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Guqin(古琴, the ancient zither) is the representative of Chinese music and written into the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Guqin could be the origin of Chinese music. It at least has more than 3000 years of history. As for its origin, there is no any authoritative standpoint, and its appearance mostly is connected with the legendary stories or myth, which is quite similar to the origin of humankind. But as the origin of China music, it is dependable undoubtedly. Luo Zhenyu(1866－1940, 罗振玉) , who was one of the greatest scholars in modern China famous for his contribution to studying archeology and oracle bone characters inscription, and one of four oracle-bone-studying masters whose courtesy names including Tang【甲骨四堂, this honorable title was summarized by Chen Zizhan(1898－1990,陈子展), a great scholar in the aspect of studying The Book of Songs of younger generation of Chinese academic circle than them, Luo Zhenyu with a courtesy name Xuetang(雪堂), Wang Guowei(王国维)with a courtesy name Guangtang(观堂), Dong Zuobin(董作宾) with a courtesy name Yantang(彦堂) and Guo Moruo(郭沫若) with a courtesy name Dingtang(鼎堂)】, thought that the Guqin at least appeared before Shan Period(BC1600-BC1046) in accordance with his studying conclusion of oracle bone characters.
As the oldest musical instrument, over the past thousands of years, Guqin has been largely accepted, discussed and written into books. There are many ancient rare books recording the characteristics of Guqin.
Sima Xiangru and Guqin Lvqi: Sima Xiangru(司马相如) was a great Guqin master, except being a master of fu-style literary writing, in West Han Dynasty. Sima Xiangru was born in Chengdu, Sichuan province. In accordance with The Record of the Grand Historian, Sima Xiangru was specialized in sword fighting in his childhood when his family was relatively rich. Later, he was selected to be one of the bodyguards of Emperor(武骑常侍) Jingdi, father of Emperor Wudi, by virtue of purchasing. But the Emperor Jingdi did not like fu-style literature, so he resigned and moved to Liang Kingdom, a regional fiefdom of King Xiaowang, who preferred fu writing. However, after Liang Xiawang died, he had to return to his hometown and became quite poor, fortunately, he was talented and had been famous nationwide for its fu masterpiece, Zixu Fu(子虚赋). During his staying in Shu region, he was invited to a party hosted by Zhuo Wangsun(卓王孙), the richest resident in Chengdu. In the party, he met with the daughter of Mr. Zhu, Zhuo Wenjun(卓文君), who was a charming widow that just lost his husband, and Sima Xiangru deeply indulged himself into loving her. For drawing her attention, Sima Xiangru took out his favorite guqin named Lvyi(绿绮), which was a quite famous guqin said to be made and possessed by Fan Li(范蠡), a top official of Yue State in Spring and Autumn Period and a rich businessman of ancient China that people called it Lord Taozhu(陶朱公, which later becomes the representative of rich man). After having helped King Goujian of Yue State defeat Wu State and become one of Five Powers in Spring and Autumn Period, he resigned, though Goujian was reluctant to let him ago, even built a gold statue of Fan Li opposite to his throne in order to have Fan Li accompany him forever. After leaving Yue State, he together with his wife or lover Xi Shi(西施, one of four top beauties of ancient China and assisted King Goujian occupy Wu State via badger game), lived on the lakefront of Taihu Lake. He played guqin and sung a famous song named Feng Qiu Huang. This became a classic guqin music in history.