Friday, January 27, 2023

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Teaching Chinese Calligraphy


 I am now teaching Chinese calligraphy online, and I will teach you systematically from Zhuanshu (Seal script) to Lishu (Clerical or Official script), Zhenshu (Regular script), Xingshu (Semi-cursive) and to Zhang Cao (Cursive script). If you are interested in learning Chinese calligraphy, please visit https://peiyouqin.com/calligraphy.html for more details. Thank you.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

My Father (1926-2022)

1/1/2023
Specializing in the study of modern Chinese politics and ideological history,  Pengyuan Chang, a highly respected scholar


Google translation
Zhang Pengyuan, a retired researcher at the Institute of Modern History of the Academia Sinica, was born in 1926 and died on November 25 at the age of 97.

Zhang Pengyuan was born in Guiyang, Guizhou. After graduating from the History and Geography Department of Taiwan Provincial Normal University, he joined the Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica in 1961. In 1964, he was funded by the Ford Foundation and went to Columbia University to obtain a master's degree. He has successively served as an assistant researcher, associate researcher, and researcher at the Institute of Modern History of the Academia Sinica, a professor, the director of the Institute, and the head of the Department of History at Taiwan Normal University, and a visiting professor at Columbia University in the United States. He retired in February 1997 and was hired as a central Research Institute of Modern History of the Institute as a part-time researcher until July 2007.

Zhang Pengyuan specializes in modern Chinese political history, intellectual history and regional studies of modernization, and also engages in various oral histories. Influenced by Liang Qichao and Hu Shi throughout his life, he mainly cared about issues such as democracy, science, and economic development in the process of China's modernization.

Zhang Pengyuan is diligent and tireless in writing, and his works are as high as his body, and he gained high respect among scholars. His major works include "Liang Qichao and the Revolution of the Qing Dynasty", "Liang Qichao and the Politics of the Republic of China", "The Constitutionalists and the Revolution of 1911", "The Dilemma of Chinese Democratic Politics: A Review of the Parliamentary Elections Since the Late Qing Dynasty from 1909 to 1949", "Guo Tingyi Fairbank and Wei Muting: A Preliminary Study on Academic Exchanges between Taiwan and the United States", "A Regional Study of China's Modernization: Hunan Province, 1860-1916", "From Civil Rights to Authoritarian Power: Sun Yat-sen's Thoughts on Political Training and Turning Points, and on the Succession of Party Members Narrative" and other books. Zhang Pengyuan passed away, and the colleagues of the Institute of Modern History and the academic circle paid tribute to mourning.


12/21/2022 Winter Solstice

The year of 2022 is going to the end.
And my beloved father had passed away for 26 days already.
Thinking back of the past several months,
I feel like I have experienced a turmoil,
Physically and mentally.
Whenever I think of my father, Tears are rolling in my eyes.

我與父親在一起生活有28年, 然後我就來美國了.
每一年都會回去探望他與母親. 但自從2019年起, 他的記性就不太好了, 似乎不知要跟我說甚麼了.
沒多久COVID 19 開始全球流行, 我沒有回去整三年, 直到他入院.
我不想有遺憾, 冒著搭飛機有可能染疫的風險,
台灣還在管制入境, 回台須隔離一周, 醫院不讓探病, 等多方不便的情況下.
於九月中離開紐約回到台北.
沒想到這次旅行我的身體竟然適應不了, 出了很多狀況.
腳浮腫, 疼痛, 心悸, 恐慌症. 但我還是見到父親最後一面了. 也與父親說到話了.
從忠孝醫院轉到三總的那幾天 是有較多的機會與父親接觸
我有些欣慰但也很遺憾沒能多照顧他.
他怕黑. 這是我前幾天讀到他的訪談錄才知道的.
我遺憾沒能放些輕音樂給他聽, 跟他說一些愉快的話題, 讓他不感到寂寞.
可是我的身體狀況, 醫院不讓探病等等. 都只有造成遺憾.
父親過世已26天了
他過世的第二天我就夢到父親出現在南港家的客廳
我從我以前睡的那間房間走出
父親從客廳的沙發站起對我微笑
他還是年輕的模樣
他火化的幾天後
我夢到一對年輕夫婦
彷彿是新婚沒多久的夫婦
我竟然會覺得那是父親將要投胎之處
就算是自我安慰吧
可從那時起
我就不再難過了
漸漸釋懷
但我的身體還是有些狀況
我再慢慢調適
中醫友人 行一 給我很大的幫助
我現在會用艾灸治療自己
--------------------------------------

The Reminiscences of Mr. Chang P’eng-yuan 

11/29/2022 简中版《张朋园合集》的出版商发了一篇纪念文章,链接:https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/CBom8kXWHtMJO9g_xiav8Q

感謝Athena X. Cool 傳來此篇紀念父親的文章
Peng-yuan Chang: As long as the flames of democracy are not extinguished, there is still great hope for China's national politics yeh!


1989年父親在貴州黃果樹瀑布前



据悉,历史学家张朋园先生于2022年11月25日逝世。

张朋园,生于1926年,海内外知名历史学家。曾任台湾“中央研究院”近代史研究所研究员,台湾师范大学历史系教授等。著有《梁启超与清季革命》《立宪派与辛亥革命》《梁启超与民国政治》《中国现代化的区域研究:湖南省》《郭廷以、费正清、韦慕庭:台湾与美国学术交流个案初探》《知识分子与近代中国的现代化》《中国民主政治的困境,1909-1949:晩清以来历届议会选举述论》等。其中四部著作《梁启超与清季革命》《立宪派与辛亥革命》《梁启超与民国政治》《中国民主政治的困境》由三辉图书出版。

张朋园先生专注近代中国政治和思想史研究。中国政治学与社会史家萧公权评价张朋园关于梁启超的研究“第一次把任公1894年到1911年间有关的政治言论的背景、动机及影响作有系统的叙述和分析。这是近代中国政治史和思想史上一个重要的贡献”,“既无顾忌,也不偏袒,遵循史学客观之正规,扫除入主出奴之陋习,誉为良史,当无愧色”。

在《中国民主政治的困境》中,张朋园考察了20世纪中国社会的数次民主尝试,结合翔实的史料分析了当时民主政治失败的原因。中国民主政治的困境在当下也并未全然消除。然而,研究了那么多失败经验的张朋园先生并不绝望,坦言“只要民主的火苗不灭,中国的全民政治仍有厚望耶”。

今天的推送,与各位读者分享《中国民主政治的困境》的“结论”部分。

Further study: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/CBom8kXWHtMJO9g_xiav8Q

1989 九月與父親在雲南昆明

1989 南京大橋


此信的書寫者為段鑫
六年前的11月28日所寫
獻詩三首
賀父親九十大壽

總角 - 未成年 八歲到十五六歲稱總角 典坟- 泛指書籍 擊楫- 渡江至中流時,擊打船槳而立誓恢復中原 比喻收復失土,報效國家的壯烈情懷 抵掌 - 击掌;鼓掌。形容欢畅无拘束:两人意气相合 任公 - 梁啟超


 

十月回台灣時收了一些爸的遺物
有一些書法是友人贈與父親
此為顏宗平先生所書
與段鑫的詩作稍有修改




2019 年五月 培銀姊從貴陽飛台北住在爸媽家。
培銀拍的老爸早上在讀報。
讀報習慣數十年如一日 從不間斷。
很喜歡這張照片。




凌晨 我套上了白襯衫
台北的十三時到十六時
紐約零時至三時
手捧著平板
線上送父親神聖的最後一程
從火化到撿骨
再入樹葬區
我沒有哭
並與老史
一同見証了
塵歸塵土歸土
功德圓滿
感謝大家
12/5/2022

在父親的遺物中發現一張沈從文先生墨寶 以及兩張書信
誠如張充和女士信上所言, 沈從文寫字從不留邊, 紙也沒裁直 :)

彷彿又見證了一點點的歷史
父親與民國早期"合肥四姊妹"的張充和有過一書信往來, 或許是父親向張充和教授向其姊夫沈從文先生索要墨寶. 此信寫於1981年 是年父親在哥大

1981/3/31
This letter from Father to Madame Zhang Chong He was written in 1981/3/30

父親回信感慨沈老停筆三十年是學界的一大損失

Monday, April 18, 2022

採真游 打譜 Dapu of Cai Zhen You

On 5/15/2022 NYQS dapu yaji 紐約琴社打譜雅集 I presented my dapu of CZY 採真游

Slides and 
Notes:

Slide1 : Following Jim's Daoist piece, I am going to talk about my dapu of another daoist piece, Cai Zhen You from XLTQT. I will briefly talk about the following topics. Motivation, About the title, The Epilogue of CZY from XLTQT, the tuning and mode, and how to perform. 

In the fall of 2006,when I went to TW to meet some qin friends, I heard a friend talking about this piece, saying it is a daoist piece. I was very curious so I decided to study it myself in early 2007.

Slide2: About the title: Cai Zhen You.
Cai means to pick, to select, to gather
Zhen means real, the genuine, natural property
You means purposeful traveling
So I decided to translate it as Travelling to Gather Truth

The composer is unknown, it could have been composed before the Ming dynasty
The name of Cǎi Zhēn Yóu could be taken from the book of Zhuang Zi, Section FOURTEEN - THE TURNING OF HEAVEN (see the next slide)

Slide3: from the quote of ZHuang Zi, I feel this phrase could help my understanding of the Cai Zhen You: "Free and easy, he rested in inaction; plain and simple,"

Slide 4: at the end of this piece in XLTQT, there is this footnote, and I also find this phrase could help my understanding of this piece:  "the mind of a hermit who was arrogant and stayed outside the world."

Slide 5: CZY is using standard tuning, and the mode is Jue Mode. You can tune your qin from the 1st to the 7th string as CDFGACD or 1 to 2 steps lower. For example, my silk string qin is tuned one step lower. In this tuning, I sing it as 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 in order to match the Jue Mode.

Slide 6: The decision of 2 3 5 6 7 2 3 was made recently after I recorded my playing and put in REAPER (Audio recording software) to generate a staff notation system for me to understand why it is in Jue Mode. Due to limited time, I will not spend too much time on this matter. But will just show this drawing of a scale that I think is the closest scale to CZY. I also analysed all the notes that have been used in each section. 3 (角) and 6 (羽) are used the most, then is the 7 (Ren Jue/Bian Gong)

Slide 7: To decide how to play, first I have to decide the phrasing, as this traditional notation does not give clear indication of phrasing. Then there are some parts that are not quite clear such as where to repeat.
This piece does not have complicated fingering.
So the rest is just to play it and to decide the rhythm and a few parts where I need to decide the pitches.

Slide 8: Here are the places I need to decide where to repeat. In section 4, which is the only section that has hui positions between dots where I need to be careful for pitch decisions.

Slide 9: Such as here 78 and 67...

Slide 10: This is also in section 4. There is a wang lai technique here. It can be played as 11212 or 11717, I decided to play it as 11717.
And this is the only #5 note in the entire piece.

Slide 11: This is the ending part of CZY. You can see the ending phrase starts with Ruen Jue (ti) and ends with Yu Jue (La Mi) together. My understanding of Jue Mode is that it is based on the Chinese circle of fifths system, the Jue was generated from Yu, and Jue generates Ruen Jue. They are like a mother to son to grandson relationship. So one might find these three notes used quite a lot in a Jue Mode piece, especially in the beginning or/and end of a phrase or/and a section and the final ending.

Slide 12: To decide the rhythm. I have no method but using my intuition. Now I will play CZY on a silk string qin.

The following 6 pages of staff notation are from my own study of the mode. I am not an expert of transcribing music into staff notation. The rhythm presented in these pages are just for reference, as my playing of this piece will not be exactly the same every time. 

Please listen to my playing on silk strings : https://youtu.be/WLfMxFm9TbI










Monday, August 23, 2021

西域之歌

I started to work on this music in the middle of June,  inspired by Akira Ifukube: Chant de la Sérinde (1997) for koto.  

Yves asked me if I can play like a conversation with the koto. I tried, but the result was not satisfactory for me. I also feel that qin should just play solo to bring out the natural character of the qin. Therefore, this 西域之歌 (Song of West Region) gradually came out. 

Two months later, now I think I can say that it is finished with my interpretation on the qin. I just have this funny feeling about how my brain is absorbing repeated playing and practicing and suddenly a phrase of creativity jumps out within my fingers, that is how I wrote down the ending section after a few tries in different directions. 

I basically took the first half of Ifukube's Chant de la Serinde for koto, and rearranged it on the qin. Koto has a different nature which can play a bunch of sequential notes in a rapid tempo, and both hands can create complicated chords. Qin has only 7 strings, therefore, I use sliding and crossing a few strings to create a sequential sound of notes. There are some cords but only in 2 notes at a time. Even so, I play some of the chords in a slightly separate timing to create two notes sequentially, which is a technique that I learned from the earliest surviving qin melody, Yolan from the 6th century.  This piece on the qin becomes simplified and I like to let each note linger.   To me, fewer notes but more subtle sounds are more mysterious and attractive. 



移植這首音樂到古琴上的過程是很愉悅的. 每一個音的取決都思考過一陣子. 是品嘗, 是醞釀. 最終該放在哪, 該輕還是該重. 指法該如何才能在不突兀, 不困難, 不太奇怪的手形之下完成適當的取音. 該忠實呈現原創者的音, 或加入自己的想像與創造. 再再都是一個走過當下的經驗. 也由衷讚嘆 Ifukybe 的優美創作. 

因為Yves的好奇心也引起我的好奇心. 到底原創者Akira Ifukube 對 Sérinde (西域) 是有著怎樣的幻想? 我對Sérinde 又是有怎樣的幻想. 老實說, 我一直沒有特別的感受, 直到最近塔利班佔領阿富汗首都喀布爾的新聞鋪天蓋地的席捲而來, 我才突然有了一些感觸. 

對於我, 這曲更多是充滿異國悲情. 在那個古來多征戰之地, 宗教文化造就某種對人類的影響, 是拯救還是偏頗與殘忍? 

甚至中國在漢唐時代的那些邊塞詩早已含蓄地道出悲愴與淒涼: 

《涼州詞》

王之渙(唐 )

黃河遠上白雲間,一片孤城萬仞山。
羌笛何須怨楊柳,春風不度玉門關。

王翰(唐 )

葡萄美酒夜光杯,欲飲琵琶馬上催。
醉臥沙場君莫笑,古來征戰幾人回!

古琴曲[胡笳十八拍],[龍朔操](舊名昭君怨), (特別一提, 它們都是"無射調", 也就是我的"西域之歌"決定所用的調) 訴說的漢女遠嫁匈奴的故事...

西域是個充滿著生離死別之地...

The process of translating this piece of music onto the guqin was very pleasant. The decision of each tone must be considered for a while. It is like tasting and brewing. Where should the note be placed? Should it be light or heavy? How can my fingerings be unobtrusive, and not too difficult and not too strange to complete the appropriate sound? Should it faithfully present the original creator’s voice, or add my own imagination and creation? Every single decision was an experience of going through the moment. I also sincerely admire Ifukube’s beautiful creations .

Yves’ curiosity also awakened my curiosity. What kind of fantasy did Akira Ifukube have regarding Sérinde? What kind of fantasy do I have about Sérinde? To be honest, I have not had any special feelings until recently when the news of the Taliban's occupation of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, swept overwhelmingly, and I suddenly felt something in the music.

For me, this song is full of exotic sadness. In that place where there were many battles in ancient times. Different religions and cultures have created a certain influence on mankind. Is it salvation or prejudice and cruelty?

The frontier fortress poems of China in the Han and Tang Dynasties have already implicitly expressed sadness and desolation.

Guqin melodies [Hujia Shiba Pai], [Long Shuo Cao] (formerly known as Zhaojun Yuan), (In particular, they are all "Wuye tuning", which is the tuning I used in my "Song of the Western Regions" ), are the stories of Chinese women marrying the Xiongnu...

The Western Regions are a place parted in life and separated by death...
-----------------------------------------
From Yves' Facebook:
For the New York Guqin Society August 22nd, 2021 yaji ('elegant gathering'), I suggested to guqin interpret/teacher Peiyou Chang to transcribe Akira Ifukube's Chant de la Sérinde originally written for 25-string koto.
Intrigued by the name Sérinde and why a Japanese composer would use a French title for his 'musings' about Central Asia, I presented the results of my research in a Google Docs presentation (3).
1) Chant de la Sérinde, solo for 25-string koto, by composer Akira Ifukube; interpret Keiko Nosaka who commissioned the piece to Ifukube.
2) Chant de la Sérinde on Guqin, transcriped and interpreted by Peiyou Chang
3)Google Docs presentation: Yves Seban
---------------------------------------------
8/27/2021

Huáng zhōng / Wú Yè Mode's pieces in Shénqí Mìpǔ
神奇秘譜中黃鐘調(也就是無射調)的曲目:

Huángyún Qiusài (Yellow Cloud Autumn Frontier)

Big Hújiā,
"Jia" is a reed instrument,
"Hu" means non-Han nationalities living in the north and west of China in ancient times.


Dàyǎ, Great Elegant

黃鐘調(無射調) 在古琴曲裡使用到的主音仍以do, re, me, sol, la, 為主,但偶而會加入fa and si/ti.
西域之歌則用到了所有七音, 並多一個#sol (or 降la)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Saturday, March 27, 2021

長亭怨慢英文翻譯 Slow Lament at the Tall Pavilion translated by Yves Seban

Yves has several modification, and the 4th one is the final.

1, A morning breeze blows on the woolen dew from the branches.
A green halo fills the doors of people’s houses.

At sunset, circling away in sea creeks,
The sails are hoisted and flap to the wind.
Where do they go?

I know the world.
Nothing compares with the trees at the Tall Pavilion.
If they were sentient beings,
They wouldn’t blossom like this.

The high city walls shield the sun's last rays.
Countless mountains everywhere.

Master Fei has departed.
Will remember his jade-minted command:
"Return soon
Or Red-Calyx will have no master."

No shears are sharp enough to cut the
Thousand threads of sorrow when lovers part.

Translation by Yves Seban
New York March 25th, 2021
©yvessebantranslations

2, A morning breeze blows the woolen dew from the branches.
A green halo fills the doors of people’s houses.


At sunset, circling away in sea creeks,
The sails are hoisted and flap to the wind.
And where do they go?

I know the world.

Do the willow trees at the Tall Pavilion
Know how green and fresh they’ve become?
The high city walls shield the sun's last rays.
Countless mountains everywhere.

Master Wei died.
We’ll remember his jade-minted command:
"Return soon
Or Red-Calyx will have no master."

When lovers part, no shears are sharp enough to cut the
Thousand threads of sorrow that bind them.

Translation by Yves Seban
New York March 24th, 2021
©yvessebantranslations

3,Slow Lament at the Tall Pavilion

A morning breeze blows balls of woolen dew from the branches.
People’s houses. A green halo fills the doors.

At sunset, circling away in sea creeks,
The sails are hoisted and flap to the wind.
And where do they go?

I know the world.

Do the willow trees at the Tall Pavilion
Know how green and fresh they’ve become?

The high city walls shield the sun's last rays.
Countless mountains everywhere.

Master Wei left.
They said:
“Return soon
Or Yuhuan will have no master. ”

She drowned in sorrow.

Translation by Yves Seban
New York March 26th, 2021
©yvessebantranslations

4,
A morning breeze blows on the woolen dew from the branches.
A green halo fills the doors of people’s houses.

At sunset, circling away in sea creeks,
The sails are hoisted and flap to the wind.
Where do they go?

I know the world.

Do the willow trees at the Tall Pavilion
Know how green and fresh they’ve become?

The high city walls shield the sun's last rays.
Countless mountains everywhere.

Master Wei left
Will remember Yuhuan 's command:
"Return soon
Or Red-Calyx will have no master."

No shears are sharp enough to cut the
Thousand threads of sorrow when lovers part.

Translation by Yves Seban
New York March 27th, 2021
©yvessebantranslations

Chinese:
詞牌:長亭怨慢 一名"長亭怨" 詞曲 姜夔 (1154-1221)  

漸吹盡、枝頭香絮。是處人家,綠深門戶。遠浦縈回,暮帆零亂向何許。
閱人多矣,誰得似、長亭樹。樹若有情時,不會得、青青如此。
日暮。望高城不見,只見亂山無數。韋郎去也,怎忘得、玉環分付。
第一是、早早歸來,怕紅萼、無人為主。算空有并刀,難剪離愁幾許。

Music