Guqin Performance
Bái Xǔe (White Snow )

西麓堂琴統之題解為: 古傳陽春白雪 皆誤為一曲
殊不知陽春有群物融合之意 其調屬宮
白雪為竹雪琳瑯之音 其調乃屬商也

而在第二, 五,六段有小標題: 折竹聲, 碎玉聲, 弄聲

我在彈此曲時感覺是有著陽光, 風, 竹, 的白雪


此曲指法相類, 每句中但撫三五點, 便覺層層剥變, 愈變愈妙, 絕非重複, 至於每句落腳一聲, 皆若彈至無聲處, 真所謂素華無韻入澄波也. 彈者須於熟處求生, 過處求化, 稠疊處求輕脫, 斯為得之.

吾彈此曲尚不滿一年 仍有很多處要再繼續酌磨

This piece I dapu (reconstructed) from the Ming dynasty Qin book, Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong
I also studied the earlier Ming dynasty Qin book, Shenqi Mipu, for reference.
The title explanation of this piece from XLTQT is: "Ancient people transmitted that Yang Chun (Sunny Spring) and Bai Xue (White Snow) are one piece which is a mistake. Yang Chun has the image of that everything merges in harmonic and its tune is belong to Gong mode; but Bai Xue has the image of bamboo and snow with the sound of beautiful jade stone. Its tune is belong to Shang mode..."

Respectively, there are sub titles on the 2nd, 5th and 6th paragraphs: Sound of bended bamboo, Sound of crystal jade stones, and Sound of play (which I think is a changing of tune to play around with the melody).

In fact, I do feel this piece has the feeling of sunny spring with white snow together.
At this moment when I play this piece, I have the image of sun, wind, bamboo and snow.
Not the white snow that has fierce wind blows over and breaks bamboo.
But has the image of snow staying on plum blossom trees... quiet everywhere... as people always say that White Snow is such a highbrow melody that it is not popular therefore so little people can appreciate it.

Yesterday, New Jersey had snow storm.
I was taking this advantage to record the scenery of snow in my back yard.
Too bad we don't have bamboo,
Otherwise it will be more intriguing.

I studied the White Snow information from [Cun Jian Guqin Qupu Jilan] (the dictionary of all the qin pieces existed in the history which collected and edited by Zha Fu-xi). There is one note from Xiao Lan Qinpu which I think it is worth to think about: Within those similar fingerings, there is no repetitiveness. Instead it is like peeling layers upon layers and you found the changes which are more and more interesting and wonderful. When settle the last note of each phrase, make it like entering a silent spot. As if the so called "plain and simple without flashy; wave becomes quiet and clear." Player if play it very skillful, still need to seek for how to make it lively and not overly done. If there is thick and stack area (fast and continuous sound), make it lissome and relaxed, then one will get it.

I play this piece only less than a year, there is still many places need to improve.
Maybe more images and feeling will appear later...

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