Standards of the Guqin 2nd edition: Relaunch on August 10!

Musideum: A World of Musical Instruments features Standards of the Guqin on its shelves!


Come for an intimate evening of transcendent music and talk on the guqin, the Chinese 7-stringed zither, hosted by Musideum and Juni Yeung of the Toronto Guqin Society, as “Standards of the Guqin”, the first and only (to-date) English instruction book on the instrument, is relaunching into its second and expanded edition!

2 years and over 30 new pages later, the book features clear digital-type tablature for all sheet music, as well as a new section on tablature interpretation process, known as dapu.

The talk/concert will take place on Friday, August 10, 2012,
from 8PM at Musideum.

Standards of the Guqin Second Edition now out in stores! Go get your copy today!

Please RSVP with Donald Quan for tickets and/or preorder of the book, at (416) 599-7323 or
Admission to the event is $20,
while the book is sold for CAD$45, along with a personalized dedication autograph by the author on the site.

Dummies’ Guide to the Jade Belt

Xuefei-jun, the author of the jade-belt tutorial. He is wearing a blue yesa with an embroidered zhaojia.

Original title: 明代 革带 玉带 制作研习 [Ming era leather belt/jade belt making exercise]
By: Xuefeiun 雪飛君
Translation: Juni Yeung

Translation foreword: There is not much to translate for this post. The author’s photo essay is very intuitive and descriptive in its images, but it lacks descriptions in the materials and techniques in the carving and resin preparation. He attributes the resin-making expertise to another group in Beijing, so staying true to the original text, no addendum will be added on the resin preparation method.

According to Dong Jin’s Daming Yiguan Tuzhi, this tutorial lacks detailing on the metal hook and buckle work, as well as the absence of two small pieces of jade known as the Zuofu and Youbi , situated between the Yuantao and Tawei. For a glossary of the Chinese terms, please refer to the image below:

A glossary of the Jade Belt’s parts’ names. Image from Daming Yiguan Tuzhi.


Because of the high prices of jade, custom orders of jade carvings is only even more restrictive. So, why not enrich our own life by doing it ourselves? I have collected a lot of materials on the jade belt, and Jiefang Zhuren’s Daming Yiguan Tuzhi has given me great help. Ming-era jade belts are mostly worn loose and are seldom strapped tightly around the body. But, I still made it tight. Due to the length constraints, the Paifang squares are now arranged vertically.

Let’s take a look at the final product first:

The jade belt.


Standards of the Guqin to see Second Edition!

Standards of the Guqin score “Xianweng Cao” Section 1, as seen in the First edition and the upcoming Second edition.

== This is an important announcement to those who would like to purchase this book. ==

Standards of the Guqin will be publishing an expanded Second Edition within the month on Many previous errors, minor and major, have been corrected, as well as additional essays and expanded technical details on various matters from how to calculate the positions of the hui markers to tying the fly knot more effectively.

Most importantly, however, is the expansion of 6 new lessons and an entirely new chapter of the book, as well as a total update on all the music scores in the book into a digitally-printed from the previous handwritten scans! A look at the image to the right and you will see that the improvement is a dramatic one.

The only thing that will not change, is the retail price. With nearly 40 pages of new content, Standards of the Guqin Second Edition will be available on at US$30.00.

Please stay tuned for the book launch information, and the related launch event in Toronto when it’s out!

Addendum: For those who are looking for lessons, please read the curriculum prior to contacting the instructor.


July 2012