An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Lülü zhengyi houbian 律呂正義後編

Oct 7, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

(Yuzhi) Lülü zhengyi houbian (御製)律呂正義後編 is a considerably enlarged version of the musical book Lülü zhengyi 律呂正義 from the Kangxi reign-period 康熙 (1662-1722) of the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). In 1746 the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆帝 (r. 1735-1796) ordered to add the themes musical instruments (Yueqi 樂器) and musical composition (Yuezhang 樂章) to the Zhengyi and to rearrange the whole text. The resulting text had a length of 120 juan, in comparison to only 5 juan of text in the Lülü zhengyi.

It is divided into ten chapters in which music at particular occasions (offerings, audiences, banquets, contemplation, entertainment) is played, and how this is done, for instance, which types of music is to be played in which sequence (a kind of "suite") and in which key or mode. The modes were to change in the course of the year, each of the twelve months corresponding to one mode. The book includes instructions to the tunes of airs, dances and highly ceremonial drum performances.

The second part of the book includes illustrated information on musical instruments, the "system of music" from ancient times to the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), musical compositions from ancient times on, an investigation into weights and measures as related to the length measure of pitch pipes, and finally question-and-answer section in which the basic meaning of music is explained.

The compendium is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and Qinzaotang siku quanshu huiyao 摛藻堂四庫全書薈要.

Table 1. Contents of the Lülü zhengyi houbian 律呂正義後編
1 祭祀樂 Jisi yue Music for ancestral offerings
2 朝會樂 Chaohui yue Music for court audiences
3 宴享樂 Yanxiang yue Music for court banquets
4 導引樂 Daoyin yue Music for physical and mental exercises
5 行幸樂 Xingxing yue Music for inspection tours
6 樂器考 Queqi kao Musical instruments
7 樂制考 Yuezhi kao The music system
8 樂章考 Yuezhang kao Music composition
9 度量權衡考 Duliang quanheng kao Weights and measures
10 樂問 Yuewen Questions about music
Chiu Lulu (2009). "From 1746 to 1786: The Continued Revision of the Imperial Music Treatise 'Yuzhi lülü zhengyi houbian'", Fontes Artis Musicae, 56 (3): 272-281.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 623.
Tang Jikai 唐繼凱 (2008). "Lüshu he yu Yi (dianzhu): Lülü zhengyi houbian juan 128 Yuewen 2 律數合於易(點注)——《律呂正義後編》卷一百二十八•樂問二", Jiaoxiang (Xi'an Yinyue Xueyuan xuebao) 交響(西安音樂學院學報), 2008 (12).
Wu Haoqiong 吳浩瓊 (2017). "Lun Lülü zhengyi houbian zhong de pipa, erxian yinlü 論《律呂正義後編》中的琵琶、二弦音律", Zhongguo yinyuexue 中國音樂學, 2017 (4).