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Chinese Literature
Weishi yuepu 魏氏樂譜 "Master Wei's Music Scores"


The Weishi yuepu 魏氏樂譜 "Master Wei's Music Scores" is a collection of music scores for palace entertainment compiled by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) master Wei Hao 魏浩. It includes 50 tunes that are to be played to the text of songs from the Classic Shijing 詩經, Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) yuefu "music bureau" songs 漢樂府 or Tang 唐 (618-907) and Song 宋 (960-1279) period poems.
The collection consists of tunes that were once in the possession of the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) palace music master Wei Shuanghou 魏雙侯, courtesy name Wei Zhiyan 魏之琰, who in 1644 fled to Nagasaki to escape the troubles after the downfall of the Ming dynasty. His fourth-generation descendant Wei Hao, courtesy name Wei Ziming 魏子明, was a professor for Chinese music at the Tokugawa court. At that time this style of music was called "music from the Ming" (Mingaku 明樂, Chinese reading Mingyue). He selected the most important tunes out of a collection of more than 200 pieces and had them printed in 1768. The collection includes a broad array of scores for various instruments, be it wind instruments, plucked strings or drums and idiophones. For all tunes Wei Hao added one of eight types of (a total of 28 types of) court banquet music tunes (yanyue gongdiao 燕樂宮調), namely daogong 道宮, xiaoshi diao 小石調, zhengping diao 正平調, Yuediao 越調, shuangjiao diao 雙角調, huangzhong diao 黃鐘羽, shuangdiao 雙調 and xianlü diao 仙呂調. These are called Mingaku hacchyō 明樂八調 (Chinese reading Mingyue badiao) by Japanese scholars. They correspond to the modes described by the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Cai Yuanding 蔡元定, author of the Lülü xinshu 律呂新書, but have changed over time and do not necessarily correspond to the traditional old models.


Source: Cao Anhe 曹安和 (1989). "Weishi yuepu 魏氏樂譜", 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. 681.
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November 16, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail