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Chinese Literature
Taigu chuanzong 太古傳宗 "Inherited Masterworks of Remotely Antique Music"

The Taigu chuanzong 太古傳宗 "Inherited Masterworks of Remotely Antique Music" is a collection of music score for lute (pipa 琵琶) compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) masters Tang Sizhi 湯斯質 and Gu Dejun 顧德峻. The book was finished in 1718, the preface dates from 1722, and the text was first printed in 1749, after revision by Xu Xinghua 徐興華, Zhu Tingliu 朱廷鏐 and Zhu Tingzhang 朱廷璋. Gu Dejun's paternal great uncle was the famous music teacher Gu Zishi 顧子式 from Suzhou 蘇州, Jiangsu, from whom Dejun inherited a book of music scores. Tang Sizhi was likewise a disciple of Gu Zishi and collected a lot of Yuan period arias (Yuanqu 元曲).
The Taigu chuanzong consists of two parts. The first includes lute scores for 20 airs or suites written by the Yuan period master Wang Shifu 王實甫, author of the famous theatre play Xixiangji 西廂記 "The Western Chamber". The second part includes those for 45 suites in different modes (diaogong ciqu 調宮詞曲) written during the Yuan and Ming periods, both from suites in theatre plays (juqu 劇曲) as well as "concert arias" (sanqu 散曲). Among the former famous songs like Han Guanqing's 關漢卿 Guisi 閨思 or Bai Renfu's 白仁甫 Xiaoxiang bajing 瀟湘八景, or from less well-known plays like Qianjinji 千金記, Handanji 邯鄲記, Cailouji 彩樓記 or Wanjianglou 玩江樓. Part of the separate suites (santao 散套) can also be found in the collections Yongxi yuefu 雍熙樂府 and Cilin zhaiyan 詞林摘艷.beiqu 北曲) as well as southern airs (nanqu 南曲). A smaller amount of pieces are arias from theatre plays (xiqu 戲曲) like Hongye yugou 紅葉御溝, Xuefang 雪訪 (Fangpu 訪普) or the famous Shimian maifu 十面埋伏.xiaogong diao 小工調 (D major), but for actual playing, many pieces have to be transferred to other modes, like zhengdong diao 正宮調 (G major), chizi diao 尺字調 (C major) or yizi diao 乙字調 (A major).

Cao Anhe 曹安和 (1989). "Taigu chuanzong 太古傳宗", 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. 632.
Wu Xinlei 吳新雷 (ed. 2002). "Taigu chuanzong qupu 太古傳宗曲譜", in: Zhongguo kunju da cidian 中國昆劇大辭典, Nanjing: Nanjing daxue chubanshe, p. 898.
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November 16, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail