The Orthodox Rhythm of the Complete Perfection Tradition
The Orthodox Rhythm of the Complete Perfection Tradition ( 全真正韻 Quanzhen Zhengyun ) is a collection of the music scores of the scriptural rhythm commonly used by the Complete Perfection Tradition ( 全真道 Quanzhen Dao ) which are not included in the Daoist Canon ( 道藏 Daozang ). The complete name of the book should be Orthodox Rhythm of the Complete Perfection Tradition from the Selections from the Daoist Canon ( 道藏輯要 Daozang Jiyao ). It is a volume of the Selections from the Daoist Canon compiled by Peng Dingqiu, a jinshi (successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations) in the reign of Kangxi of the Qing dynasty. Most of those collected by some Daoist temples and priests at present are mainly the Orthodox Rhythm of the Complete Perfection Tradition from the Selections from the Daoist Canon reprinted by He Longxiang and Peng Hanran at the Temple of Two Immortals ( 二仙庵 Erxian An ) in Chengdu.
Content and form
This collection of music scores includes altogether fifty-six scriptural rhythms frequently used by the Complete Perfection tradition during and before that period. In addition to the scriptures recorded in the rhythms, the music score of "dangqing" is also enclosed. That is to say, the onomatopoeic characters of the performance by Magical Instruments ( 法器 Faqi ), such as "clank" (chengzi), "qing" (cymbals) and "yu" (Wood Block ( 木魚 Muyu )) are written down beside the scriptures, and the signals of "measures" are marked with circles. The tunes are not marked in this kind of music score. But "dangqing" is not only used to mark beats to control the length and pace of the rhythms, but has also evolved into a method of teaching Daoist music inside Daoism. Without records of the tunes of the scriptural rhythm, this collections of music scores cannot be recited and sung directly according to the score without personal transmission by the teachers of scriptural rhythm.
In October 1990, Min Zhiting, the Daoist Priest of the Jade Stream ( 玉溪道人 Yuxi Daoren ), asked two scholars, Wang Zhongwen and Liu Hong, to record on tape more than fifty Orthodox Rhythms of the Complete Perfection Tradition handed down and fifteen scriptural rhythms frequently used by the Complete Perfection tradition, which had been sorted out and collated by himself. Later, after the recording of the music scores and editing by the Daoist music section of the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, the Collected Orthodox Rhythms of the Complete Perfection Tradition ( 全真正韻譜輯 Quanzhen Zhengyun Puji ), which had been handed down by the Daoist master Min Zhiting and recorded in simple musical notations, was published by the China Literature Union Press in Beijing in 1991.