Tang-era piece: Cao Po《曹婆》
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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 Tang-era piece:  Cao Po 《曹婆》 compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 3 March 2023) In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Tang-era piece entitled Cao Po《曹婆》, which is preserved in instrumental parts for a single-movement piece consisting of 17 measures of 2/2, in the Mixolydian mode on D, called Yue diao (越調) in Chinese and Ichikotsu-chō (壹越調) in Japanese. As preserved in Sino-Japanese sources, this piece is called Sōba『曹婆(そうば)』, and it appears in the following score collections: 1) Kagaku ifu (13t ..read more
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Tang-era piece: Su He Xiang《蘇合香》
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Tang-era piece:  Su He Xiang 《蘇合香》 compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 13 August 2022) In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Tang-era piece entitled Su He Xiang《蘇合香》(Liquidambar Incense), which exists in the form of instrumental parts for a suite in the Dorian mode on B, called Panshe diao (盤渉調) in Chinese and Banshiki-chō in Japanese, comprising three movements: 1) 序 (Xu / Jo) - prelude/beginning, in five sections 2) 破 (Po / Ha) - "broaching"/breaking/developing 3) 急 (Ji / Kyū) - quick/rushing to the end A ..read more
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Musical instrument: wuxian pipa (五絃琵琶)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  wuxian pipa (五絃琵琶) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 24 July 2022) Detail of mural depicting a standing musician playing a wuxian pipa.  Tang Dynasty (618-907).  From the tomb of Yan Fei, or Consort Yan (燕妃墓, 609-671), part of the Zhaoling Mausoleum (昭陵唐墓) complex, the burial place of Emperor Taizong of Tang (唐太宗, 598-649; r. 626-649), the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty, located at Jiuzong Mountain (九嵕山), 76 km northwest of Xi'an, near Liquan County (礼泉县), Shaanxi province (陕西省), northwest China. "Zhao" (昭) means "the light of the sun ..read more
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Musical instrument: yazheng (軋箏)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  yazheng (軋箏) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 16 July 2022) Detail of large-scale dui juan (堆绢, artwork made from colored silk) or jing dui jin (景堆锦) 8-panel silk screen depicting a standing musician playing a vertically held yazheng with 9 strings, part of a banquet scene entitled "Guo Ziyi Zhushou Tu"《郭子仪祝寿图》(Celebrating Guo Ziyi's Birthday), "Guo Ziyi Danchen Zhushou Tu"《郭子仪诞辰祝寿图》(Guo Ziyi's Birthday Celebration), or "Tang Fenyang Wang Shoudan Tu"《唐汾阳王寿诞图》. Probably made in Shanxi province (山西省), northern China, early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  T ..read more
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Musical instrument: fengzheng (風箏)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  fengzheng (風箏) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 29 July 2022) In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Chinese sound-producing device called fengzheng (風箏)--a kite developed in the late Tang Dynasty, to which bamboo whistles have been affixed, causing it to produce flute-like tones while flown in the air. Links to textual sources are highlighted in green. ---------------------------------------------- Chinese historical reference works discussing the fengzheng ● Xunchulu《詢芻錄》 A work by Chen ..read more
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Early Chinese Music Resources: Western Xia
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Early Chinese Music Resources: Western Xia compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 2 April 2022) Drawing of two cave paintings from the Western Xia Dynasty, the left showing a drummer and the right showing a player of the jiqin (嵇琴); the latter may be the earliest known depiction of a Chinese vertical fiddle.  These paintings are part of the story of Bhaisajyaguru Vaidūrya Prabhāsa on the East Wall of Cave 7 of the Eastern Thousand Buddhas Caves in Guazhou County (瓜州县), near Dunhuang, Jiuquan, northwestern Gansu province, northwest China.  Guazhou County was formerly (until 2006) c ..read more
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Musical instrument: paiban (拍板)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  paiban (拍板) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 15 July 2022) Painted carved brick depicting a musician playing a paiban.  From the tomb of Feng Hui (冯晖, 894-952), Erqiao village (二桥村), Didian township (底店乡), Bin County (彬县), Xianyang (咸阳市), Shaanxi province (陕西省), northwest China, near Xi'an.  Later Zhou Dynasty (951-960), Five Dynasties period (10th century).  Later Zhou (后周) was the last in a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China (including the Central Plain) during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, which las ..read more
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Musical instrument: fou (缶)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  fou (缶) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 4 September 2022) One of three three-legged celadon vessels claimed by music historian and archaeologist Wang Zichu (王子初, b. 1948) to be a fou, which were excavated in 2003 or 2004 from the extra-large tomb in the Qiuchengdun tomb complex (邱承墩特大型墓) at the Hongshan archaeological site (鸿山遗址) in Hongshan Subdistrict (鸿山街道), Xinwu District (新吴区), Wuxi, southern Jiangsu province, east-central China.  The tomb is believed to have belonged to a nobleman of the state of Yue (越) during the Spring and A ..read more
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Musical instrument: qin (琴)
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Musical instrument:  qin (琴) compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 24 July 2022) In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to the Chinese musical instrument called qin (琴)--a plucked zither without bridges--as documented in the Chinese historical record. Links to textual sources are highlighted in green. ---------------------------------------------- Chinese historical reference works discussing the qin ● Shiji《史记》(Records [of the Grand] Historian), also called Taishigong Shu 《太史公书》 (Book of the Grand Hist ..read more
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Tang-era piece: Qing Bei Yue《傾盃樂》
Early Chinese Music Resources Blog
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1y ago
Tang-era piece:  Qing Bei Yue 《傾盃樂》 compiled by David Badagnani (rev. 27 July 2022) Gilded silver flask shaped in the style of a northern nomad's leather bag, embossed with the image of a horse dancing with a cup of wine in its mouth. China, Tang Dynasty. Excavated in October 1970 from Hejia Village, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, northwest China. Collection of the Shaanxi History Museum, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, northwest China. In an effort to make this information more accessible, this document contains resources related to Tang-era pieces bearing the title Qing Bei Yue (《傾盃樂》or ..read more
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