Qin Courses 古琴课程

Learn the ancient arts of qin and calligraphy from a Chinese master


New York Qin and Calligraphy Society offers individualized instruction in the ancient Chinese arts of qin performance and calligraphy. Students can enroll to study one or more of these arts. The approach is both practical but also introduces the cultural background. Mingmei has taught these arts for many years to children and adults, both Chinese and Westerners.

古琴是一件独特的乐器,因为它是音乐,同时也是道。这在中国音乐史、甚至世界音乐史上是少见的。说明古琴除了作为音乐来看待之外,还紧扣着中国传统的哲学和美学思想。 作为中国文人士大夫的精致文化,古琴有一套完整的美学体系和弹奏的审美习惯。历代琴书均对古琴音乐的风格、指触、操缦的环境、琴声的美、琴音与道德的关系作出详尽的描述,形成了古琴独特的审美理想和情调。 古琴的形制、曲目、风格、美学、演奏习惯及指法技巧等均与整个中国文化和哲学,尤其是儒家、道家甚至后来的佛家思想有着不可分割的关系。将古琴音乐与整个中国思想文化结合起来理解,才能对其作出正确和全面的认识。


Ritual for qin performance, finger technique, tablature (notation) reading, qin music appreciation – aesthetic and culture

古琴课程纲要: 弹琴礼仪、指法技巧、琴谱解读、乐曲欣赏、古琴美学与文化。

performance

The qin (pronounced ‘chin’) produces delicate music from seven, or metal, silk strings. It is considered one of the four refined artistic pursuits, along with calligraphy, painting and poetry. Intended for self-cultivation, the sound of the qin is quiet with subtly nuanced tones. In old China, it was regarded as the most elegant of all musical instruments. Favored by the elite as an elegant pastime, the qin was also played as a means to attain peace of mind, nurture virtue, and promote longevity.

Not only lay people, but Confucian scholars, Daoist priests, even Buddhist monks all enjoyed playing the qin. Rituals were practiced before playing; these included adopting a respectful countenance, and burning incense to purify the air and then the mind. These rituals expressed reverence for this exquisite instrument so as to play in accord with the Dao (Way) of heaven. Besides instrumental pieces, the qin can be accompanied by singing.

The subtle tones of the qin are realized by sophisticated and elegant methods of fingering. While playing, interaction of the two hands creates a harmonious choreography, a visual pleasure like a ballet of the fingers.

Recently the qin was designated by the United Nations as part of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage. This international recognition has caused the qin’s popularity in China to surge. In addition to being played for private self-cultivation, the qin is now performed before eager and diverse audience, including those at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.


Photo: Dr. Mingmei Yip performing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

图:叶明媚博士在纽约大都会博物馆演出.

Repertory 曲目(学习的琴曲可随学生兴趣及进度作取舍):

Popular pieces for beginners 初级

Chant of the Immortal 仙翁操

Farming and Fishing 耕莘钓渭

Song of Guqin 古琴吟

Lamentation on Antiquity 慨古引

Lament of the Xiang River 湘江怨

Moon Over the Guan Pass 关山月

A Pleasant Evening 良宵引

Night Mooring on the Autumn River 秋江夜泊

The Courting Song of the Phoenix 凤求凰

Autumn Wind 秋风词

Remembering Playing the Flute on the Phoenix Terrace 凤凰台上忆吹箫

Chant of the Old Drunkard 醉翁吟

Intermediate Class 1 中级 (一):

Spring Dawn over the Jade Pavilion 玉楼春晓

Praising Loyalty and Righteousness 精忠词

Chant of the Reclining Dragon (A contemporary piece, composed for the popular TV drama Zhu Geliang) 卧龙吟 (现代作品,电视剧主题曲)

Drinking Spree 酒狂

Prelude to Wind and Thunder风雷引

Homecoming 归去来辞

Three Variations of the Yang Pass 阳关三叠

Water Flowing over Rocks 石上流泉

Innocent Seagulls鸥鹭忘机

Four Seasons 四大景

Orchid Pavilion Preface 兰亭序 (lyrics by Wang Xizi, composition by Mingmei Yip王羲之词、叶明媚曲)

Dragon’s Cry atop the Turquoise River 沧海龙吟

Chant of the Monk Puan 普安咒

Intermediate class II 中级(二):

Confucius Reading the Book of Changes孔子读易

Geese Descending on the Sandbank (1) 平沙落雁

Geese Descending on the Sandbank (2) 平沙落雁

Three Variations of the Plum Blossom 梅花三弄

Lament behind the Long Gate 长门怨

Remembering an Old Friend 忆故人

The Paulownia Leaves Dancing in the Autumnal Wind 梧叶舞秋风

Evening Song of the Drunken Fisherman 醉渔唱晚

Remembering a Dream 忆梦 (composition by Mingmei Yip叶明媚作曲)

Advanced class 高级(Virtuoso pieces):

Dialogue Between the Fisherman and the Woodcutter 渔樵问答

Water Immortal 水仙

Soaring Dragon 龙翔

Prosperous Spring 阳春

Clouds Over Rivers Xiao and Xiang 潇湘水云

Flowing Water 流水

Evening Cry of the Crow 乌夜啼

Spring Wind春风 (composition Gong Yi 龚一作曲)

Guanling San 广陵散


Pieces to be taught will be selected from the above based on each individual’s interest and progress.

古琴音乐飘带精神之美

古琴的走手音在通体平滑的琴面上自由滑行,有音的高低和轻重(虚实),加上震音的吟猱因来回往复而回环自在,突出了琴乐声韵兼备、虚实相涵、气韵生动的审美特色。

哲学大师唐君毅先生论中国艺术精神:“席勒美学论文中,独谓希腊美神佩飘带,而由飘带精神论风韵 (grace ) 之优美……飘带之美点,在其能‘游’,能飘,即能似虚似实而回环自在……吾为此言,亦所以喻中国艺术中所崇尚之优美之极致,在能尽飘带精神,极悠游回环虚实相生之妙。”(《中国文化之精神价值》)。

古琴走手音所形成的线和颤音所形成的面,加上音乐线条的起伏运行变化而能游能飘,构成了“飘带精神”之美。飘带精神之所以优美因为飘带长而柔软,因而能游、能飘,能似虚似实而回环自在。 于游于飘时则若隐若显、若往若来。而于显、隐、往、来中则有虚有实,虚实相涵,属于“优美”的美学范畴。

琴乐的单音旋律与书法线条非常相似,不同的只是前者是听觉艺术而后者是视觉艺术。 两者均是在单线上以不同的装饰来美化线条,使一条线变得饱满丰盈,情韵洒然,充满了诱惑与魅力。

弹琴的享受

或许你不信,但弹琴真的是会弹上瘾的。上的是指瘾,是指头在弦上滑磨时产生的快感。弹琴有两个层面, 一个是听觉的,另一个是触觉的。但如果你不弹琴而只是在听琴的话,那就少了触觉的层面, 而多了视觉的层面。所以琴人的琴音要美、指法要美, 还要享受指触感受的美。

古琴听觉层面的享受在其旋律的骨干音,触觉层面的享受在各种颤滑音指法的肌音感。以手指去感觉弦音震动及滑行的活动称为肌音感( kinesthetic一acoustic sensibility )。肌音感虽是现代名祠,但琴人一早便发现了此一现象。这也是琴乐发展出这么多装饰性的颤滑音及其种种不同变奏的原因。

又因为古琴音乐中音的虚实变化和以虚涵实、声少韵多的特色而让琴人更进一步进入弦外之音的化境。我们很多时听琴人说古琴不是用肉耳去听而是要用心耳去听就是这个道理。因为肉耳只能听其声音表面之旋律,心耳才能领会琴乐的空间趣味,享受“无声”之美和韵味。所以琴道有“琴者乐心而不乐耳”、“入耳淡无味,惬心潜有情”的说法。

颇多琴人认为古琴的真髓在其吟猱绰注等润饰音的韵味(“古琴真趣,半在吟猱”徐青山《溪山琴况》),而非在旋律。这解释了为什么琴谱只记表达韵昧的指法而不记指示旋律的音高。各种指法的韵味又是若隐若现和若断若续的,如空谷回响,引人入胜。加上古琴的弦长、震动慢和木板厚,致其音量微弱,所以琴人以肌音感去享受指触的快感,和以指触的千姿百态去感受不同指法的声响韵味,从而获得音乐的至高享受。也因此弹琴不用人工做的拨而用真甲。

琴乐不单是耳闻,同时更是“指闻”的艺术。

-叶明媚博士古琴论著部分节选

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