New compositions and reconstructions (dapu) for the qin by TSE Chun-Yan




Information on individual academic papers

  • "The Beauty of Qin Music: Timbre and Rhythm." [in Chinese with English abstract] In Gems of Ancient Chinese Zithers, 48-52. Hong Kong: University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, 1998.

  • 〈古琴音色與琴絃之縱向震動〉《七絃琴音樂藝術》第五輯 (1999)。

  • 〈古琴創作初探〉《北市國樂》157期 (2000) 及《七絃琴音樂藝術》第七輯 (2000)。

  • 〈古琴絲絃張力的比例〉《七絃琴音樂藝術》第八輯 (2001)。

  • "Was the Notation of Stopped Notes in the Ming Dynasty Guqin Tablature a Non-Exact System?" [in Chinese with English abstract] Musicology in China, 2002, no. 3: 56-59.

      The notation of the guqin tablature before Dahuange Qinpu (1673) has not started to use the proportional decimal system yet. The stopped notes between two hui(s) were notated by a non-exact system. For example, "eight-nine" represented the note between the eighth hui and the ninth hui. For stopped notes notated by single hui(s), if one follows the exact position of the hui, no matter whether one uses the cycle of fifths tuning or just tuning for the open strings, according to the analysis in this paper, an undesirable mixed tuning would result. Therefore, notation of stopped notes by single hui(s) could also be non-exact. One may adjust the stopped position slightly higher or lower depending on the tuning. Then, the Ming Dynasty tuning methodology using single hui stopped notes should not be used as an evidence for or against the use of just tuning system in guqin music. Also, when one plays the Ming Dynasty scores, the pitch of the stopped notes outside the pentatonic scale may be treated more flexibly to suit the expression of the music.
  • 〈略談二十一世紀的古琴發展〉《德愔琴訊》第三期 (2005)。

  • "The Inconspicuous Acceleration in Qin Music: An Insider's View with Validation by a Perceptive Study." Asian Musicology 11 (2007): 29-41.

      Qin, the musical instrument of the Chinese literati, is characterized by its subtle expressiveness. There is often a gradual acceleration of the tempo which is considered inconspicuous by insiders. To validate this inconspicuousness, a comparative perceptive study was done in an undergraduate music class. The students' impression on acceleration and their ability to identify correctly the tempo change of a section of a traditional qin piece and a traditional zheng piece (as control) were compared. Both pieces nearly doubled the tempo in the one minute section. Out of 16 students, 5 and 14 noted some acceleration, and 1 and 7 students measured the tempo change correctly, for the qin and zheng piece respectively (p value 0.004 and 0.07 respectively). The relative inconspicuousness of the acceleration in the qin piece is thus demonstrated. The psychoacoustic features of the inconspicuousness, the generalizability of the finding, and the aesthetic implications are analyzed.
  • "From Chromaticism to Pentatonism: A Convergence of Ideology and Practice in Qin Music of the Ming and Qing Dynasties." PhD diss., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2009.

      Qin music in the living tradition passed down from the late Qing Dynasty uses mostly an anhemitonic pentatonic scale, in line with the Confucian ideology favoring the use of pentatonic notes. The intonation used is typically based on the circle of fifths, in line with traditional Chinese music theory.

      In this study, I demonstrate that the practice in the Ming and Qing Dynasties was far from the Confucian ideology and traditional theory. Through a vigorous methodology, representative pieces from past scores are reconstructed, and the use of tonal materials in past scores is studied. The results show that notes outside the pentatonic scale were often used in the early Ming Dynasty qin pieces. Non-circle-of-fifths intonation elements, including vernacular intonation elements, were used frequently in the Qing Dynasty, and possibly the Ming Dynasty.

      Changes in the tonal materials during the transmission process are then traced. The use of non-pentatonic notes was gradually reduced, and the pieces became mostly pentatonic in the mid-Qing Dynasty. Efforts to eliminate the non-circle-of-fifths intonation elements began to appear in the mid-Qing Dynasty, and the elimination was successful in the late Qing Dynasty.

      There were multiple contextual factors related to the changes. The loss of repertoire during the wartime periods before the Ming Dynasty led to the exoticness of the chromatic qin pieces among the less chromatic majority. Pursuit of simplicity and subtlety in qin music probably contributed to the further reduction of chromatic notes in the late Ming Dynasty. The elimination of the 4th and 7th degrees in the Qing Dynasty could be related to the preference for the "southern style" among the literati, but ideological factors probably were operative as well. These included the quest for antiquity and identity issues. Both were intimately related to social and political factors, associated with frustrations of the Han Chinese under the rule of Manchus. On the other hand, the effort to eliminate the non-circle-of-fifths intonation elements was prompted mainly by the increasing emphasis among scholars to put theory into practice near the end of the Qing Dynasty. Finally, ideology and practice converged, and pentatonism and "proper" intonation prevailed.

      (A condensed version of the dissertation in Chinese is published at 耿慧玲、鄭煒明、劉振維、龔敏編《琴學薈萃:第三屆古琴國際學術研討會論文集》91-117,濟南:齊魯書社,2012。) Full text (in Chinese): Part 1; Part 2

  • 〈清朝琴曲的律制:五度律、純律、還是民間音律?〉,載劉楚華編《琴學論集:古琴傳承與人文生態》91-105,香港:天地圖書,2010。

  • 〈由洞庭秋思看民間樂制在琴曲的運用〉,載耿慧玲、鄭煒明編《琴學薈萃:第一屆古琴國際學術研討會論文集》194-204,濟南:齊魯書社,2010。

  • 〈《孔夫子》電影音樂的「洋為中用」〉,載黃愛玲編《費穆電影孔夫子》52-55,香港:香港電影資料館,2010。

  • 〈楊宗稷與近代琴律特色的轉變〉,載《2010中國古琴國際學術研討會論文集》135-139,杭州:西泠印社出版社,2011。

  • 〈從松絃館琴譜之漢宮秋看“苦音”在中國古代音樂的運用〉《南風琴刊》第六期 (2011):67-69。
  • 〈明清琴曲與日本琉球音階和都節音階:實證與猜想〉,載鄭煒明、耿慧玲、劉振維、龔敏編《琴學薈萃:第二屆古琴國際學術研討會論文集》74-80,濟南:齊魯書社,2011。

  • 〈古琴教學輔以現代樂譜的利弊〉《樂友》第94期 (2012):13-16。

  • "Dahuange Qinpu and Changes in Intonation Practice of the Chinese Seven-String Zither, Guqin." [in Chinese] Musicology in China, 2013, no. 2: 34-39.

      Starting from the guqin handbook Dahuange qinpu of 1673, the decimal system was regularly used in the tablature notation of the guqin. Professor Chen Yingsi considered that this "marked the beginning of the historical period of the use of circle-of-fifths intonation in guqin music." However, many of the stopped notes positions in the handbook do not belong to the circle-of-fifths system. One cannot attribute all of these as scribal or calculation errors. According to analysis in this paper, different intonation systems were used simultaneously in a same piece in this handbook, including just intonation and vernacular intonation. This shows that the editor of the handbook was not bound by traditional intonation theories, nor by the dichotomy of the elegant and the vernacular. Upon review of handbooks before and after Dahuange qinpu, this pluralistic approach in intonation was not first introduced by Dahuange qinpu, and was passed down to later generations. Though Dahuange qinpu marked a major change in the notation system used, it did not mark a major change in the intonation system used. Circle-of-fifths intonation became the mainstream approach only in the 20th century.
  • 〈靚次伯與《西樓錯夢》的八句箴言〉,載余少華編《中國戲曲節2012研討會論文集》69-74,香港:康樂及文化事務署,2013。

  • Tse Chun-Yan, and Wong Chun-Fung. "Sound Analysis of Longitudinal Vibrations of Qin Strings." In The Legend of Silk and Wood: A Hong Kong Qin Story, 96-105. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 2014.

  • 〈從《律呂正義》的古琴律制看康熙十四律的實際運用〉《中國音樂》,2014年,第3期:49-53。

  • 〈解讀十三徽按音〉,載耿慧玲、鄭煒明、段炳昌、王衛東、劉振維、龔敏編《琴學薈萃:第五屆古琴國際學術研討會論文集》25-30,濟南:齊魯書社,2015。

  • 〈香江容氏家族彈琴之音律特色〉,載黃樹志編《香江容氏琴譜》159-165,香港:恕之齋文化有限公司,2015。

  • Chun Yan TSE, and Shui Fong LAM . Translation of The Xishan Treatise on the Aesthetics of Qin Music by Xu Shangying. Renditions, no. 83 (2015): 89-111.

  • 〈從琵琶曲《思春》到粵樂《悲秋》的樂調考證與傳播變化〉《音樂傳播》2016,第2期:11-15。

  • 〈古代琴曲打譜析微〉,載龔敏、耿慧玲、王衛東、劉振維編《琴學論衡:2015古琴國際學術研討會論文集》358-372,重慶:重慶出版社,2016。

  • 〈《梧岡琴譜》〈關雎〉的調性特色和意義〉,載中國崑劇古琴研究會編《中國崑劇古琴研究會2015年刊》80-84,中國崑劇古琴研究會,2016。