An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Quan Yuan sanqu 全元散曲

Jul 24, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Quan Yuan sanqu 全元散曲 is a comprehensive collection of aria-style poetry (sanqu 散曲) from the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368). It was compiled by Sui Shusen 隋樹森 (1906-1989), who also edited other poetry collections, namely Yuanquxuan waibian 元曲選外編 (a supplement to the theatre play collection Yuanquxuan 元曲選) and commented editions of Yang Hu Ying's 楊朝英 Yangchun baixue 陽春白雪 and Taiping yuefu 太平樂府 and the anonymous Yuefu qunyu 樂府群玉 (by Hu Cunshan 胡存善?) and Liyuan yuefu 梨園樂府 (Yuefu xinsheng 樂府新聲).

The collection consists of two volumes and includes the writings of 213 writers from the Jin 金 (1115-1234) to the early Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The literary works are more then 3,800 single poems (xiaoling 小令) and 450 sets or "suites" (taoqu 套曲) of aria-style poetry which was popular during the Yuan period. Sui also included fragments of poems he found in various sources.

Apart from the above-mentioned older collections, Sui made use of more than 110 different sources, including rules for aria-style poetry (qupu 曲譜), critique of aria-style poetry (quhua 曲話), literary collections (wenji 文集), collections of lyric-metre style poetry (ciji 詞集), critique of lyric-metre style poetry (cihua 詞話), the Daoist Canon Daozang 道藏 and the collections Xiaoshan yuefu 小山樂府, Bihuaji 筆花集, Nanbeici guangyun xuan 南北詞廣韻選 and Beigong ciji waiji 北宮詞紀外集.

Sui's edition of Yuan-period poetry is a critical one (jiaokanji 校勘記) and adds notes on all poems, e.g. on authors, transmission and wording. The collection is arranged in chronological order of the authors’ dates of life.

The Quan Yuan sanqu was published in 1964 by the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局. A fragmentary edition of the Yangchun baixue once owned by Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉 (1866-1940) discovered after 1964 includes 25 aria sets (taoqu) that are not included in Sui’s collection.

Chen Jia 陳加 (1980). "Quan Yuan sanqu buyi: Ming chao Yangchun baixue cancun liu juan ben xin jian sanqu jilu 《全元散曲》補遺——明抄《陽春白雪》殘存六卷本新見散曲輯錄", Wenxian 文獻, 1980 (2): 86-106.
Li Binghong 李秉忠, Wei Canjin 衛燦金, Lin Conglong 林從龍, eds. (1990). Jianming wenshi zhishi cidian 簡明文史知識詞典 (Xi’an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 637.
Lu Runxiang 盧潤祥 (1981). "Quan Yuan sanqu shiyi 《全元散曲》拾遺", Jinyang xuekan 晉陽學刊, 1981 (3): 80-81+79.
Lü Weifen 呂薇芬 (1986). "Quan Yuan sanqu 全元散曲", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 659.
Wang Gang 王鋼 (1995). "Quan Yuan sanqu xubu: Fu Yuanren zaju gouchen buyi 《全元散曲》續補——附《元人雜劇鉤沉》補遺", Hebei Shiyuan xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 河北師院學報(社會科學版), 1995 (3): 104-107.
Xu Xianglin 許祥麟 (1997). "Quan Yuan sanqu 全元散曲", in Men Kui 門巋, Zhang Yanjin 張燕瑾, eds. Zhonghua guocui da cidian 中華國粹大辭典 (Xianggang: Guoji wenhua chuban gongsi ), 660.