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Chinese Literature
Jiegulu 羯鼓錄 "On the Drums of the Huns"


The Jiegulu 羯鼓錄 "On the drums of the Huns" is a book on music compiled by the Tang period 唐 (618-907) writer Nan Zhuo 南卓. Nan Zhou had served as a surveillance commissioner (guanchashi 觀察使) in the province of Qiannan 黔南 and probably also as magistrate (ling 令) of Luoyang 洛陽 in 841, and as prefect (cishi 刺史) of Wuzhou 婺州. The short book Jiegulu is divided into two parts, the first being finished in 848, the second in 850. The first part describes the history, origin and features of the melodies called "Drums of the Jie tribes 羯 ('Huns')", and ends with some stories from the time after Emperor Xuanzong's 唐玄宗 (r. 712-755) reign. The second part records a story by Cui Xuan 崔鉉 and is enriched by the titles of a lot of music pieces to be accompanied with the Jie drums and set in different musical modes. Among these, several pieces of foreign language are included that probably origin in the city-states of Qiuci 龜茲, Gaochang 高昌, among the Chile Turks 敕勒 or in India 天竺. Some statements in this part do not correspond to information about dances found in other sources, which might be the result of Nan Zhuo's missing expertise with the matter. The Jiegulu is, nevertheless, an important source for Tang period court music.
It is included in the collectanea Zaixu baichuan xuehai 再續百川學海, Mohai jinhu 墨海金壺, Shuofu 說郛, and Siku quanshu 四庫全書.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1822. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 11, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail