Standards of the Guqin Now on Sale!

Standards of the Guqin, published by the Toronto Guqin Society

Update: Buy the book before August 15, 2010 while using coupon code BEACHREAD305 at checkout and receive 15% off^! *

Buy this book on Lulu now.
Now on sale at! (Preview available at Lulu page)
US$30.00 paperback,
US$11.50 PDF download

Since 2005, the Toronto Guqin Society (TQS) has been dedicated to researching teaching methods for the instrument in an Anglophone environment. After 5 years, it has come to its first fruition with the official release of the first original English guqin manuscript “Standards of the Guqin“!

^ Disclaimer: Maximum savings with this promotion is $10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on August 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

About the Book

This book is designed for the beginner with no previous training in music or Chinese arts and language, covering the technical and artistic history of the instrument, providing an overview of key events that shaped the tradition, and introducing insight to the diverging modern practices in a critical perspective.

A highlight of this book is its detailed guide to zhifa and dingdiao – finger tablature and string tuning schemata. While this is a “beginner” book, this part of the book does not hold back from presenting advanced and ancient techniques for higher levels, making this an excellent source of reference for the student who chooses to explore the 2,000 years of manuscripts at its source. The tuning section also offers a systematic and insider’s view of Chinese music theory, often a mystery and untaught in most oral Chinese musical traditions (including the qin itself), especially when taught outside of its native language and cultural context.

The book contains 11 pieces in its repertoire, replete with lesson pointers and notes on skill acquisition, performance requirements, and interpretive analysis. The music selected come from a variety of periods and regional styles, and are mostly lesser-played vignettes in present-day China, allowing the student to approach the music from a less biased perspective. The curriculum also prepares the student for the methodology of dapu or manuscript interpretation process, by presenting examples and reports of the process.

Online Multimedia

The next phase of the “Standards of the Guqin” project is an online multimedia resource intended for use with the textbook, freely accessible to all. There are also plans to extend the manuscript interpretation curriculum with a digitally-enhanced manuscript database. Please stay tuned for more information!


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