Nine Modes Manual Online
May 17, 2021
The Nine Modes Comprehensive Northern and Southern Lyric Melody Manual (Jiugong dacheng nanbei ci gongpu), commonly abbreviated to Nine Modes Manual (Jiugong dacheng or JGDC), is one of the oldest and most comprehensive collections of Chinese vocal melodies in existence. Completed in the ninth year of the Qianlong Emperor’s reign (1744), the imperially commissioned anthology organizes pieces of diverse origins by region (“North” and “South”) and traditional mode-key categories. It provides rhythmic and melodic notations for performing pieces in the Kun aria singing style popular among elites at the time.
The Nine Modes Manual Online website is a digitization of this full collection by the Department of Chinese Culture for purposes of researching traditional Chinese poetry and vocal arts. It allows users to view originals (“full-text”), prosodic analyses of pieces of the same title (“prosody”), and machine-generated sheet music notations (“sheet”). One may search for and compare pieces and lines using a wide range of filtering parameters, and tools for analyzing aspects of melody, rhythm, prosody, and their interactions are also provided.
The Library welcomes collaboration with departments in digital humanities projects so that the valuable scholarly and intellectual work can be openly accessible via the Digital Collections Portal. Please contact us to share your ideas!
Subject Coverage: Traditional Chinese Vocal Music, Chinese Literature, Chinese Culture