First Guqin Lesson

So on April 22, in my first lesson, Lui Laoshi had me start out with 仙翁操. The song describes XianWeng, or The Transcendent Venerable One, which points to the Song dynasty hermit, Chen Tuan. The main technical points, according to my teacher, is that it allows the student to learn the intervals and relationships between strings.

The second piece at that same lesson was 湘江怨. The melody dates from 1511. Emperor Yao had given his twin daughters, E Huang and Nü Ying, to Shun in marriage. After becoming emperor, while hunting in the southern lands of CangLang, Shun died. This song depicts the two sisters’ lament by the Xiang River.

The lyrics are:

落花落葉落紛紛;落日思君不見君。
腸斷斷腸腸欲斷;淚珠痕上更添痕。
一片白雲青山內;一片白雲青山外。
青山內外有白雲;白雲飛去青山在。

我有一片心;無人共我說。
願風吹散雲;訴與天邊月。
攜琴上高樓;樓高月華滿。
相思彈未終;淚滴冰絃斷。
人道湘江深;未抵相思半。
海深終有底;相思無邊岸。
君在湘江頭;妾在湘江尾。
相思不相見;同飲湘江水。
夢魂飛不到;所欠惟一死。
入我相思門;知我相思苦。

長相思兮長相憶;短相思兮無盡極。
早知如此絆人心;何不當初莫相識。
湘江湘水碧澄澄;未抵相思一半深。
每向夢中相見後;令人不覺痛傷心。

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