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Yueben jieshuo 樂本解說

Dec 3, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yueben jieshuo 樂本解說 "Explanations of the fundaments of music" is a treatise on music compiled during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by the collector and publisher Mao Qiling 毛奇齡 (1623-1716).

The 2-juan long Yueben jieshuo was finished in 1692. In the preface it is said that the text was originally the introductory, one-juan long, chapter of a joint compilation of three books (including Huangyan dingsheng lu 皇言定聲錄 and Jingshan yuelu 竟山樂錄), with a length of 13 juan.

As a separate publication the Yueben jieshuo was divided into 2 juan because it actually consists of two parts, the first describing the relation between diameter and circumference of the pitchpipes, the second the creation of the whole series of pitchpipes from the Yellow Bell pipe (huangzhong 黃鐘).

The Yueben jieshuo is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. The edition in the series Xihe heji 西河合集 (Mao Qiling's collected writings) is the original from the Kangxi reign-period 康熙 (1662-1722), with supplementary paragraphs added during the Qianlong reign-period 乾隆 (1736-1796). The text was revised by the emperor and is therefore called Shengyu yueben jieshuo 聖諭樂本解說 "Explanations... issued on imperial decree".

Sources:
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 623.