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The Drunkard - Repertoire of Guqin Melody

Time:2008-10-24   Source:

The Drunkard is a zither composition by Ruan Ji, a famous writer and musician during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). It deals with the wild antics of the drunken Ruan Ji in order to keep away from the politics, and is full of hidden meaning. The tune’s clear cadences portray the drunkard’s unsteady steps and his befuddled state, to reveal his troubled mind.

It is said that Ruan Ji was a righthearted man and looked down upon snoblings. Sima Zhao, the then ruler, asked someone to propose to Ruan Ji’s son. Run Ji kept drinking for 60 days and got drunk to slide over the person. The Drunkard was created in such a situation.

Guqin is also called the seven-stringed Qin. The body is a long and narrow sound box made of wood. It is 130cm long, 20cm wide and 5cm thick. The surface is generally made of paulownia wood or China fir, and has seven strings stretched along it. On the edges are 13 inlaid jade markers. Catalpa wood is used for the base, and there are two holes, one big and on small (called the "phoenix pool" and "dragon pond", respectively) to emit the sound. The fingering techniques are known as recital, rubbing, plucking, concentration, floating notes and harmonious notes (same measure, five measure and octave). The instrument is rich in tone color, with airy, floating notes, and simple and solid scattered notes.