Chun Si (Spring Feelings) 

Dapu (reconstruction) and performance by Chen Changlin
This music piece is found in the famous qin handbook "Xi Lu Tang Qin Tong" which was published in 1549 during the Ming dynasty. This piece expresses feelings of Spring. 

Yangguan San Die (Three Variations on the Yang Pass Theme) 

This piece is more than 300 years old. Based on the well-known poem "Sending Yuan'er to An Shi" by the famous Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei. It depicts the scene before his friend's departure to beyond the Great Wall: 
In Wei city the morning rain has drenched the light dust; 
Green, green the young willow leaves beside the inn. 
Come, drink one more cup of wine; 
West of the Pass there will be no more friends. 
The Yang Pass was the last outpost of the Chinese world. This simple melody reflects the poet's feelings at his friend's imminent departure.

Yi Gu Ren (Thinking of an Old Friend)

This piece, also known as Kongshan Yi Guren (In the Mountains, Thinking of an Old Friend) first appeared in the Dihui Guan Qin Handbook of the Qing Dynasty. This handbook was popular in Sichuan. This piece is considered a masterpiece of the Wu school. It became popular throughout China after its publication by Peng Zhiqing in the Jinyu Qinkan in 1937. Peng learned it from his father. It is based on the story of Dai Kui's journey to visit his friend Wang Xianzhi during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420 AD). Although his friend was not at home, Dai Kui was satisfied that he had made the effort. The subtle melody reflects the restrained emotions of a Confucian scholar. 

Mei Hua San Nong (Three Variations on "Plum Blossom")

This piece is more than 700 years old. The score first appeared in the 1425 collection Shenqi Mipu (Mysterious and Secret Qin Scores). The most popular versions of this piece consist of 10 main sections. The main theme appears in three different registers, hence the Three Variations. The tune describes the noble and unsullied nature of the plum blossom while conveying its characteristic resistance to low temperatures and cold winds. 

Gui Qu Lai Ci (Returning After Resigning)

The theme of this piece is based on a poem of the same name by Tao Yuanming (365-427AD) expressing the scholar's desire to leave the city and live in the country, close to nature and in harmony with the universe. Another interpretation is that it expresses the feelings of an officer returning to his homeland after dissociating himself from a corrupt bureaucracy. The performer learned this version in Taiwan. 

Liu Shui (Flowing Water)

This piece is more than 700 years old, and is perhaps the most famous Chinese classical composition. The story behind it concerns the Guqin player Bo Ya and his friend the woodcutter Zhong Ziqi. The Guqin music played by Bo Ya was as grand as the high mountains and as lively as flowing water, but only Zhong Ziqi could perceive this in his music. Whatever Bo Ya played, Zhong Ziqi never failed to understand. As a result of this mutual appreciation they became very close friends. When Zhong Ziqi died, Bo Ya destroyed his qin and vowed never to play again, because he felt that nobody else could understand his music. This is the origin of the Chinese expression zhi yin - literally, "knowing the sound". It means a very close friendship.

It has been recorded that High Mountains and Flowing Water were originally a single piece, which were separated after the Tang Dynasty.

人民网 北美琴社