CHINAKNOWLEDGE - a universal guide for China studies | HOME | About
Encoding: Unicode (UTF-8) [Location: HOME > Literature > Masters and philosophers > Treatises on art > Quannan zhipu chongbian]

Chinese Literature
Quannan zhipu chongbian 泉南指譜重編 "Vocal and Instrumental Suites of Southern-Style Music from Quanzhou"


The Quannan zhipu chongbian 泉南指譜重編 "Vocal and Instrumental Suites of Southern-Style Music from Quanzhou", shortly called Quannan zhipu 泉南指譜, is a collection of music scores of melodies from the province of Fujian. It was compiled by Li Hong 林鴻 (born ca. 1862), courtesy name Lin Jiqiu 林霽秋, during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911). He came from Xiamen 廈門, Fujian, and was a famous player of the pipa lute 琵琶, and also a calligrapher and painter. His collection of local tunes was finished in 1912 and first printed in 1922 in Shanghai. Lin Hong has also written a unpublished collection called Nanqi jingxuan 南曲精選 "Selection of fine tunes from the South" that includes about 600 melody patterns.
The Quannan zhipu is the oldest collection of southern-style music (nanyin 南音). The tunes of the collection are commented, and Lin's work is therefore an important source for the study of music from the region of Fujian. In the local custom music accompanying songs is called zhi 指, or, in case of a suite, zhitao 指套, while music without a singing voice was called pu 譜. The term lingqu 零曲 or danqu 單曲 refers to tunes that are sung without musical accompaniment.
The collection is divided into six parts, each of which bares the name of one of the "six arts" (liuyi 六藝), namely rites (li 禮), music (yue 樂), archery (she 射), charioteering (yu 御), writing (shu 書) and arithmetics (shu 數). The first and largest part of the book includes the preface, the guidelines oft he compilations, and an introduction into the music instruments pipa lute, the vertical bamboo flute (xiao 簫), the traverse flute (di 笛), two-stringed lute (erxian 二弦), three-stringed lute (sanxian 三弦), and clapper (paiban 拍板). The chapter then goes on the describe the most important general features of singing, and then investigates the texts of each of the 45 suites included in the collection. The following part is a kind of musicography in two parts, the first including 132 melody patters (qupai 曲牌) of 45 suites of the nanci 南詞 style, the second 88 melody and rhythmic patterns of 13 tunes of the nanpu 南譜 type. For the latter, only the rhythmic claps are indicated, not the tones (gongchi 工尺). It is important to note that the customs of noting down Fujianese tunes were different from those of other parts of China and deviated from the standards of Beijing that became the base of the modern notation customs in China. The study of the Quannan zhipu therefore makes necessary the learning of these local methods.
The rest of the book includes the scores of 45 suites from Fujian, written with gongchi notes 工尺譜. For all music pieces, the name of the tune is given, the type of the suite, the musical mode, the name of the melody pattern, and the text. Concerning the melody, notes are given to the method of playing the strings and the order of touching them, the time measure and rhythm, as well as the treatment of surplus syllables not prescribed in the melody patterns (chenzi 襯字).
The last volume includes the scores of 13 melodies for individual instruments.


Source: Qiao Dongjun 喬東君 (1989). "Quannan zhipu chongbian 泉南指譜重編", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yinyue wudao 音樂•舞蹈, Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe, p. 541.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 22, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail