Update on Shijing Scores – v.2

ShijingMusic <– Download here.

See both of our practice sessions on the four pieces here.

This exercise of reviving traditional music to one playable on modern instruments has been an especially difficult one for me, and the compromises I took were sometimes difficult to bear.

In this updated file, all scores are standardized to 3 lines: The orchestral line, the guqin tablature, and the sung verse plus rhythm, where x’s mark drum beats and the double ring mark denotes a bell or gong.

All pieces are set so that Huangzhong 黃鐘=D=1, with the exception to Cai Fan 采蘩 where 仲呂=F=1, the music for the archery ritual (upon consultation with Confucian scholar Wu Fei 吳飛 (net name: ufe), where Zou Yu 騶虞 was reserved for the King and Lords. The reason for this rather strange and non-unified transpositional shift is none other than for the convenience of Chinese musicians (of non-Guqin background) to perform while reading the Numerical Notation System (jianpu, 簡譜). Nonetheless, these pieces are rife with the use of non-anhemitonic pentatonic notes (denoted as 4# ‘fa-sharp’ and 7 ‘si’), but are in actuality a little lower for the 4# and a little higher than 7 compared to the  12-tET counterpart, as Chinese tonality is traditionally calculated in Pythagorean and Just Intonations.

For the performance on the 24th, due to technical limitations on modern instruments, this minor difference cannot be adjusted, and will be off by several hertz as desired, but should not impede on your appreciation of ritual music. I hope that professional musicians with access to the proper resources could perform these one day, with full historical accuracy and information.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. charlesrupertdomeki
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 10:56:16

    Good work!


  2. Satsuki Shizuka
    Sep 07, 2009 @ 11:09:10

    There are still TWO THREE mistakes in the PDF file copy >__<"

    1. On the last bar of Cai Fan page 1, the rhythm section has one extra gong, when it should not, as it is not the end of a section.

    2. All the "zhong" (bell, used in tone names) are written as 鍾 instead of the correct character 鐘.

    3. The second page of Si Mu 四牡 has no percussion notation, but there should be. Just refer to a non-conclusion standard beat (2 drums, 1 gong pattern as usual)


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