streptopelia bird knows. He will raise his head making long calling, also to attract the female one. So the left hand fingering guesture is like the bird and the sound is created after the bird raised his head (qiā qǐ). 

Left thumb Yǎn 罨, for example, left ring pressed down the 10th dot, left thumb then hit the 9th dot on the same string to create a sound like echo in a valley.


Left middle pressing 中指按 -- when doing this technique, the left thumb cannot be wide open. Slightly bent the left thumb and position the thumb under the index finger. If left middle is pressing the 10th dot, the notation will written as 中十. For the left middle finger Tuīchū 推出 (push out) -- The image is a wild common pheasant climbed up on a piece of branch and calling.  When a pheasant is calling, his or her head will stretching out. Maybe that is why the Tuīchū 推出 technique is using this motion as reference? Sound is clear and not in a hurry. 登木以鳴兮, 音清清而不疾. 因夫取意以喻兮, 故匪文之可述... 沒有文字可以敘述, 所以只取雉雞登木鳴叫的意思來比喻. 音清而不急也是重點. 

Found a video that can be a reference of what a pheasant calling sound and look like:




Left Ring Àn 左名指按(pressing) -- When pressing down with the left Ring finger, slightly bend the thumb and position the thumb under the index finger. For example, ring finger pressing the 10th dot. In the notation it is written as 夕十, the rest (fingers , such as index and middle doing pressing down) are the same...This is mainly talking about ring finger pressing on a string and how the thumb should position. The thumb cannot be wide open far away from the palm. And the image is a perching phoenix preening his feathers. 名側按而拇屈 -- 名指用側鋒按絃,大指須彎屈. Ring finger using the side of the finger tip to press and thumb is slightly bent. 

虛罨 Xū yǎn , left thumb or ring tap a string to create a sound like bird pecking wood.

牙泛Yá fàn, two fingers (index finger with thumb or middle finger with thumb or ring finger with thumb) alternately doing harmonics. As dragonfly skimming the surface of the water.

泛fàn, Harmonic. As butterfly touches flower lightly. The left finger (can be thumb, middle, ring or index finger) lightly touch the string on a hui position and the right hand pluck that string simultaneously.

Yíng- press then go up and down. As a swallow chasing an insect.



左手大中名指引, Yǐn 引 for left thumb, middle, ring and index finger: Cicada chirping and flying over twigs... Yǐn 引 (a kind of sliding) means sliding up after sound is made (has a head).  Zhù  注 (another kind of sliding) means sliding down without a head. Imaging a cicada flying away and its buzzing sound also following and fade away...
左手大中名指吟(Yin, a small vibrato), for thumb, this can be done by nail (if only pressing one string) or muscle (if pressing two strings). The Yin vibrato happen after the string is plucked and the range of vibrato is not bigger than the hui. One can imagine an autumn cicada calling.
Left hand Náo 猱. The image is a monkey climbing a tree. 我做了一點進一步的閱讀關於猱, 並紀錄在這個網站: I did a further study about this technique and post it on my blog here: http://peiyouqin.blogspot.com/2015/01/kind-of-vibrato-nao.html

太古遺音指法手勢圖 (右手)

[太古遺音]又稱[太音大全集], 為明初琴學專書, 1413年之前成書

This drawing is giving the idea of the right hand index finger 'in' one string, Mǒ 抹, or several string Fú 拂, or index 'out' one  (Tiāo 挑) or two to three strings (Lì 歷) . Crane in deep swamp, its sound can be heard far away, therefore using crane for its elegant and lofty image as reference. 清音, 飛指, clear sound, flying finger.


Right hand Bō Lá 撥剌 (splash) -- two fingers, index and middle (some are using three fingers, + ring) to splash one or two strings, as a fish's tail splashing in water. 魚將變化, 掉尾潑剌, 爰比興以取象, 駢兩指而飄瞥 when fish is changing direction, they use their tails to splash the water to turn, that is the image. So image that and then playing the qin using two closed fingers to pluck in and out the same string(s).


Right hand middle finger 'in', Gōu 勾, and middle finger 'out', Tī 踢. The image is a single duck flying and looking down at his peers. In this sketch, there is one more finger technique Gǔn 袞 (Ti several strings from high to low, such as from 7th to 1st string). However, most of the Ming dynasty qin books and all the Qing dynasty qin books, have already changed to using Ring finger instead of middle finger. "袞"在明以前的紀錄是中指也有的說食指, 但到明開始出現用名指, 清所有的琴書紀錄都是用名指.


Shuāng tán 雙彈 , double strum: Position the right index and middle finger above the thumb (as the sketch on the right), then do the middle out then index out. Single strum is Dān tán 單彈: position the index above thumb only, then do index out. The image is a hungry bird pecking snow. 爰借喻於清彈, 欲其勢之虛徐 -- clearly strum with calmly and neatly attitude.


Niǎn 捻: using right index and thumb to pick up a sting and then let go to create a sound. The image is a goose holding a reed in mouth.


Qí cuō 齊撮 is also called Dà cuō 大撮, the right hand thumb plucking outward and middle finger plucking inward the 6th and the 1st strings together for example. I don't really understand why a dragon is doing here...
Cuō, 撮, - right hand index out together with ring (or middle) in, to pluck two strings at the same time. fǎn cuō 反撮 is the opposite of Cuō, 撮. The image is a mantis stalks the cicada...



Right hand thumb in and out. As a crane standing and suddenly ready to fly with a long prodigious calling. The notation for right thumb in and out has switched around Qing Dynasty. And now the 擘 Bò is 'in' (towards qin player) and Tuō 托 is 'out' (towards dots). So playing qin pieces that are from Ming dynasty or earlier, should read the 擘 Bò as 'out' towards hui and Tuō 托 as 'in' towards qin player. 擘與托在明以前跟清以後稱呼對調了, 所以彈明曲或更早之曲當以擘為現在的托來做. 

FB friend, Frederic Chan, commented: 鶴曲足翼翅而舞,柔中蘊勁,不勝優美。今人擘托,拇多強直而蹴絃,其聲暴烈,相去鶴舞遠矣。師法自然,庶幾近於道乎!

found this video to see crane dancing

Right hand ring finger. 打摘 Dǎ (in) and zhāi (out). Using the image of a legend bird 商羊, dancing with one leg to refer the hand gesture that only the ring finger is down, the rest of the fingers are like raised wings of the bird.


Suǒ 璅, right hand do "tiāo mǒ tiāo" 挑抹挑 (or " tī mǒ tiāo" 踢抹挑, which is called fǎn suǒ or bèi suǒ 反璅, 背璅) quickly. The image is a kind of bird (some said similar to crane) walking fast on sand.


Lún 輪 - Right hand ring finger, middle finger and index finger plucking out on one string in sequence. The image is a crab walking. I think that when crab run, their legs movement is similar to Lun, however, they have 4 legs at each side, but Lun only using three fingers. So it really needs a good imagination.


Right hand, Juān 蠲, according to this explanation, it is index in, middle in, then ring in, all on one string. As in a deep valley, the spring water falling and hitting rocks, which creates a continuing sound. However, I prefer Northern Song Chen Yu-jian's explanation, that is: index in and middle in on one string as a horse raising its two front hoofs. The index in is lighter and the middle in is stronger. 疊三指併入絃如一聲不就是撥了嗎? 覺得此解並不正確. 還是比較喜歡北宋成玉礀的說法, 抹勾連謂之蠲, 須兩聲相續, 勢如天馬攢蹄.


Right hand Yuán lóu 圓樓. This finger technique, I prefer some other Ming and Qing dynasties' explanation -- 間一絃抹勾同聲. Skip one string and do mǒ (index in) and gōu (middle in) simultaneously. The image is two phoenix singing together in harmony. 圓樓指法參考各朝代的說明覺得 "間一絃抹勾同聲" 最為恰當. Here it says, for example, 木五勾四 (index in on the 5th string, and middle in on the 4th string ) plucking together to create one sound.


Suǒ líng 索鈴-- Left hand pressing several strings at one time, right hand doing "Lún" (after Qing dynasty,  description says right hand doing "Gǔn" or "Li"  ) on those strings from high string to low string. The image is a hand shaking a string of bells. 清以前都說是"一輪" 到清以後就說是"滚之". If it is "Lun" several pressed strings, then this technique makes me think of the technique 却轉 Què zhuǎn in 幽蘭 Yolan. 


完全不解此水龍吟與間勾有何關係? This one I cannot connect the water dragon moaning image to the finger technique Jiān gōu 間勾 at all. This finger technique is basically doing a middle in (say the 5th string) then ring finger in (say the 4th string), and usually following by a index out. (say the 6th string). I have more 間勾 study here in Chinese: 對於間勾也有進一步的研讀, 請到這看: http://peiyouqin.blogspot.com/2015/01/blog-post.html 我想"默契"或許是精神重點. 而如金如玉讓我想到金聲玉振, 比喻音韻響亮和諧, 所以間勾的指法其精神要是有一種不言而喻的清明.

Finger technique is for the right hand Dǎ yuán 打圓 (tiao and da together x 3 = 6 sounds. 挑打連作三次共六聲)


Right hand Quán fú 全扶. The image is using clouds to refer the light way of doing this finger technique. This technique is using two fingers crossing two strings in sequence. There is Quán fú 全扶 and half Quán fú 半全扶. For all the explanations of this finger technique Quán fú 全扶 from different dynasties, I prefer this one from Tang dynasty, 烏絲欄琴譜, Wusilan Qinpu. 右頭指中指相逐抅度二絃, 無名即約前絃, 絕餘聲, right index finger and middle finger plucking inward on two strings in sequence, then the ring finger stop the ringing on the string at front. (for example, mo 1 and 2, gou 1 and 2, then put ring finger on the 1st string to stop the leftover sound), that is Quán fú 全扶.  So the half Quán fú 半全扶 is mo 1 and 2 then the middle stop on the 1st string.

 I am really enjoy reading all these drawings. Feeling baptized in Ming dynasty qin fingerings. Guess when we play the qin, we can imagine ourselves as a dragon, a bug, a fish, a bird, or a monkey..., let us and the nature be as one. 

Happy playing ~

終於像是接受了一場明代琴指法洗禮. 大概彈琴以可以把自己想像成是條龍, 是隻蟲, 魚呀鳥的都可以啦~ 天人合一.

彈琴愉快 ~

Friday, May 13, 2016

讀古樂府

徒歌謂之"謠"- 沒有伴奏的清唱, 或指民間歌謠
謳(音歐)- 本義:無伴奏;如齊地的歌唱, 也是民歌
齊歌曰"謳", 吳歌曰"歈"(音於), 楚歌曰"艷", 浮歌曰哇(靡靡之音), 振旅而歌曰"凱歌", 堂上奏樂而歌日"登歌", 也稱"升歌"
漢的"相和歌" 就是出於街陌謳謠 (民歌). 陌:田間小路
吳歌雜曲也是地方歌謠收入於樂府
然後有以困而歌, 以窮而歌, 以政治而歌

其中的[越人歌]是越人 榜枻(榜bang3:搖船的工具, 枻yi4:短槳, 應是船夫來著) 持著槳對楚人鄂君子(楚王母的弟弟) 所唱的仰慕之歌.

今夕何夕兮搴舟中流,
今日何日兮得與王子同舟。
蒙羞被好兮不訾詬恥。
心幾煩而不絕兮
得知王子。
山有木兮木有枝,
心悅君兮君不知。

劉向 說苑之善說第13:

襄成君始封之日,衣翠衣,帶玉劍,履縞舄,立於游水之上,大夫擁鍾錘,縣令執桴號令,呼:“誰能渡王者於是也?”楚大夫莊辛,過而說之,遂造托而拜謁,起立曰:“臣願把君之手,其可乎?”襄成君忿作色而不言。莊辛遷延沓手而稱曰:“君獨不聞夫鄂君子皙之泛舟於新波之中也?乘青翰之舟,極䓣芘,張翠蓋而㩉犀尾,班麗褂衽,會鍾鼓之音,畢榜枻越人擁楫而歌,歌辭曰:'濫兮拚草濫予昌枑澤予昌州州𩜱州焉乎秦胥胥縵予乎昭澶秦逾滲惿隨河湖。'鄂君子皙曰:'吾不知越歌,子試為我楚說之。'於是乃召越譯,乃楚說之曰:'今夕何夕搴中洲流,今日何日兮,得與王子同舟。蒙羞被好兮,不訾詬恥,心幾煩而不絕兮,知得王子。山有木兮木有枝,心說君兮君不知。'於是鄂君子皙乃修袂,行而擁之,舉繡被而覆之。鄂君子皙,親楚王母弟也。官為令尹,爵為執圭,​​一榜枻越人猶得交歡盡意焉。今君何以逾於鄂君子皙,臣何以獨不若榜枻之人,願把君之手,其不可何也?”襄成君乃奉手而進之,曰:“吾少之時,亦嘗以色稱於長者矣。未嚐過僇如此之卒也。自今以後,願以壯少之禮謹受命。”

拉,引 (揄修袂:整理袖子)

舉繡被而覆之 - 有人說是一起睡覺,用繡花被蓋之, 也有人說是把自己身上的繡花披風給予船夫披上. 所以最原始的越人歌詞意已被後人解讀成多樣. 是男女情愛的歌,還是男男情愛的歌, 還是只是單純的表達下對上的景仰愛慕之意, 見仁見智.

電影夜宴中的越人歌作曲為譚盾, 然為現代曲, 古越人歌之曲早已逸.

[Song from Yue] was originally ancient folk song/poem from Yue people (Yue were various partly or un-Sinicized peoples who inhabited South China and northern Vietnam between the first millennium BC and the first millennium AD), and then translated to Chu language (Chinese Han people's language). This song is believed that it was composed during Spring and Autumn period (approximately 771 to 476 BC) a boatman of Yue sang this song while boating for the prince of Chu, to convey his admiration to the prince of Chu. This story was recorded in The Shuo Yuan ( 說苑), Garden of Stories, is a collection of stories and anecdotes from the pre-Qin period (先秦) to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD). The stories were compiled and annotated by the Confucian scholar Liu Xiang.

In 2006, Chinese movie [The Banquet] was released. This movie is a love story adapted according to Shakespeare's "Hamlet." In this move, there is a modern song composed by Tandun 譚盾using the lyrics from [Song from Yue] which is not the traditional melody, as the traditional melody  of [Song from Yue] has been lost. Many people believe that this song was originally a love song between two men. 
Some interpreted as a lower level girl showing her admiration to a higher level gentlemen, different people, different view.




李延年歌:
"北方有佳人 絕世而獨立 一顧傾人城 再顧傾人國 寧不知 傾國與傾城 佳人難再得." 
此佳人就是後來的漢武帝寵愛的李夫人, 李延年的妹妹. 海昏侯劉賀的奶奶



軍歌方面
鼓吹曲 (短蕭鐃歌) (鐃音猱nao)
橫吹曲(鼓吹馬上奏)

秋風           吳 韋昭

秋風揚沙塵 寒露沾衣裳 角弓持弦急 鳩鳥化為應 邉垂飛羽檄 防賊侵界疆 跨馬披甲冑 
慷慨懐悲傷 辭親向長路 安知存與亡 窮達固有分 志士思立功 思立功 邀之戰場 
身逸獲髙賞 身沒有遺封


上邪 (一作上雅)                        漢 古辭
"我欲與君相知,長命無絕衰!山無陵,江水為竭,冬雷震震,夏雨雪,天地合,乃敢與君絕。 

鼓吹署將北狄樂分為兩類:

1, 蕭笳- 朝會道路
2, 鼓角- 橫吹用之軍中馬上奏 --> 鼓角:胡樂也--> 李延年根據胡樂造了28新曲, 但只傳10曲:

黃鵠  入塞
隴頭  折楊柳
出關  黃覃子 
入關  赤之楊
出塞  望行人

後來又有八曲:
關山月 洛陽道 長安道 梅花落 紫騮馬 騘馬 雨雪 劉生

狄: 先秦時期北方民族﹐又用以泛指北方民族。狄字或作“翟”。狄人部落眾多﹐春秋時以赤狄﹑白狄﹑長狄最著,通稱北狄。赤狄隗姓﹐即殷及西周之鬼方﹐甲骨卜辭與金文皆有記載﹐為西北大國﹐略當今陝西﹑甘肅﹑寧夏及內蒙古鄂爾多斯一帶。

關山月  梁元帝
朝望清波道,夜上白登台。
月中含桂樹,流影自徘徊。
寒沙逐風起,春花犯雪開。
夜長無與晤,衣單誰為裁


[相合] 漢舊曲也 絲竹更相和 執節者歌 (下面著個影片的8:20秒就提到了甚麼是絲竹更相和 執節者歌)




相和歌發展的三個階段:一是人聲伴唱,二是人聲與打擊樂器相伴和,三是用管弦樂器伴和人聲。而當以人聲伴唱為主要形式的相和歌廣泛流傳,造就穩定的歌調之後,才有樂府相和歌的繁榮,乃至於其後作品的結集。... 相和的正式樂曲可分為引、曲、大曲三類。「引」即引子,一般沒有歌唱,僅為管弦樂器合奏。「曲」指中、小型樂曲,大多數是聲樂曲,含有多段歌辭,一般有樂器伴奏,另外也有眾人幫腔的「但歌」。「大曲」指多段體的大型歌舞曲,也稱「相和大曲」,包括豔、趨、亂三個部分:「豔」是華麗婉轉的抒情性段落,音樂、舞蹈較優美;「趨」是比較緊張的部分,及「亂」是結束性段落。


江南曲  古辭

江南可採蓮,蓮葉何田田! 魚戲蓮葉間; 魚戲蓮葉東,魚戲蓮葉西,魚戲蓮葉南,魚戲蓮葉北。 


漢代磚畫, 現藏於台北歷史博物館
陌上桑 古辭
日出東南隅, 照我秦氏樓。 秦氏有好女, 自名為羅敷。 
羅敷善蠶桑, 採桑城南隅。 青絲為籠繫, 桂枝為籠鉤。 
頭上倭墮髻, 耳中明月珠。 緗綺為下裙, 紫綺為上襦。 
行者見羅敷, 下擔捋髭鬚。 少年見羅敷, 脫帽著帩頭。 
耕者忘其犁, 鋤者忘其鋤。 來歸相怨怒, 但坐觀羅敷。 (一解)

使君從南來, 五馬立踟躕。 使君遣吏往, 問是誰家姝。 
秦氏有好女, 自名為羅敷。 羅敷年幾何, 二十尚不足。 
十五頗有餘, 使君謝羅敷。 寧可共載不, 羅敷前置辭。 
使君一何愚, 使君自有婦, 羅敷自有夫。(二解)

東方千餘騎, 夫婿居上頭。 何用識夫婿, 白馬從驪駒。
青絲繫馬尾, 黃金絡馬頭。 腰中鹿盧劍, 可值千萬餘。
十五府小史, 二十朝大夫。 三十侍中郎, 四十專城居。
為人潔白皙, 鬑鬑頗有鬚。 盈盈公府步, 冉冉府中趨。

坐中數千人, 皆言夫婿殊。(三解前艷辭 曲後有趨)

「解」是樂府中配樂演奏的音樂段落,即「三章」

艷歌行  晉 傳玄
日出東南隅     照我秦氏樓    秦氏有好女     自為羅敷 
首戴金翠飾     耳明月珠    白素為下裙     丹霞為上襦
一顧傾朝市     再顧國為虛    問女居安在     常在城南居
青樓臨大巷     幽門結重樞    使君南來     馬立踟躕
遣吏謝賢女     豈可同行車    斯女長跪對    使君言何殊
使君自有婦     賤妾有鄙夫    天地正厥位     願君改其圖
 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

湘江怨 Sadness on the Banks of the Xiang River







Please listen to Master Sou Si-tai's qin playing of this piece.



There is no record of who composed this melody but it has existed at least since 1511. From time to time, there are some variations of the melody and now most people play the version posted above. It is one of the qin pieces for the level 1 test. (total levels: 10, if people want to take the qin level test).  

There are lyrics along with this piece. The original lyrics are said to be written by a female poet in the mid of 10th century in China, her name was Liang Yi-niang 梁意娘, and the lyrics are about a legendary story that Emperor Shun ( he lived sometime between 2294 and 2184 BCE) went south to patrol, and did not come back and died there. His two wives missed him so much and went down south to look for him, and cried a lot even making the bamboo with marks on it (which is now called the Mottled bamboo, or Concubines Xiang Bamboo
 https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%91%E7%AB%B9) . After the two wives died, people respectfully addressed them as the gods of Xiang River and later people call them the Concubines Xiang.

The Chinese Lyrics of this version were composed by Madame Cai Deyun (1905-2007). Her poetry is so beautiful and my English translation just cannot convey the beauty of her composition well enough. I only hope to let English readers get some idea. 

荻花楓葉落紛紛 
Numerous flowers of the amur silver grass and maple leaves falling one after another
水碧山青映夕曛 
Bluish-green water and green mountains reflecting the glimmer of sunset
湘水滔滔流不盡 
Torrential Xiang River flows endlessly
長留斑竹淚痕新
 Leaving the mottled bamboo new marks of tears
一片白雲青山內 
A layer of white clouds in front of the green mountains
一片白雲青山外
Another layer of white clouds behind the green mountains
青山內外有白雲
Green mountains, front and back, have white clouds
白雲籠處青山在
White clouds covering where the green mountains are
日暮倚危欄 
At dusk, standing against high railing
斷霞明滅愁如織 
Evening glow flickers,  anxious like weaves
願風吹散雲 
Wish wind blow away the clouds
訴與天邊月 
(So I can) talk to the horizon moon
攜琴上高樓 
Carrying the qin to a high floor
樓高月華潔 
Floor is high, moon is bright and clear
爐煙裊裊人語寂 
Furnace smoke curling up, it is quiet with no human talking
松濤謖謖冰絃歇 
The waves of pine trees rising up, the icy strings stopped
人道湘江深 
People say the Xiang river is deep
江深終有度 
But the depth still measurable
未若別離情 
Not like farewell emotion
年年常繞湘江渚 
Flowing around the islet in the Xiang river year after year
君在湘江頭
The man at the Xiang River's head
妾在湘江尾 
His lady at the Xiang River's mouth
相思不相見 
Able to love but not to meet 
淚滴湘江水 
Tears drop into the Xiang river
江水碧無垠 
River water is bluish-green with no boundary
淚眼傷今古 
Tearful eyes sorrow for now and past
愁人不解歡 
Unhappy people will not understand what happiness is
藕旨蓮心苦 
Lotus root is tasty but inner the seed is bitter ( the heart is bitter)
春風吹綠洞庭波 
Spring wind ripples the green Dong Ting lake
秋聲淒斷衡陽路 
Autumn sound (Sound of geese) stopped at the southern side of the Heng mountain. (means long lost news from the man)
此時此刻何人解 
Who can understand my sorrow at this moment?
不是嫦娥誰與訴 
Only Chang-o, no one I can talk to. (Chang-o is a Chinese mythical goddess of the moon)
湘江湘水碧沉沉 
The Xiang river is green and deep
帝子蒼梧萬古心 
The daughters of Yao (wives of Emperor Shun) and Cangwu (where Emperor Shun died), (attracting) ten thousand's hearts. (their story continue to be told even thousands of years later)
蕭蕭楓荻聲聲雁 
The sough of maple trees,  amur silver grass and the sound of geese
令人涕淚欲沾襟 
Making people tearing and the tears wet their clothing.