GUQIN: The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand -1 2 3 4

The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand – 1
Playing Guqin, the left hand controls the precise pitch of the sound. Therefor the position of the fingers is very important. There are 6 basic finger techniques of the left hand: Yin, Rou, Chuo, Zhu, Shang and Xia. Under these 6 basic techniques, there are a number of variations. The variations are based on the length and the strength of vibrato, creating different atmospheres. Player needs to have an understanding of the piece of music first, so that one can present the appropriate feeling by using different finger techniques.

A, Press String Position of The Left Hand: Click the pictures for bigger image.

There are certain points on the finger tips and fingers that is or are used for playing pressing down (An-yin) or harmonic (Fan-yin) sound. Please click the picture for bigger image.

Da Zhi Notation:
Name: Da Zhi (Thumb)
Explanation: Slightly bend the thumb and using the side of the thumb, where the nail meets the skin or the side of knuckle of the thumb, press down the string. If pressing down 2 strings at one time, use both of the side of the nail and knuckle.

Shi Zhi Notation:
Name: Shi Zhi (Index finger)
Explanation: Naturally position the index finger on the string. It is used more often in Fan Yin, which is just lightly touching the string. Sometimes used together with the thumb.

Zhong Zhi Notation:
Name: Zhong Zhi (Middle finger)
Explanation: Naturally position the middle finger on the string. It is used more often on the 1st string.

Ming Zhi Notation:
Name: Ming Zhi (Ring finger)
Explanation: Slightly bend the ring finger and using the left side where the nail meets the skin to press down the string. Do not use the tip of the finger to press the string and do not use the middle finger to try to help to press down the ring finger. Thumb should not be raised up.

Gui Notation:
Name: Gui (Kneel)
Explanation: Kneeling the ring finger on the string. Using side of the back of the nail or back of the 1st knuckle to press down the string. It is usually used above the 5th Hui.

The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand – 2
The pictures shows the techniques using the thumb, but the techniques can also be perform using the index, middle and ring fingers.

6 Basic Finger Techniques of The Left Hand: Click the pictures for videos.

Yin Notation:
Name: Yín 吟
Explanation: A vibrato movement. A finger of the left hand presses down a string, and after a finger of the right hand plays the string, the left hand quickly moves down (to the left) and up, 2 to 3 times and back to the spot one started with. The strength of this movement is strong at the beginning but gradually reducing at the end. The distance between each up and down is not bigger than 1/5 of the distance to the next Hui position.

Nao Notation:
Name: Náo 猱
Explanation: A vibrato movement. A finger of the left hand presses down a string, and after a finger of the right hand plays the string, the left hand quickly moves up (to the right) and down, 2 to 3 times and back to the spot one started with. The strength of this movement is strong at the beginning but gradually reducing at the end. The distance between each up and down is not bigger than 1/4 of the distance to the next Hui position.

Chuo Notation:
Name: Chùo 綽
Explanation: A finger of the left hand, before pressing down a string on the indicated spot, starts about 5mm. below (to the left) of that spot, and quickly glides to the right, till the place indicated is reached.

Zhu Notation:
Name: Zhù 注
Explanation: It is the opposite of Chùo. The movement starts about 5mm. above (to the right) of the indicated spot, and quickly glides to the left, till the place indicated is reached.

Shang Notation:
Name: Shàng (ascending) 上
Explanation: While the right hand plucks the string that the left hand has pressed down, the left hand glides up to the spot that is indicated. The pressing and moving of the left hand should be solid so that it will create a very clear sound. If there is one ascending after another ascending, the notation will be « 二上 » (Èr Shàng , up twice). In Guqin tableture, only the final destination of Èr Shàng is indicated. So the player has to listen to the tone and move his or her finger up to a proper position for the first ascending tone. Each ascending tone is approximately one whole step, for example, Do- Re- Mi, or Re-Mi-Sol, or Mi- Sol- La, or Sol-La-Do, or La-Do-Re.

Xia Notation:
Name: Xià (descending) 下
Explanation: opposite of « Shàng. » While the right hand plucks the string that the left hand has pressed down, the left hand glides down to the spot that it is indicated. If there is one descending after another descending, the notation will be « 二下 » (Èr Xià, down twice). Same as Èr Shàng that the tableture only indicate the final desitination. So the player has to listen to the tone and move his or her finger down to a proper position for the first descending tone. Each descending tone is approximately one whole step. For example, Do- La- Sol, or La- Sol- Mi, or Sol- Mi-Re, or Mi- Re- Do, or Re- Do- La.

The Variations of Yín and Náo:

Notation: Name: Cháng Yin 長吟
Explanation: A drawn-out vibrato movement. The frequency of up and down is several times more than Yín. The total number can be 7 to 12 times of the frequency.

Notation: Name: Xì Yín 細吟
Explanation: A thin vibrato movement, more delicate than Yín.

Notation: Name: Dìng Yín 定吟
Explanation: A calm vibrato. It is rocking the string back and force without moving the finger.

Notation: Name: Yóu Yín 游吟
Explanation: Swinging vibrato. Similar to Shuang Zhùang (see Shuang Zhuang on next page) but slower.

Notation: Name: Lùo Zhĭ Yín 落指吟
Explanation: Immediately vibrato. Do Yín as soon as the left hand presses the string and the right hand plays the string.

Notation: Name: Lùe Yín 略吟
Explanation: Slightly Yín.

Notation: Name: Cháng Náo 長猱
Explanation: The movement is the same as Náo but the timing of the vibrato is longer. Same situation as Cháng Yín.

Notation: Name: Jí Náo 急猱
Explanation: A fast Náo. Feels tight and rapid but not in a hurry.

Notation: Name: Lùo Zhĭ Náo 落指猱
Explanation: Same situation as Lùo Zhĭ Yín. Do Náo as soon as the left hand presses the string and the right hand plays the string.

Notation: Name: Lùe Náo 略猱
Explanation: Slightly Náo.

For a further study on distinguish the differences between Yín and Náo and a short film of the demo, please visit here.

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The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand – 3
The pictures shows the techniques using the thumb, but the techniques can also be perform using the index, middle and ring fingers.
Click the pictures to view videos.

Tang Notation:
Name: Taňg 淌
Explanation: Same as « Xià » 下 but the movement of the left hand is slower. It is a slow descending sound.

Tuo Notation:
Name: Tuo (or Tuo Shàng) 拖
Explanation: Same as « Shàng » 上 but the movement of the left hand is slower. It is a slow ascending sound.

Zhuàng Notation:
Name: Zhàng (to strike against) 撞
Explanation: When the left hand presses down a string, and then after the right hand has pulled the string, the left hand moves very quickly up (to the right) about 1/5 – 1/2 portion of to next Hui position, and quickly moves back to the spot indicated. The strength of moving up should be timid and fast and the down moving should be strong, solid and fast as well.

Shuang Zhuang Notation:
Name: Shuang Zhàng (to strike against twice) 雙撞
Explanation: Do twice of « Zhuàng. »

Xu Zhuang Notation:
Name: Xu Zhuàng 虛撞
Explanation: “Xu” literally means “empty, unfilled,” therefore a “Xu Zhuàng “is to have a Zhuàng technique happen after a non- plucked sound. For example, the left hand may do a Zhuàng after an upward moving technique (Shàng or Jìng ), or a downward moving technique (Xià or Fù ) or a vibrato technique (Yín or Náo ) has been performed.

Fan Zhuang Notation:
Name: Fǎn zhuàng (Opposit of Zhuàng) 反撞
Explanation: Same technique as « Zhàng » but moves the left hand very quickly down first (to the left) about 1/5 – 1/2 of to the next « Hui » position and moves back quickly to the spot indicated. It is like a faster motion of Tuì fù.

Dò Notation:
Name: Dò 逗
Explanation: While the right hand pulls the string, simultaneously the left hand moves up and back to the hui position quickly. It is similar to Zhuàng 撞, but Zhuàng is done after the right hand pulls the string.

Huàn Notation:
Name: Huàn 渙, 喚,or 換
Explanation: 宋成玉礀[琴書大全]: 注少許,略作猱, 而復引少許. Slides down over to the hui position a little bit, then slightly náo (once or twice), and then slides up to above the hui position a little bit.

Wang Lai Notation:
Name: Waňglaí (back and forth) 往來
Explanation: 往來得聲自上而下三次(或兩次). When a finger of the left hand presses down a string and after the right hand has pulled the string, the left hand moves down to the next sound position to the left and then moves back to where it started; and repeats this movement twice or three times to produce a total of 4 or 6 sounds. (ex. 5,3,5,3,5,3).

Fen Kai Notation:
Name: Fen Kai 分開
Explanation: When a finger of the left hand presses down a string and after the right hand has pulled the string, the left hand glides up to the next Hui position to the right; and then while the right hand pulls the string again, the left hand glides back to where it started, as the action of « Zhù. »

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The Playing And Notation of The Left Hand – 4
Click the pictures to view the videos.

Jin Fu Notation:
Name: Jìn fù 進復 (advancing and returning)
Explanation: When a finger of the left hand presses down a string, and after the right hand has pulled the string, the left hand glides up to the right to a certain point indicated or to one pitch higher, then glides back to where it started.

Tui Fu Notation:
Name: Tuì fù 退復 (backward and returning)
Explanation: Opposite of Jìn fù. When a finger of the left hand presses down a string, and after the right hand has pulled the string, the left hand glides down to the left to a certain point indicated or one pitch lower, then glides back to where it started.

Qia Qi Notation:
Name:Qiā qǐ 掐起
Explanation: This technique is particularly used for the thumb of the left hand. After the thumb presses down a string (on the 8th Hui for example), the ring finger (or middle finger) presses down the same string at the next Hui (the 9th). Instead of using the right hand to pull the string, the thumb of the left hand pulls up the sting. Using the edge of the thumbnail to pull the sting up, at the same time the ring finger (or the middle finger) still presses down steadily.

Zhua Qi Notation:
Name: Zhua Qĭ 抓起
Explanation: This technique is particularly used for the thumb of the left hand. After the thumb presses down a string, it lightly pulls up the string to create a Săn Yin.

Dai Qi Notation:
Name: Dài Qǐ 帶起
Explanation: This technique is particularly used for the ring finger of the left hand. After the left ring finger presses down a string, it plucks the string to create a Sǎn Yin. However, some ancient qin tabletures used « Dài qǐ » not just for the ring finger but for the thumb (as Zhua Qǐ) and middle finger as well.

Yan Notation:
Name: Yǎn 罨 (to cover)
Explanation: This technique is mostly executed with the left hand thumb, that the thumb taps a string to produce a low, dull sound after the left ring finger pressed down the string. For example, when the left ring finger presses down the 3rd string on the 10th Hui, the left thumb taps the same string on the 9th Hui (while the left ring still presses down). and after tapping the string, the left thumb stays there steadily and does not move away.

Xu Yan Notation:
Name: Xū Yǎn 虛罨
Explanation: This technique is mostly executed with the middle or ring finger and sometimes the thumb. Same technique as Yǎn but without pressing down any string before doing Yǎn.

Tue Chu Notation:
Name: Tue Chu (pushing outward) 推出
Explanation: This technique is particularly used on the 1st string for the middle finger of the left hand. After the middle finger presses a sting down, it makes the 1st string sound by pushing it outward.

Ying He Notation:
Name: Yīng Hé 應合 (respond and unite)
Explanation: The left middle or ring finger presses down a string, and the right hand plucks it, the left hand stays on the same string and does not move away yet. While the right hand plucks another string, the left hand moves either up or down to the position where it has the same sound as the string that the right hand had played. Eventually making both strings sound together (one is a solid sound, the other is a soft sound).

Tong Shen Notation:
Name: Tóng Shēng (sounds together) 同聲, also called Dài Hé 帶合
Explanation: This technique is creating a kind of chord. The left hand plucks one string (can be the middle finger Tuīchū, or the ring finger Dàiqǐ or the thumb Zhuāqǐ), at the same time, the right hand plucks another string to make both strings sound together.

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Copyright ©2001-2013 Judy (Pei-You) Chang

WIKIPEDIA : Guqin playing technique

Guqin playing technique

guqin 2.jpg

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guqin pitches.jpg


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The playing techniques of the guqin, sometimes called fingerings, are more numerous than those of any other Chinese or Western musical instrument. They are also complex and full of symbolism.


Basic sounds

The music of the qin can be categorised as three distinctively different « sounds. » The first is san yin音〕, which means « scattered sounds. » This is produced by plucking the required string to sound an open note About this sound Listen . The second is fan yin音〕, or « floating sounds. » These are harmonics, in which the player lightly touches the string with one or more fingers of the left hand at a position indicated by the hui dots, pluck and lift, creating a crisp and clear sound About this sound Listen . The third is an yin音 / 音 / 音 / 音〕, or « stopped sounds. » This forms the bulk of most qin pieces and requires the player to press on a string with a finger or thumb of the left hand until it connects with the surface board, then pluck. Afterwards, the musician’s hand often slides up and down, thereby modifying the pitch. This technique resembles that of playing a slide guitar across the player’s lap, but the technique of the qin is very varied and utilises the whole hand, whilst a slide guitar only has around 3 or 4 main techniques About this sound Listen to Pei Lan .

According to the book Cunjian Guqin Zhifa Puzi Jilan, there are around 1,070 different finger techniques used for the qin, with or without names. It therefore uses the most finger techniques of any instrument in Chinese, or even Western, music[1]. Most are obsolete, but around 50 or so are sufficient to know in modern practice.


When plucking the strings, fake nails are not required to be attached to the fingers. One will often leave their fingernails long, and cut them into an elliptical shape. The length is subjective and will depend on the player’s preference, but it is usually around 3 – 4 mm from the finger tip. If it is too short, then the finger tip will deaden the sound as it touches the string after the nail has plucked it. If it is too long then the fingers can be cumbersome and can impede performance. Generally, the nails of the right hand are kept long, whilst the nails of the left are cut short, so as to be able to press on the strings without hindrance. For people who have brittle fingernails, the Yugu Zhai Qinpu has some methods of strengthening them. Unlike other plucked instruments, like guzheng and pipa, plectrums and fake-nails should be avoided. For the guzheng and pipa where one must attack the strings with force, thus, susceptible to fingernail breakage, the qin requires gentle force to play. Also, fake-nails tend to hinder the fingers, or create an unsatisfactory tone, thus it is best to pluck with natural fingernails. That and because one can feel the qin strings better.


The above four figures are from an old handbook. [2]

Right hand

There are eight basic right hand finger techniques: pi〉 (thumb pluck outwards), tuo〉 (thumb pluck inwards), mo〉 (index in), tiao〉 (index out), gou〉 (middle in), ti〉 (middle out), da〉 (ring in), and zhai〉 (ring out); the little finger is not used. Out of these basic eight, their combinations create many. Cuo〉 is to pluck two strings at the same time, lun/轮〉 is to pluck a string with the ring, middle and index finger out in quick succession, the suo/锁〉 technique involves plucking a string several times in a fixed rhythm, bo/拔〉 cups the fingers and attacks two strings at the same time, and gun fu〉 is to create glissandi by running up and down the strings continuously with the index and middle fingers. These are just a few.

Left hand

Left hand techniques start from the simple pressing down on the string (mostly with the thumb between the flesh and nail, and the ring finger), sliding up or down to the next note (shang〉 and xia〉), to vibrati by swaying the hand (yin〉 and nao〉, there are as many as 15 plus different forms of vibrato), plucking the string with the thumb whilst the ring finger stops the string at the lower position (qiaqi / 起〉), hammering on a string using the thumb (yan / 〉), to more difficult techniques such as pressing on several strings at the same time.

Both hands

Techniques executed by both hands in tandem are more difficult to achieve, like qia cuo san sheng 〈掐撮三聲/掐撮三声〉 (a combination of hammering on and off then plucking two strings, then repeating), to more stylised forms, like pressing of all seven strings with the left, then strumming all the strings with the right, then the left hand quickly moves up the qin, creating a rolling sound like a bucket of water being thrown in a deep pool of water (this technique is used in the Shu style of Liu Shui to imitate the sound of water). [3]

Other issues

In order to master the qin, there are in excess of 50 different techniques that must be mastered. Even the most commonly used (such as tiao) are difficult to get right without proper instruction from a teacher. Also, certain techniques vary from teacher to teacher and school to school. [4]

There are also a lot of obsolete fingerings and notation that are rarely used in modern tablature. There are now new books that have begun to be published about these fingerings and notation as qin culture and study gains momentum. [5]


Please see: References section in the guqin article for a full list of references used in all qin related articles.


  1. ^ Guo, Ping. Guqin Congtan 【古琴丛谈】. Page 112.
  2. ^ Zhang, He. Qinxue Rumen 【琴學入門】. Volume 1, leaves 39, 40, 43 and 47.
  3. ^ Wu, Jinglüe and Wenguang. Yushan Wushi Qinpu 【虞山吴氏琴谱】 The Qin Music Repertoire of the Wu Family. Pages 507-526.
  4. ^ Wang, Binglu. Mei’an Qinpu 【楳盦珡諩】. Volume 1 leaves 18-24.
  5. ^ Yao, Bingyan and Huang, Shuzhi. Tangdai Chen Zhuo Lun Guqin Zhifa: Yao Bingyan Qinxue Zhu Shu zhi Yi 【唐代陳拙論古琴指法‧姚丙炎琴學著述之一】.




guqin instrument


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chinese name
Chinese 古琴
Literal meaning « ancient zither« 
Japanese name
Kanji 古琴

The guqin ([kùtɕʰǐn]; Chinese: 古琴) is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote « a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason, »[1] as well as being associated with the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is sometimes referred to by the Chinese as « the father of Chinese music » or « the instrument of the sages ». The guqin is not to be confused with the guzheng, another Chinese long zither also without frets, but with moveable bridges under each string.

Traditionally, the instrument was simply referred to as the « qin« [2] but by the twentieth century the term had come to be applied to many other musical instruments as well: the yangqin hammered dulcimer, the huqin family of bowed string instruments, and the Western piano are examples of this usage. The prefix « gu- » (meaning « ancient ») was later added for clarification. Thus, the instrument is called « guqin » today. It can also be called qixian-qin (lit. « seven-stringed zither »). Because Robert Hans van Gulik‘s famous book about the qin is called The Lore of the Chinese Lute, the guqin is sometimes inaccurately called a lute.[3] Other incorrect classifications, mainly from music compact discs, include « harp » or « table-harp ».

The guqin is a very quiet instrument, with a range of about four octaves, and its open strings are tuned in the bass register. Its lowest pitch is about two octaves below middle C, or the lowest note on the cello. Sounds are produced by plucking open strings, stopped strings, and harmonics. The use of glissando—sliding tones—gives it a sound reminiscent of a pizzicato cello, fretless double bass or a slide guitar. The qin is also capable of a lot of harmonics, of which 91 are most commonly used and indicated by the dotted positions. By tradition the qin originally had five strings, but ancient qin-like instruments with 10 or more strings have been found. The modern form has been standardized for about two millennia.



Main article: Guqin history

A famous Tang Dynasty (618–907) qin, the « Jiu Xiao Huan Pei »

Legend has it that the qin, the most revered of all Chinese musical instruments, has a history of about 5,000 years. This legend states that the legendary figures of China’s pre-historyFuxi, Shennong and Huang Di, the « Yellow Emperor » — were involved in its creation. Nearly all qin books and tablature collections published prior to the twentieth century state this as the actual origins of the qin,[4] although this is now presently viewed as mythology. It is mentioned in Chinese writings dating back nearly 3,000 years, and examples have been found in tombs from about 2,500 years ago. The exact origins of the qin is still a very much continuing subject of debate over the past few decades.

In 1977, a recording of « Flowing Water » (Liu Shui, as performed by Guan Pinghu, one of the best qin players of the 20th century) was chosen to be included in the Voyager Golden Record, a gold-plated LP recording containing music from around the world, which was sent into outer space by NASA on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft. It is the longest excerpt included on the disc. The reason to select a work played on this specific instrument is because the tonal structure of the instrument, its musical scale, is derived from fundamental physical laws related to vibration and overtones, representing the intellectual capacity of human beings on this subject. In 2003, guqin music was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.[5]

Guqin literature

There are a number of ancient sources that discuss qin lore, qin theory and general qin literature. Some of these books are available inserted into certain qinpu (qin tablature collections). The basic contents of qin literature is mainly essays discussing and describing the nature of qin music, the theory behind the notes and tones, the method of correct play, the history of qin music, lists of mentions in literature, etc. The detail can be very concise to extremely detailed and thorough. Some are mostly philosophical or artistic musings, others are scientific and technical.

Schools, societies and players

The famous painting « Ting Qin Tu » (Listening to the Qin), by the Song emperor Huizong (1082–1135)

As with any other musical tradition, there are differences in ideals and interaction between different people. Therefore, there exists different schools and societies which transmit these different ideas and artistic traditions.

Historical schools

Main article: Qin schools

Many qin schools known as qin pai developed over the centuries. Such schools generally formed around areas where qin activity was greatest.

Some schools have come and gone, and some have offshoots (such as the Mei’an school, a Zhucheng school offshoot). Often, the school is originated from a single person, such as the Wu school which is named after the late Wu Zhaoji. The style can vary considerably between schools; some are very similar, yet others are very distinct. The differences are often in interpretation of the music. Northern schools tend to be more vigorous in technique than Southern schools. But in modern terms, the distinction between schools and styles is often blurred because a single player may learn from many different players from different schools and absorb each of their styles. This is especially so for conservatory trained players. People from the same school trained under the same master may have different individual styles (such as Zhang Ziqian and Liu Shaochun of the Guangling school).

Guqin societies

There is a difference between qin schools and qin societies. The former concerns itself with transmission of a style, the latter concerns itself with performance. The qin society will encourage meetings with fellow qin players in order to play music and maybe discuss the nature of the qin. Gatherings like this are called yajis, or « elegant gatherings », which take place once every month or two. Sometimes, societies may go on excursions to places of natural beauty to play qin, or attend conferences. They may also participate in competitions or research. Of course, societies do not have to have a strict structure to adhere to; it could mostly be on a leisurely basis. The main purpose of qin societies is to promote and play qin music. It is often a good opportunity to network and learn to play the instrument, to ask questions and to receive answers.


Many artists down through the ages have played the instrument, and the instrument was a favourite of scholars. Certain melodies are also associated with famous figures, such as Confucius and Qu Yuan. Some emperors of China also had a liking to the qin, including the Song dynasty emperor, Huizong, as clearly seen in his own painting of himself playing the qin in « Ting Qin Tu ».[6][7]


Rock carving of a bodhisattva playing a guqin, found in Shanxi, Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534).

The classical collections such as Qin Shi, Qinshi Bu and Qinshi Xu include biographies of hundreds more players.[21]


Contemporary qin players extend from the early twentieth century to the present. More so than in the past, such players tend to have many different pursuits and occupations other than qin playing. There are only a few players who are paid to exclusively play and research the guqin professionally and nothing else. Qin players can also be well-versed in other cultural pursuits, such as the arts. Or they can do independent research on music subjects. Often, players may play other instruments (not necessary Chinese) and give recitals or talks.


The note range of a qin

During the performance of qin, musicians may use a variety of techniques to reach the full expressing potential of the instrument. There are lots of special tablatures that had developed over the centuries specifically dedicated to qin for their reference and a repertoire of popular and ancient tunes for their choice.

Playing technique

The tones of qin can be categorized as three characteristic « sounds. » The first type is san yin (音), which literally means « scattered sound ».It’s the ground frequency produced by plucking a free string with right hand fingers.About this sound Listen . Plunking a string with right hand and gently tapping specific note positions on the string with left hand will create a crisp and mellifluous soundAbout this sound Listen named « fan yin » (音), or overtune harmonics. The important note scale,called « hui »and marked by 13 glossy white dots made of mica or seashell in the front side of qin,are places of positive integer dividends of the string length.Crystal concordant overtune can’t be evoked unless strings are precisely tapped to these « hui »s. The third is an yin (音 / 音 / 音 / 音), or « changing sounds. »It consists major cadences of most qin pieces. To play,the musician presses a string to a specific pitch on surface board with a thumb, middle or ring finger of his left hand(depending on the distance from him), then strike it with his right hand,sliding left hand up and down to verify the note. This technique is similar to playing a slide guitar across the player’s lap, however, the manipulation of qin is much more multifarious than that of a guitar,which has only around 3 or 4 main techniques. About this sound Listen to Pei Lan . According to the book Cunjian Guqin Zhifa Puzi Jilan, there are around 1,070 different finger techniques used for the qin, with or without tablature. Therefore, qin is probably the one with the most playing techniques in both Chinese and Western instrument family.[22] Most of qin’s techniques are obsolete, but around 50 of them still exist in modern performance.

The above four figures are from an old handbook.[23]

Tablature and notation

Main article: Guqin notation
See also: Qinpu

First section of Youlan, showing the name of the piece: « Jieshi Diao Youlan No.5 », the preface describing the piece’s origins, and the tablature in longhand form.

Written qin music did not directly tell what notes were played; instead, it was written in a tablature detailing tuning, finger positions, and stroke technique, thus comprising a step by step method and description of how to play a piece. Some tablatures do indicate notes using the gongche system, or indicate rhythm using dots. The earliest example of the modern shorthand tablature survives from around the twelfth century CE. An earlier form of music notation from the Tang era survives in just one manuscript, dated to the seventh century CE, called Jieshi Diao Youlan[24] (Solitary Orchid in Stone Tablet Mode). It is written in a longhand form called wenzi pu (譜) (literally « written notation »), said to have been created by Yong Menzhou[25] during the Warring States period, which gives all the details using ordinary written Chinese characters. Later in the Tang dynasty, Cao Rou[26] and others simplified the notation, using only the important elements of the characters (like string number, plucking technique, hui number and which finger to stop the string) and combined them into one character notation. This meant that instead of having two lines of written text to describe a few notes, a single character could represent one note, or sometimes as many as nine. This notation form was called jianzi pu (字譜) (literally « reduced notation ») and it was a major advance in qin notation. It was so successful that from the Ming dynasty onwards, a great many qinpu (琴) (qin tablature collections) appeared, the most famous and useful being « Shenqi Mipu » (The Mysterious and Marvellous Tablature) compiled by Zhu Quan, the 17th son of the founder of the Ming dynasty.[27] In the 1960s, Zha Fuxi discovered more than 130 qinpu that contain well over 3360 pieces of written music. Sadly, many qinpu compiled before the Ming dynasty are now lost, and many pieces have remained unplayed for hundreds of years.[28]


The Qinxue Rumen 【琴學入門】 (1864) tablature has dots and gongche notation next to the qin tablature to indicate beats and notes.

Qin pieces are usually around three to eight minutes in length, with the longest being « Guangling San »,[29] which is 22 minutes long. Other famous pieces include « Liu Shui »[12] (Flowing Water), « Yangguan San Die »[30] (Three Refrains on the Yang Pass Theme), « Meihua San Nong » [31] (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom Theme), « Xiao Xiang Shui Yun » [32] (Mist and Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers), and « Pingsha Luo Yan »[33] (Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank). The average player will generally have a repertoire of around ten pieces which they will aim to play very well, learning new pieces as and when they feel like it or if the opportunity arises. Players mainly learn popular well transcribed versions, often using a recording as a reference. In addition to learning to play established or ancient pieces very well, highly skilled qin players may also compose or improvise, although the player must be very good and extremely familiar with the instrument to do this successfully. A number of qin melodies are program music depicting the natural world.


Dapu (打譜) is the transcribing of old tablature into a playable form. Since qin tablature does not indicate note value, tempo or rhythm, the player must work it out for him/herself. Normally, qin players will learn the rhythm of a piece through a teacher or master. They sit facing one another, with the student copying the master. The tablature will only be consulted if the teacher is not sure of how to play a certain part. Because of this, traditional qinpu do not indicate them (though near the end of the Qing dynasty, a handful of qinpu had started to employ various rhythm indicating devices, such as dots). If one did not have a teacher, then one had to work out the rhythm by themselves. But it would be a mistake to assume that qin music is devoid of rhythm and melody. By the 20th century, there had been attempts to try to replace the « jianzi pu » notation, but so far, it has been unsuccessful; since the 20th century, qin music is generally printed with staff notation above the qin tablature. Because qin tablature is so useful, logical, easy, and the fastest way (once the performer knows how to read the notation) of learning a piece, it is invaluable to the qin player and cannot totally be replaced (just as staff notation cannot be replaced for Western instruments, because they developed a notation system that suited the instruments well).

The Qinxue Congshu 【琴學叢書】 (1910) uses a more detailed system involving a grid next to main qin notation; right grid line indicates note, middle indicates beat, left indicates how the qin tablature relates to the rhythm.

There is a saying that goes « a short piece requires three months [of dapu to complete], and a long piece requires three years ». In actual practice, it needn’t be that long to dapu a piece, but suggests that the player will have not only memorised the piece off by heart, but also have their fingering, rhythm and timing corrected. And afterwards, the emotion must be put into the piece. Therefore, it could be said that it really does require three months or years to finish dapu of a piece in order for them to play it to a very high standard.

Rhythm in qin music

It has already been discussed that qin music has a rhythm, and that it is only vaguely indicated in the tablature.[34] Though there is an amount of guesswork involved, the tablature has clues to indicate rhythm, such as repeating motifs, indication of phrases or how the notation is arranged. Throughout the history of the qinpu, we see many attempts to indicate this rhythm more explicitly, involving devices like dots to make beats. Probably, one of the major projects to regulate the rhythm to a large scale was the compilers of the Qinxue Congshu tablature collection of the 1910s to 1930s. The construction of the written tablature was divided into two columns. The first was further divided into about three lines of a grid, each line indicating a varied combination of lyrics, gongche tablature, se tablature, pitch, and/or beats depending on the score used. The second column was devoted to qin tablature.

Western composers have noticed that the rhythm in a piece of qin music can change; once they seem to have got a beat, the beats change. This is due to the fact that qin players may use some free rhythm in their playing. Whatever beat they use will depend on the emotion or the feeling of the player, and how he interprets the piece. However, some melodies have sections of fixed rhythm which is played the same way generally. The main theme of Meihua Sannong, for example, uses this. Some sections of certain melodies require the player to play faster with force to express the emotion of the piece. Examples include the middle sections of Guangling San and Xiaoxiang Shuiyun. Other pieces, such as Jiu Kuang has a fixed rhythm throughout the entire piece.


A qin tablature collection « Qinxue Congshu »

While acoustics dictated the general form and construction of the guqin, its external form could and did take on a huge amount of variation, whether it be from the embellishments or even the basic structure of the instrument. Qin tablatures from the Song era onwards have catalogued a plethora of qin forms. All, however, obey very basic rules of acoustics and symbolism of form. The qin uses strings of silk or metalnylon and is tuned in accordance to traditional principles.

Ancient guqins were made of little more than wood and strings of twisted silk. Ornaments included inlaid dots of mother-of-pearl or other similar materials. Traditionally, the sounding board was made of Chinese parasol wood firmiana simplex, its rounded shape symbolising the heavens. The bottom was made of Chinese Catalpa, catalpa ovata, its flat shape symbolising earth. Modern instruments are most frequently made of Cunninghamia or other similar timbers. The traditional finish is of raw lacquer mixed with powdered deer horn, and the finishing process could take months of curing to complete. The finish develops cracks over time, and these cracks are believed to improve the instrument’s sound as the wood and lacquer release tension. An antique guqin’s age can be determined by this snake like crack pattern called « duanwen » (断纹).


Main article: Guqin construction

According to tradition, the qin originally had five strings, representing the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Later, in the Zhou dynasty, Zhou Wen Wang added a sixth string to mourn his son, Bo Yihou. His successor, Zhou Wu Wang, added a seventh string to motivate his troops into battle with the Shang. The thirteen hui[35] on the surface represent the 13 months of the year (the extra 13th is the ‘leap month’ in the lunar calendar). The surface board is round to represent Heaven and the bottom board flat to represent earth. The entire length of the qin (in Chinese measurements) is 3 chi, 6 cun and 5 fen;[36] representing the 365 days of the year (though this is just a standard since qins can be shorter or longer depending on the period’s measurement standard or the maker’s preference). Each part of the qin has meaning, some more obvious, like « dragon pool »[37] and « phoenix pond ».[38]

Names of (from left to right) the front, inside and back parts of the qin


Main article: Guqin strings

A selection of different qin strings. Top to bottom: 〖太古琴絃〗 Taigu Silk Qin Strings [中清 zhongqing gauge] with a container of ‘string gum’ 「絃」, 〖上音牌琴弦〗 Shangyin Shanghai Conservatorie Quality Qin Strings (metal-nylon), 〖虎丘古琴絃〗 Huqiu Silk Strings

Until recently, the guqin’s strings were always made of various thicknesses of twisted silk, but since then most players use modern nylon-flatwound steel strings. This was partly due to the scarcity of high quality silk strings and partly due to the newer strings’ greater durability and louder tone.

Silk strings are made by gathering a prescribed number of strands of silk thread, then twisting them tightly together. The twisted cord of strings is then wrapped around a frame and immersed in a vat of liquid composed of a special mixture of natural glue that binds the strands together. The strings is taken out and left to dry, before being cut into the appropriate length. The top thicker strings (i.e. strings one to four) are further wrapped in a thin silk thread, coiled around the core to make it smoother. According to ancient manuals, there are three distinctive gauges of thickness that one can make the strings. The first is taigu[39] [Great Antiquity] which is the standard gauge, the zhongqing[40] [Middle Clarity] is thinner, whilst the jiazhong[41] [Added Thickness] is thicker. According to the Yugu Zhai Qinpu, zhongqing is the best. The currently used silk string gauge standard was defined by Suzhou silk string maker Pan Guohui (潘國輝).

Although most contemporary players use nylon-wrapped metal strings, some argue that nylon-wrapped metal strings cannot replace silk strings for their refinement of tone. Additionally, nylon-wrapped metal strings can cause damage to the wood of old qins. Many traditionalists feel that the sound of the fingers of the left hand sliding on the strings to be a distinctive feature of qin music. The modern nylon-wrapped metal strings were very smooth in the past, but are now slightly modified in order to capture these sliding sounds.

Around 2007, a new type of strings were produced made of mostly a nylon core coiled with nylon like the metal-nylon strings, possibly in imitation of Western catgut strings.[42] The sound is similar to the metal-nylon strings but without the metallic tone to them (one of the main reasons why traditionalists do not like the metal-nylon strings). The nylon strings are able to be turned to standard pitch without breaking and can sustain their tuning whatever the climate unlike silk. The strings have various names in China but they are advertised as sounding like silk strings prior to the 1950s when silk string production stopped.

Traditionally, the strings were wrapped around the goose feet,[43][44] but there has been a device that has been invented, which is a block of wood attached to the goose feet, with pins similar to those used to tune the guzheng protruding out at the sides, so one can string and tune the qin using a tuning wrench. This is good for those who lack the physical strength to pull and add tension to the strings when wrapping the ends to the goose feet. However, the tuning device looks rather unsightly and thus many qin players prefer the traditional manner of tuning; many also feel that the strings should be firmly wrapped to the goose feet in order that the sound may be « grounded » into the qin and some feel that the device which covers the phoenix pond sound hole has a negative effect on the sound volume and quality.[45]


Main article: Guqin tunings

A painting by Chen Hongshou of a person with a qin.

To string a qin, one traditionally had to tie a fly’s head knot (yingtou jie[46]) at one end of the string, and slip the string through the twisted cord (rongkou[47]) which goes into holes at the head of the qin and then out the bottom through the tuning pegs (zhen[48]). The string is dragged over the bridge (yueshan 『岳山』), across the surface board, over the nut (longyin[49] dragon gums) to the back of the qin, where the end is wrapped around one of two legs (fengzu[50] « phoenix feet » or yanzu [51] « geese feet »). Afterwards, the strings are fine tuned using the tuning pegs (sometimes, rosin is used on the part of the tuning peg that touches the qin body to stop it from slipping, especially if the qin is tuned to higher pitches). The most common tuning, « zheng diao » 〈正調〉, is pentatonic: 5 6 1 2 3 5 6 (which can be also played as 1 2 4 5 6 1 2) in the traditional Chinese number system or jianpu[52] (i.e. 1=do, 2=re, etc.). Today this is generally interpreted to mean C D F G A c d, but this should be considered sol la do re mi sol la, since historically the qin was not tuned to absolute pitch. Other tunings are achieved by adjusting the tension of the strings using the tuning pegs at the head end. Thus manjiao diao[53] (« slackened third string ») gives 1 2 3 5 6 1 2 and ruibin diao[54] (« raised fifth string ») gives 1 2 4 5 7 1 2, which is transposed to 2 3 5 6 1 2 3.

Playing context

The guqin is nearly always used a solo instrument, as its quietness of tone means that it cannot compete with the sounds of most other instruments or an ensemble. It can, however, be played together with a xiao (end-blown bamboo flute), with other qin, or played while singing. In old times, the se (a long zither with movable bridges and 25 strings) was frequently used in duets with the qin. Sadly, the se has not survived, though duet tablature scores for the instruments are preserved in a few qinpu, and the master qin player Wu Jinglüe was one of only a few in the twentieth century who knew how to play it together with qin in duet. Lately there has been a trend to use other instruments to accompany the qin, such as the xun (ceramic ocarina), pipa (four-stringed pear-shaped lute), dizi (transverse bamboo flute), and others for more experimental purposes.

In order for an instrument to accompany the qin, its sound must be mellow and not overwhelm the qin. Thus, the xiao generally used for this purpose is one pitched in the key of F, known as qin xiao 「琴簫」, which is narrower than an ordinary xiao. If one sings to qin songs (which is rare nowadays) then one should not sing in an operatic or folk style as is common in China, but rather in a very low pitched and deep way; and the range in which one should sing should not exceed one and a half octaves. The style of singing is similar to that used to recite Tang poetry. To enjoy qin songs, one must learn to become accustomed to the eccentric style some players may sing their songs to, like in the case of Zha Fuxi.

Traditionally, the qin was played in a quiet studio or room by oneself, or with a few friends; or played outdoors in places of outstanding natural beauty. Nowadays, many qin players perform at concerts in large concert halls, almost always, out of necessity, using electronic pickups or microphones to amplify the sound. Many qin players attend yajis, at which a number of qin players, music lovers, or anyone with an interest in Chinese culture can come along to discuss and play the qin. In fact, the yaji originated as a multi-media gathering involving the four arts: qin, Go, calligraphy, and painting.

Ritual use of the qin

Being an instrument associated with scholars, the guqin was also played in a ritual context, especially in yayue in China, and aak in Korea. The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts continues to perform Munmyo jeryeak (Confucian ritual music), using the last two surviving aak melodies from the importation of yayue from the Song Dynasty emperor Huizong in 1116, including in the ensemble the seul (se) and geum (guqin). In China, the qin was still in use in ritual ceremonies of the imperial court, such can be seen in the court paintings of imperial sacrifices of the Qing court (e.g. The Yongzheng Emperor Offering Sacrifices at the Altar of the God of Agriculture,[55] 1723–35).[56] The guqin was also used in the ritual music of Vietnam, where it was called cầm.

Qin aesthetics

Main article: Guqin aesthetics

When the qin is played, a number of aesthetic elements are involved. The first is musicality. In the second section of « Pingsha Luoyan », for example, the initial few bars contain a nao vibrato followed by a phase of sliding up and down the string, even when the sound has already become inaudible About this sound Listen carefully to the sliding sounds of Pingsha Luoyan . The average person trained in music may question whether this is really « music« . Normally, some players would pluck the string very lightly to create a very quiet sound. For some players, this plucking isn’t necessary. Instead of trying to force a sound out of the string one should allow the natural sounds emit from the strings. Some players say that the sliding on the string even when the sound has disappeared is a distinctive feature in qin music. It creates a « space » or « void » in a piece, playing without playing, sound without sound. In fact, when the viewer looks at the player sliding on the string without sounds, the viewer automatically « fills in the notes » with their minds. This creates a connection between player, instrument and listener. This, of course, cannot happen when listening to a recording, as one cannot see the performer. It can also be seen as impractical in recording, as the player would want to convey sound as much as possible towards a third audience. But in fact, there is sound, the sound coming from the fingers sliding on the string. With a really good qin, silk strings, and a perfectly quiet environment, all the tones can be sounded. Since the music is more player oriented than listener oriented, and the player knows the music, he/she can hear it even if the sound is not there. With silk strings, the sliding sound might be called the qi or « life force » of the music. The really empty sounds are the pauses between notes. However, if one cannot create a sound that can be heard when sliding on a string, it is generally acceptable to lightly pluck the string to create a very quiet sound.[57]

Guqin in popular culture

Xu Kuanghua playing an ancient qin in the film, Hero.

As a symbol of high culture, the qin has been used as a prop in much of Chinese popular culture to varying degrees of accuracy. References are made to the qin in a variety of media including TV episodes and films. Actors often possess limited knowledge on how to play the instrument and instead they mime it to a pre-recorded piece by a qin player. Sometimes the music is erroneously mimed to guzheng music, rather than qin music. A more faithful representation of the qin is in the Zhang Yimou film Hero, in which Xu Kuanghua plays an ancient version of the qin in the courtyard scene[58] while Nameless and Long Sky fight at a weiqi parlor. In fact it is mimed to the music played by Liu Li, formerly a professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.[59] It is suggested that Xu made the qin himself.[60]

The qin was also featured in the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, played by Chen Leiji (陳雷激).

The qin is also used in many classical Chinese novels, such as Cao Xueqin‘s Dream of the Red Chamber and various others.

Related instruments

The Japanese ichigenkin, a monochord zither, is believed to be derived from the qin. The qin handbook Lixing Yuanya (1618[61]) includes some melodies for a one-string qin, and the Wuzhi Zhai Qinpu contains a picture and description of such an instrument.[62] The modern ichigenkin apparently first appeared in Japan just after that time. However, the honkyoku[63] (standard repertoire) of the ichigenkin today most closely resembles that of the shamisen.

The Korean geomungo may also be related, albeit distantly. Korean literati wanted to play an instrument the way their Chinese counterparts played the qin. The repertoire was largely the geomungo parts for melodies played by the court orchestra.


The recordings below were made in 2013.

See also




  1. 〔本曲〕


Chinese books on qin
  • Zha, Fuxi (1958). Cunjian Guqin Qupu Jilan 【存見古琴曲譜輯覽】. Beijing: The People’s Music Press. ISBN 7-103-02379-4.
  • Xu, Jian (1982). Qinshi Chubian 【琴史初编】. Beijing: The People’s Music Press. ISBN 7-103-02304-2.
  • Gong, Yi (1999). Guqin Yanzoufa 【古琴演奏法】; 2nd ed., rev. inc. 2 CDs. Shanghai: Shanghai Educational Press. ISBN 7-5320-6621-5
  • Li, Mingzhong (2000). Zhongguo Qinxue 【中國琴學】 卷壹. Volume one. Shanxi: Shanxi Society Science Magazine Association.
  • Yin, Wei (2001). Zhongguo Qinshi Yanyi 【中国琴史演义】. Yunnan: People’s Press of Yunnan. ISBN 7-222-03206-1/I‧866
  • Zhang, Huaying (2005). Gu Qin 【古琴】. Guizhou: Zhejiang People’s Press. ISBN 7-213-02955-X
Part of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity Collection 【人类口头与非物质文化遗产丛书】.
  • Guo, Ping (2006). Guqin Congtan 【古琴丛谈】. Jinan: Shandong Book Press. ISBN 7-80713-209-4
See also: List of qinpu
  • Zhu, Quan (1425, 2001). Shenqi Mipu 【神竒秘譜】. Beijing: Cathay Bookshop. ISBN 7-80568-973-3/J‧284
  • Xu, Shangying (1673, 2005). Dahuan Ge Qinpu 【大還閣琴譜】. Beijing: Cathay Bookshop. ISBN 7-80663-288-3/J‧322
  • Zhou, Zi’an (1722, 2000). Wuzhi Zhai Qinpu 【五知齋琴譜】. Beijing: Cathay Bookshop. ISBN 7-80568-864-8/J‧237
  • Chu, Fengjie (1855). Yugu Zhai Qinpu 【與古齋琴譜】. Fujian: Private publication.
  • Zhang, He (1864, 1998). Qinxue Rumen 【琴學入門】. Beijing: Cathay Bookshop. ISBN 7-80568-865-6/J‧236
  • Yang, Zongji (1910–1931, 1996). Qinxue Congshu 【琴學叢書】. Beijing: Cathay Bookshop. ISBN 7-80568-552-5/I‧139
  • Wang, Binglu (1931, 2005). Mei’an Qinpu 【楳盦珡諩】. Beijing: China Bookstore. ISBN 7-80663-297-2/J‧331
  • Wu, Jinglüe and Wenguang (2001). Yushan Wushi Qinpu 【虞山吴氏琴谱】 The Qin Music Repertoire of the Wu Family. Beijing: Eastern Press. ISBN 7-5060-1454-8/I‧78
  • Gu, Meigeng (2004). Qinxue Beiyao (shougao ben) 【琴學備要(手稿本)】. Shanghai: Shanghai Music Press. ISBN 7-80667-453-5
Journals, newsletters and periodicals
  • Zhongguo Huabao 【中國畫報】. July 1986.
  • Beijing Guqin Research Association. Beijing Qin-xun 【北京琴讯】. March 2001 (volume 71).
  • Parabola, Vol XXIII, No. 2, Summer 1998, pp 56–62: J.L. Walker « No Need to Listen! A Conversation Between Sun Yu-ch’in and J.L. Walker »
English books on qin
  • Gulik, Robert Hans van (1940, 1969). The Lore of the Chinese Lute. 2nd ed., rev. Rutland, Vt., and Tokyo: Charles Tuttle and Sophia University; Monumenta Nipponica. ISBN 0-8048-0869-4
  • Gulik, Robert Hans van (1941). Hsi K’ang and his Poetical Essay on the Chinese Lute. Tokyo: Monumenta Nipponica. ISBN 0-8048-0868-6
  • Lieberman, Fredric (1983). A Chinese Zither Tutor: The Mei-an Ch’in-p’u. Trans. and commentary. Washington and Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 0-295-95941-X
  • Binkley, James (2007). Abiding With Antiquity 【與古齋琴譜】. ISBN 978-1-4303-0346-6
  • Yung, Bell (2008). The Last of China’s Literati: The Music, Poetry and Life of Tsar The-yun. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-962-209-916-6
  • Gulik, Robert Hans van (2011). The Lore of the Chinese Lute. 3rd ed. Bangkok: Orchid Press.
Spanish books on qin
French books on qin
  • Goormaghtigh, Georges (1990). L’art du Qin. Deux textes d’esthétique musicale chinoise. Bruxelles : Institut belge des Hautes études chinoises. ISSN 0775-4612
  • Goormaghtigh, Georges (2010). Le chant du pêcheur ivre: Ecrits sur la musique des lettrés chinois. Gollion: Infolio éditions. ISBN 978-2-88474-197-2
Non-qin books (or books with a section on the qin)
  • Dr. L. Wieger, S. J. (1915, 1927, 1965). Chinese Characters: Their origin, etymology, history, classification and signification. A thorough study from Chinese documents. L. Davrout, S. J. (trans.). New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-21321-8
  • Zhang Yushu et al. (1921). Kangxi Zidian 【康熙字典】. Shanghai: Shanghai Old Books Distribution Place.
  • Herdan, Innes (trans.) (1973, 2000). 300 Tang Poems 【英譯唐詩三百首】, Yee Chiang (illus.). Taipei: The Far East Book Co., Ltd. ISBN 957-612-471-9
  • Rawski, E. Evelyn & Rawson, Jessica (ed.) (2005). CHINA: The Three Emperors 1662—1795. London: Royal Academy of Arts. ISBN 1-903973-69-4

External links

Guqin 古琴 cloud seeding《云的催化》

Guqin 古琴 cloud seeding《云的催化》

Ajoutée le 6 févr. 2015

云 的催化/cloud seeding is a work for guqin and live electronics. Cloud seeding is the process in which chemicals are dispersed into the atmosphere to artificially stall or force rain and other weather phenomena.

As the performer plays, his music is collected by the program in abstract clouds. Once the clouds reach their capacity they begin to release the stored sounds, falling back down upon the performer. The performer must then continue his improvisation, reacting to the various ways his earlier improvisation has been re-introduced. The faster and louder he plays, the quicker the clouds fill. When the performer hears thunder, he must cease playing. This piece incorporates methods of improvisation, introspection and doing-without-doing or 为⽆为, all of which come from Buddhist and Daoist philosophies commonly associated with traditional guqin performance practice and repertoire. Through technology this piece bridges traditional and modern guqin performance.

古琴曲 廣陵散 黃永明 演奏 / Guqin Music Playing Guanglingsan Huang Yongming


古琴曲 廣陵散 黃永明 演奏 / Guqin Music Playing Guanglingsan Huang Yongming

Ajoutée le 6 avr. 2013

2012/07/06 國家音樂演奏廳【絲桐夏夜】–古琴名家音樂會
演奏用琴 仲尼式 鋼弦 2012年斲 百年老杉 (三省琴齋夏林余斲琴)
全曲氣魄深沉雄大,有粗獷、質樸之美,它以磅礡的氣勢,獨特的風格,龐大的結構,表現­了一種慷慨激昂的英雄氣概。今演奏版本是參照管平湖先生於1954年根據《神奇秘譜》­打譜,由王迪記錄的演奏譜。 全曲四十五段,是目前存見最長的一首琴曲,樂曲分為開指、小序、大序、正聲、亂聲、後­序六個部分,今演至正聲畢。

2012/07/06 Country Music Hallsilk Tong summer famous guqin concert
Playing the harp strings 2012 Zhong Ni steel chop century-old fir (provinces Xia Yu Qin vegetarian chop piano)
The song was first seen in the Ming Dynasty « magic secret spectrum » (1425), the song describes the Warring States period, Nie Zheng father as king of Han swords, because of the delay and the date have been killed, his father’s revenge for the newspaper Nie Zheng, Han Wang assassination story.
The whole song is deep boldness male, and have a rough, rustic beauty, it 磅礡 momentum, unique style, a huge structure, the performance of an impassioned heroism. Playing this version is referring to Mr. Guan Pinghu in 1954, according to the « magic secret spectrum » playing spectrum, played by the Di recorded spectrum. The whole song is forty-five segments, is kept up to see a song melodies, the music is divided into open means six parts small order, big order, is sound, the sound of chaos, after the sequence, this play sound positive completion.
  (GOOGLE translation into English)

Le Guqin et sa musique

Le Guqin et sa musique

Mise en ligne le 28 sept. 2009

UNESCO: Liste représentative du patrimoine culturel immatériel de l’humanité – 2008
Description: Vieille de 3000 ans, la cithare chinoise, ou guqin, occupe une place de premier ordre parmi les instruments solistes de la Chine. Attesté par des sources littéraires anciennes corroborées par des découvertes archéologiques, cet instrument séculaire est indissociable de lhistoire des intellectuels chinois. Lart du guqin était à lorigine réservé à une élite et cultivé dans lintimité par les nobles et les érudits. Il nétait donc pas destiné à des représentations publiques. Avec la calligraphie, la peinture et une forme ancienne de jeu déchecs, il compte parmi les quatre arts que tout érudit lettré chinois se devait de maîtriser. Selon la tradition, une vingtaine dannées de pratique est nécessaire pour devenir un joueur émérite de guqin.
Le guqin a sept cordes et treize positions qui marquent les tons. En fixant les cordes de dix façons différentes, les musiciens peuvent obtenir un ensemble de quatre octaves. Il existe trois techniques instrumentales de base : san (corde libre), an (corde arrêtée) et fan (harmoniques). La première, san, consiste à pincer les cordes de la main droite une par une ou par groupes afin de produire des sons forts et clairs pour les notes importantes. Dans la technique fan, les doigts de la main gauche effleurent la corde aux endroits indiqués par les marques incrustées, tandis que la main droite la pince, produisant un son léger et flottant. La technique an fait elle aussi intervenir les deux mains : tandis que la droite pince la corde, la gauche appuie fermement dessus et peut glisser jusquà dautres notes ou effectuer divers vibratos et ornements.
Il reste de nos jours moins dun millier de joueurs accomplis et sans doute pas plus dune cinquantaine de maîtres encore en vie. Parmi les milliers de compositions du répertoire initial, une centaine dœuvres à peine est encore régulièrement exécutée.
Pays: Chine