Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oct 28th 2006 NYQS Meeting at Elaine's

We finally took this group photo but Matthew left earlier. From the left to right in front: Marilyn, Elaine, Peiyou and Naoko Terauchi. From the left to right of the standings: Stephen Dydo, Rembrandt, Yang Yuanzheng, Stephen Walker, Bo, Elizabeth, Carol and Sam.

Mr. Yang talks about his study of Hikone scroll which is in Hikone Castle Museum Japan. According to DIAMM ( Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music), "The Hikone MS is the only scroll of Qin music predating the fourteenth century that has not suffered any modern accretions."

Hikone scroll 彥根卷本 does not have qin pieces but only writings of finger techniques. It contains three books:

北魏 陳仲儒的琴用指法 North Wei, Cheng Zhongru's Qin Yong Zhi Fa. (Qin finger techniques).

隋 和尚 馮智變 琴用手名法 Sue Dynasty, A monk Feng Zhibian's Qin Yong Shou Ming Fa.(Names of finger technique For Qin Playing).

唐 趙耶利 彈琴右手法 Tang Dynasty, Zhao Yeli's Tan Qin You Shou Fa. (Right hand Qin playing techniques).

From left to right: Sam, Rembrandt, Yuangzheng and Stephen Walker. Rembrandt talks about the Paris 19/20 octobre 2006 - « Arts et humanités dans le tableau Luoshenfu » conference, "Luo Shen Fu - The Tale of the Luo River Goddess"

Rembrandt introduced guest Mr, Yang Yuanzheng who is a grad student at Princeton Dept of Art and Archaecology. Yang learned qin from Mr. Wu Wenguan 吳文光 and has been playing qin for 5 to 6 years.

Professor Naoko Terauchi was talking.

Bo also introduced guest Professor Naoko Terauchi who leads the CU gagaku course.

Bo talks about Berlin conference.

Due to my digital camera's film was full, I could not take photos of people's qin playing. There were Yang Yuanzheng's playing of Yu Qiao Wen Da 漁樵問答, Peiyou's Shi Shang Liu Quan 石上流泉, SWalker's Ou Lu Wang Ji 甌鷺忘機, Dydo's Ping Sha 平沙落雁 and Marilyn's Yi Gu Ren 憶故人.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

October 2006 Taipei Trip Enrich My Eyes and Mind

以認識先後 他們分別是
劉繕惟先生 邱文苑伉儷 鄭德宣先生 劉行一先生 莊秀珍老師 潘(木百)世老師 以及黃懷瑾先生



Saw a qin book in Taipei Palace Museum

It was pitty that I did not see any painting and calligraphy in Taipei Palace Museum this time as they were closed those sections. However I saw a qin book. Jia-jing Yuan Kan Ben Wu-Gang Qinpu (嘉靖原刊本梧岡琴譜) but was not sure if it is a Guqin notation book then. I took these 2 photos and after came back to the US, I looked at Zha Fu-xi's Cun Jian Guqin Qupu Jilan 查阜西之存見古琴曲譜輯覽 and am pretty sure that it is the Qin Pu that Zha did not put it in Cun Jian Guqin Qupu Jilan, as all the materials in this qin book are in Qinpu Zhenchuan 琴譜正傳, which was published in 1547 Ming Dynasty Jia-jing year 26th to 40th. The editor of Qinpu Zhenchuan was Huang Xian 黃獻 also named Wu Gang 別號 梧岡. Qinpu Zhenchuan has 71 qin pieces including the 42 pieces from Wu-gang Qinpu.

The last two photos are Wu Gang Qinpu's index from Qinqu Jichen 琴曲集成.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Two Nieces Playing The Qin Made by Bright

My friend, Bright, loaned me his qin for 3 days. I carried it to my twin sister's home in Xin-chu to practice. Sophia's home is more quiet than father's home. I can really feel the qin quality and its personality. This is the first qin made by Bright. He spent one year and 4 months to finish it. Mr. Lin Li-zhen 林立正 is his teacher. Bright first learned qin playing and qin making from Mr. Chen Hui-de 程惠德 2 years ago. The first qin he made was supervised by Master Lin Li-zhen. The upper board is Shan wood 杉木(China fir) and the bottom wood is Zhang wood 樟木(champhorwood). The form of this qin is Fu Xi Style 伏羲式. According to Bright, Master Lin only make two kinds of qin form, Zhong Ni Style 仲尼式 and Fu Xi Style. I like this qin a lot. The high tone is so beautiful and the lacquer work has a very natural appearance.

Since I had a qin with me, I let Sophia's daughters try to play it. I did not really teach them how to play but they saw my playing and therefore, when they sit in front of the qin, they knew how to position their little hands. I wish I can teach them. I am very glad that I took these photos.

Oct 13th, Attend Prof Wu's class in Taiwan University

Thanks to my friend Wenyuan who let me know that Prof. Wu was having lessons at Taiwan University every Friday morning. So I attended one on Friday the 13th.

The subject was The Investigation of Chinese Rites and Music System -- Tao Si Big Tomb's Te Chime and Tuo Drum 中國禮樂制度探源-- 陶寺大墓特謦(te qin) 鼉鼓(tuo gu) 兼論特磬在中國文明形成中的地位.

Prof Wu let us hear the sound of 3 Chimes. I just realized that it is the sound of "gold and stone" 金石之音. I also realized how the sound comes out from a chime and how the ancient people tune the chime sound by rubbing the sides of the stone.

Prof Wu said that China means "many countries in a country" 中國=國中之國. Shangxi 山西, Henan 河南 and Shanxi 陜西 Provinces were the area where Chinese culture started. The set of Tao Si Big Qins (Chimes) was found in the south of Shangxi Province, Xian Fen area 山西襄汾. It belongs to Longshan culture (2500B.C.~1900B.C.). Tao Si ruin was formed by 5 big tombs (3072, 3073, 3016, 3015 and 3002)and each tomb was build in a different time period. The te qin and tuo gu were found in the 3072 tomb which has different craftsmanship and quality from others. The materials were not sourced locally. They are the most advanced Chimes. Yet no one knows which area they came from.

A chime, which can create 2 sounds Do and Mi, is the well developed chime. Usually the earlier developed chimes were more advanced. The later developed chimes fell behind, their sound quality was not clear enough, according to Prof Wu.

Oct 19th, Ping Ling Trip 坪林遊

On Oct 19th, Friday, Wenyuan couple drove me and Blue and Bright to Pinlin mountain area.

This Qiu An Qinpu's (Autumn Hut Qin Book 秋庵琴譜) owner is Mr. Huang Hui-jing 黃懷瑾 in Taoyuan Taiwan. Mr. Huang is a retired captain and learned Guqin from Master Rong Tian-qi 容天祈*1 about 30 something years ago. Master Rong gave him this qin book where Rong had collected all the pieces he played and he liked, and had his wife print out for Mr. Huang in 1974. Master Rong gave the name "Qiu An" (Autumn Hut) as he had an antique qin called "Qiu Yue"*2 (Autumn Moon 秋月). Master Rong made the cover by using wall paper with his calligraphy of the book's name and Mr. Huang bundled all the pages with covers and sewed them together. Qiu An Qinpu was never published to public. The first qin piece in this qinpu is Yu Lou Chun Xiao 玉樓春曉 (Jade Mansion Spring Dawn). Master Rong hand wrote a footnote at the end of Yu Lou Chun Xiao saying that "this piece was given by Master Wu Zong-hang 吳宗漢*3 personaly and is my favorite piece from Mei An Qinpu, as there is another story and reason related to this piece. -- Tian-qi"

"此曲乃吳宗漢先生面授 梅庵琴譜中余最偏愛之曲 蓋亦另有一段因緣也 天祈"

According to Mr. Huang, the story was that in 1962, Master Rong had just started learning qin. He saw a movie "Qian Nu You Hun" (倩女幽魂, the gost Qian Nu) which was directed by Mr. Li Han-xiang 李翰祥. Master Rong was attracted by the qin music that Mr. Li used in this movie. Rong followed the movie's showing schedual from northern Taiwan to Southern Taiwan just to try to find out which qin piece that was. Finally in 1969, he found out that the qin piece was played by Master Wu Zong-hang and Wu was playing Yu Lou Chun Xiao from Mei An Qin Pu. On June 18th 1970, Master Rong met Master Wu couple at the First Seminar of Chinese Ancient Painting 第一屆中國古畫討論會. And later Master Wu gave Rong a copy of Mei An Qin Pu as a gift of Zhi Yin (friend who understand each other's music). Therefore Master Rong could never forget this story and this qin piece in his life.

*1 Rong Tian-qi 容天祈 (1936-1994) was from Guandong province, and lived in Kaoxong, Taiwan. He studied poetry, literature, calligraphy and painting from age 8 with his grandfather. At age 17, he studied Chinese painting (mountain and water) with master Zhu Nian-ci 朱念慈 who was a pupil of Wu Chang-shuo 吳昌碩. At age 27, he studied guqin and Chinese painting with Master Hu Yin-tang 胡瑩堂. At age 36, he studied finger painting with Master Ma shou-hua 馬壽華. He died at age 58.

*2 "Qiu Yue" once own by Zhou Lu-feng 周魯封 in Qin dynasty.

*3 Wu Zong-hang 吳宗漢 (1903-?) was from Jiansu province and lived in the US. He was the 3rd generation of Mei An School. Master Wu learned qin from Master Xu Zhuo 徐卓 who was the lineal descent pupil of the Mei An School's establisher, Master Wang Yian-qing 王燕卿.

We stoped at a place near a small river with two pavilions. We stay in one pavilion. Wenyuan's husband was making tea for us. I played Mei Hua 3 Nong. Bright played Xian Ong Cao 仙翁操.

Below is the poem written by Blue that he made this poem several days later to describe the scenery and Bright's playing...





Oct 18th, Meet Qin friends

After having a lesson of Taichi Dowing 太極導引 with Bright who learned from Master Xong Wei 熊衛 since 1996, we headed to Xing-yi's home near by. Xing-yi is the correspondent secretary of Zi Ten Lu Tea House and a good friend of Bright. Xing-yi plays guqin for 5 years already. He learned guqin from Master Zhuang Xiu-zhen. At Xing-yi's home, there are 3 qins. One is a real antique qin, and one is a qin made by Yei Shi-qian (see the photo below) and one is a factory made.

Xing-yi let us heard a recording of Zha Fu-xi's 查阜西 singing of Qin song. As Xing-yi said, Zha's singing was so warm like an old pa telling a life story. I am so happy to hear Zha's qin song which is really treasures.

Xing-yi played Cai Zheng-you 采真遊, a taoistic qin piece that he dapu from Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong 西麓堂琴統. His playing was really nice. I played Xiao Xian Shui Yun. Bright played his improvised piece.

It was a special night. We drank tea, play qin, and exchanged our knowledge and opinions about qin music. It was a meeting with Zhi-yin 知音(friends who understand your music)...

Oct 17th, Tian Muge Silk String Qin Society 訪天穆閣絲弦琴社

Miss Zhuang Xiu-zhen 莊秀珍 is the president of the Tian Muge Silk String Qin Society. She learned Guqin from Master Sun Yu-qin 孫毓琴. This qin society used to have gatherings twice every month at the Zi Teng Lu Tea House, and now moved to Xin Dian near Xin Dian city hall. I had the honor of attending their meeting on Oct 17th, Thanks to my friends Bright and Xing-yi.

Once there, I had a chance to play Miss Zhuang's Tang Qin 秋籟 and one of the qin made by Mr. Yei Shi-Qian 葉世強. (Mr. Yei was born in Guangdong and moved to Taiwan in 1949. He is 80 years old now and has been living in solitude almost his whole life in Taiwan. His artistic works include: paintings, mixedmedia, calligraphy and qin making.) The Tang qin feels very warm and comfortable to play. It has snake belly cracks 蛇腹斷紋 but had redone the lacquer so the surface is smooth. The Yei qin has an artistic look and the sound quality is not open but restrained. It does not have shiny lacquer but a quaint look.

I heard several people's qin playing. Xing-yi played Yu Ge 漁歌 that he dapu from Wu Zhi-zhai Qinpu 五知齋琴譜. Xing-yi learned qin from Master Zhuang Xiu-zhen for 2 years and had been playing qin for 5 years. Mr. Pan commented that Xing-yi's Yu Ge is very 悲愴 (tragic) like the sorrow of swan lake. Xing-yi's shixong, Mr. Liu Fu-jing 劉富錦 played Wu Ye Wu Qiu Feng 梧葉舞秋風, very impressive. Mr. Liu learned qin from Master Zhuang the longest. He also learn qin making from Mr. Yei Shi-qian. Now Mr. Liu is supervising several qin makers in Mainland China. Master Zhuang Xiu-zhen played the Ping Sha Luo Yan which was taught by Master Sun Yu-qin. Mr. Pan gave very high appreciation of her playing of the Pin Sha.

Later, Mr. Pan Bo Shi 潘(木百)世 gave a talk of Twenty-four Grades of Poetry 二十四詩品. He gave his explanation of the first two grades – Xiong (plentiful, magnificent) Hun (complete, all over) and Chong (rinse, infuse) Dan (light) (雄渾 沖淡) at that day. Mr. Pan is a very knowledgeable person. He is a major in Chinese medicine but he also studies Chinese philosophy and literature. He has given lessons at the Tian Muge Silk String Qin Society before on the Twenty-four Qin Situations 二十四琴況. He does not play qin but he knows how to appreciate qin very well. Mr. Pan said that all the Chinese art, such as seal, Kung-fu, tea, etc,. are related to the 24 Grades of Poetry. All the Chinese art has to be based on the deepest Chinese literature. Each grade of the 24 Grades of Poetry is literature which is the door to enter the world of Chinese art.

Chinese art and the Chinese art environment cannot be separated, such as when to listen rain? When to play guqin? etc,. It has to be in a certain situation to do certain thing in order to be beautiful.

Each two of the grades of poetry is corresponding to each other. Xiong Hun is corresponding to Chong Dan. Xian Nong 纖穠 is corresponding to Chen Zhuo 沉著 and so on and so forth. Each two phrases of each grade is also corresponding to each other. Such as the first two phrases of the first grade, 大用外腓 is based on 真體內充, meaning that the great graceful appearance is based on the true inner richness. Another two phrases, 反虛入渾 積健為雄, meaning that it has to be in a big space in order to enter the original inner truth. And the powerful energy comes from accumulating exercise. And the last four phrases of the first grade, 超以象外 得其環中, 持之非強 來之無窮 meaning that crossing over the limitation, a living thing will live forever without the limitation of time. When holding it, you don't feel it is strong but you will feel the power later when you hold it longer and longer. After Mr. Pan's explanation of the first grade, I just realized how rich the Chinese literature is.

On the wall, there are the paintings and calligraphy by Mr. Ye Shi-qian.

二十四詩品 Twenty-four Grades of Poetry
作者:舊題晚唐.司空圖(837--908)(Mr. Pan believes that it was not written by Si Kong Tu in Tang Dynasty, it was written in Yuang or Ming Dynasty.)


Oct 12, Xin-dian / Wu-lai Qin Trip 新店烏來登高撫琴

Many thanks to Wenyuan couple who drove me and Bright to Xin-dian and Wu-lai. Wenyuan's husband is a very good tour guide...

元 吳澄的琴言十則其中一則:

盡禮以尊其道 如風 雨 市廛 不彈是也

至遇知音 升樓閣 登山憩谷 坐石遊泉 值二氣之清朗 皆際勝而宜於琴者...

想這新店烏來遊 真是應了吳澄之此則...


明 高濂的遵生八牋提到的辨琴之九德:

一曰奇 輕鬆脆滑是也 輕謂材輕 鬆謂聲透 脆謂聲之清老 老桐木也 滑謂聲之澤潤 近水材也

二曰古 淳淡中有金石韻也

三曰透 年雖久遠 膠漆不敗 清亮而不咽塞

四曰靜 謂無(先文)飒以亂正聲

五曰潤 謂發聲不燥 韻長不絕

六曰圓 謂聲韻渾然而不破散

七曰清 謂聲如風中鐸也

八曰勻 謂七弦無三實四虛之病

九曰芳 謂愈彈愈發 久無乏聲

Oct 8th Qin testing at Yetang Tea house 冶堂壺茶試琴

On Oct 8th 2pm, several qin friends gathered at the Ye Tang Tea house in Yong Kang Street, Taipei. I was the first one to arrive and the host Mr. He was having Jung Ping's qin music playing as the background music. This gathering could happen because my blog friend, Bright, had just finished his first qin a couple months ago and I wanted to try it. So he arranged this meeting. All the people at this gathering were in Jung Ping's Guqin conference two days before.

The host of Ye Tang, Mr. He Jian 何建 is a very generous person who let us use his space without charging us any fee and even served us very good tea. I appreicated that. Mr. He has very good sense of tea and his place is not on a big street. Only people who know him will visit his store and buy his tea and tea pots...

The address of Ye Tang

冶堂 壺茶空間

台北市永康街三十一巷二十之二號一樓 02-33938988

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oct 6th The Full Moon Festival Guqin Conference

The full moon.

Oct. 6th 7pm , Jung Ping had his personal Guqin conference at the Zi Teng Lu tea house 紫藤廬茶藝館 in Taipei. There were about 50 to 55 in the audience. Several of Jung Ping's shi-xong and shi-jie attended the conference. The famous qin maker Mr. Lin Lizhen, who sit beside Miss Sun Yuhang, also attended.

Before Jung Ping performed, he introduced his shi-jie, Miss Sun Yu-hang 孫于涵, Shi-xong, Mr. Chen Guo-deng 陳國燈 and the qin maker Mr. Lin Li-zheng 林立正. He also mentioned about his first qin teacher, Mr. Sun Yu-qin 孫公 毓琴 who had qin performance at the same place long time ago. Jing Ping was glad to see his shi-xong and shi-jie who remind him the good old day of learning qin with Sun gong.

The host of Ziteng Lu 紫藤盧, Mr. Zhou Yu 周渝 had an opening talk. Mr. Zhou said that silk string is the traditional and correct way to go. It should be propagate and Jung Ping is the best representative of promoting silk string qin. Mr. Zhou also mentioned that they are working hard to maintain this tea house as it is a historical building. They had been host so many art related activities, conference and classes in order to promote and keep the traditional Chinese culture and art. Ziteng Lu will be closed for 8 months starting at the beginning of 2007 for renovations. Therefore, this Guqin conference will be the last qin conference before the renovation.

Ziteng Lu 紫藤盧(Wistaria-House) official website: http://wistariahouse.com
Address : 1 XinSheng South Road, Section 3, Alley 16
Telephone: 02-23637375 02-23639459 Fax:02-23637234

Peiyou, Renee and Jung Ping.

Renee and Jung Ping.

Peiyou and Wenyuan. Wenyuan is Peiyou's blog friend who was a music teacher at Fuhe Junior High School 福和國中 and just retired this February. Wenyuan is interested in Qin songs and poetry. Her personal website is at and it has one video of my playing of Mei Hua that she had recored on Oct 8th at Ye Tang Tea House 冶堂壺茶空間. Wenyuan gave me a CD of her singing of Chinese classical poetries 中國古典詩詞吟唱. She was graduated from the National Defence University 政戰學校. Listen to her singing, I can feel her rich energy from her voice. She started to play Guqin not too long ago and likes to play qin songs.

Jung Ping talks with Sun Yuhang.

Jung Ping and Sun Yuhang.