North American Guqin Association

NAGA November 2005 guqin yaji Report

On November 26th the North American Guqin Association held its yaji in the Fremont Main Library for the first time. Although the room was plain, it was spacious. Some of the NAGA regulars were away for the Thanksgiving weekend, but a number of new faces brought the overall attendance up to nineteen. Please see the photo album by Michael Cohen at and the videos linked to in the program listing.

NAGA always prides itself on bringing together qin masters and enthusiasts from a wide range of geographical locations at its yajis. Ms. Qian Yaojun, a member of the Jinyu qin society 40 years ago who studied under Wang Jiru, and Jan Walker, a student of Sun Yuqin in Taiwan more than 30 years ago, attended our yaji.

The theme of this month's yaji focused on the qin song. Wang Fei began by talking about the tradition of singing during guqin performances. She emphasized the importance of qin playing with singing as a means of improving one's playing technique and an opportunity to discover the beauty of ancient Chinese poetry, as well as a fun way for non-Chinese speakers to learn Chinese. She intends to teach more qin pieces with singing to beginners.

Qian Yaojun recalled the yajis held by the Jinyu qin society 40 years ago. She also played and sang the qin songs she learned from masters Zha Fuxi and Wang Jiru.

Wang Fei plans to continue the theme of qin songs at the next yaji, with a talk about the life of Cai Wenji and Hujia Shiba Pai, her qin playing, and her contribution to Chinese literature. She will also discuss the Song Dynasty poetess Li Qingzhao and several of her works, such as Fenghuang Tai Shang Yi Chui Xiao (凤凰台上忆吹箫) Memories of Playing a xiao on the Phoenix Terrace, and other prominent poets who played the qin or referred to it in their poems.

A group picture closed the yaji. After the yaji we went to dinner at the China Chili Restaurant in Fremont. Afterwards six of us ventured to restring Jan's 35 year-old qin. Wang Fei instructed and assisted in a two-hour process that ended with a ready to play qin with a deep, resonant sound for Jan to take to her Paradise home to practice with.

Performance list (two pieces with video streaming)

1.     Wang FeiQin song, the first section of Hu Jia Shi Ba Pai (胡笳十八拍) Eighteen Stanzas on the Nomad Reedpipe. Please click to see the video taken by Michael Cohen.

2.     Kwan WongQin solo, Chang Men Yuan (长门怨) Lament at the Changmen Palace.

3.     Fred Pohlmann and Eliot GreenleafQin and xiao duet, Qiu Feng Ci (秋风词) Song of the Autumn Wind.

4.     Wang Fei, Fred Pohlmann and Kwan WongQin trio with singing, Qiu Feng Ci (秋风词) Song of the Autumn Wind.

5.     Wang Fei, Fred Pohlmann, and Qian Yaojun, qin and voice, Wang Yongan, June Lou, Jan Walker, Kwan Wong, Wenyu Jiang, voice Qin trio with singing, Yangguan San Die (阳关三叠) Three Variations on the Yang Pass Theme. Please click to see the video taken by Michael Cohen.

6.     Wang Fei and Qian YaojunQin Song duet Zi Ye Wu Ge (子夜吴歌) Midnight Song from Wu, a Tang Dynasty poem by Li Bo. Wang Fei sang in Mandarin, Ms Qian used the Suzhou dialect (as taught by Zha Fuxi).

7.     Qian YaojunQin song, Gu Yuan (古怨) Ancient Lament.


Michael M. Cohen

Cindy Du

Frank Fu

Eliot Greenleaf

Xin Huang

Wenyu Jiang

Jolley Beth Lim

Yujie Lin

June Lou

Zhongyi Lu

Crystal Niu

Fred Pohlmann

Yaojun Qian

Jan Walker

Fei Wang

Yongan Wang

Kwan Wong

Nong Zhu


Fred Pohlmann

North American Guqin Association



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