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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal
Reference:

Court Music of the Qing Dynasty at the End of the 17th-18th Centuries: Main Aspects of Research

Fu Xiaojiao

ORCID: 0000-0002-8846-2095

Postgraduate, Music History Chair, Rachmaninov Rostov State Conservatory

Russia, 344002, Rostov region, Rostov-on-Don, Budennovsky Prospekt, 23, S. V. Rachmaninov RSC

lady.sibila@mail.ru

DOI:

10.7256/2453-613X.2022.6.39562

EDN:

ADGNXP

Received:

02-01-2023


Published:

27-01-2023


Abstract: The purpose of this work is to present a scientific overview of the research on the palace music of the Qing Dynasty during the Golden Age and to identify new aspects of the study of this unique phenomenon of artistic culture. The relevance of the topic raised is due to the growing role of Chinese culture in the global processes of cultural integration, when the problem of preserving objects of traditional non-material culture is exacerbated (and the palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the 17th-18th centuries is one of them). The author believes that the presence of gaps in Russian musicology on the problems of Qing music for a long time was caused by objective difficulties in communication with the Chinese scientific community and the lack of access to archives and libraries in connection with well-known political events, such as the fall of the Qing Empire at the beginning of the 20th century and cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, when the study of imperial culture was not encouraged. Nevertheless, the modern openness of the Celestial Empire to scientific contacts already today makes it possible to introduce the achievements of Chinese science of recent decades into the corpus of Russian musicology. The author sees the prospects for the study of Qing musical culture in the study of the cultural and historical context in the aspect of the continuity of dynastic traditions, in the study of the architectural spaces of sounding music in the aspect of their acoustic features, functional purpose and symbolic meaning, as well as in the continuation of source studies, which imply the comprehension of the content of musical and theoretical writings of the Qing era.


Keywords:

the music of the Qing dynasty, court music, the musical-theoretical treatises of Qing, Gùgōng, Chinese musical instruments, Confucius, Yayue music, Emperor Kangxi, Emperor Qiánlóng, LÜLÜ ZHENG YI

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The functioning of musical art in the closed sphere of the court life of the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries arouses the keen interest of modern musicologists due to the small development of the topic itself. The reasons for the presence of this lacuna in the musicology of China and Russia lie on the surface. Attempts to study, and even more so to preserve the surviving fragments of art and culture of the last dynasty in China, were considered after the abdication of the emperor in 1912 as exclusively bourgeois propaganda. It took China more than half a century to abstract from the events of its history at the beginning of the twentieth century, to survive the consequences of the cultural revolution and realize itself as a country with a rich historical and cultural heritage. As a result, it was only in the late 70s of the twentieth century that Chinese scientists opened up the possibility of an impartial study of the imperial palace culture, whose history dates back thousands of years.

And the research interest, of course, was not limited to the Qing era and extended to wide areas of cultural and historical knowledge. However, the study of the Qing Empire resulted in a number of political decisions in the country the Manchus, who hid their origin in order to avoid repression, were able to openly declare themselves, and in a number of schools and universities in China began to teach the Manchu language. Thus, the problems of studying the cultural and historical heritage of the Qing Dynasty, including the music of this period, have become extremely relevant in China.As for Russian musicology, by the end of the twentieth century, it had already developed a certain range of issues related to various aspects of the study of the musical culture of imperial China.

Musicologists have focused their main attention on the study of ancient Chinese music, Chinese opera, general cultural musical objects and symbols, issues of Chinese musical theory and aesthetics.

In terms of its contribution to the history of music, Russian musical sinology is certainly incomparable with the volume of works on Russian and European music. However, this direction is not something new for Russian musicology and has its roots in the works of R. I. Gruber, who included the study of Chinese music in the conservatory course of the History of Musical Culture, a fundamental textbook (1941). Gruber's work remains relevant to this day, despite some differences in views with Chinese scientists on the periodization of music and on the idea of the music of non-European peoples as archaic traditions that preceded the stage of professional composing.

Among the works of the "post-Gruber" period, one can single out the review work of G. M. Schneerson (Musical Culture of China, 1958), a section in the Musical Encyclopedia of E. V. Vinogradova and A. N. Zhelokhovtsev (1974), articles on musical theater by M. S. Druskin (1960) and V. F. Kuharsky (1979). The new wave of the 80s was the work of academician Yu. V. Rozhdestvensky, primarily on the problems of terminology and vocabulary in music-critical literature (1983); S. Volkova's dissertation, which followed the work of Yu. V. Rozhdestvensky (1990); M. V. Isaeva's fundamental article on the musical-theoretical system of lyu (1986).

The intensification of research in the 90s of the century is associated with the Moscow Conservatory, Novosibirsk, the Far Eastern Academy of Arts, and to some extent with St. Petersburg scientists. From the range of problems that musical sinologists have worked on and continue to work on, it is possible to distinguish, first of all, historical and aesthetic problems, the study of traditional notations, musical instruments, Chinese opera, musical and theoretical treatises. In the last decades of the twentieth century, the Department of Music History, and in the period from 1990 to 1995, the Department of Musical Cultures of the World of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State University became the center for the study of Chinese music from the standpoint of musical culturology. The scientific concept of the department and its head J. K. Mikhailov (1938-1995) "was turned against the Eurocentric position and simplified understanding of music as an elitist phenomenon associated only with musical sound and temporary art, which reached its peak in the West" [1, p. 783].

Among the works of the XXI century, it should be noted the book by V. I. Sisauri "Ceremonial Music of China and Japan" [2], an article by V. N. Kholopova about the Chinese avant-garde [3], articles by V. N. Yunusova on the problems of notation of Asian music [4] and the work of the modern Chinese composer Tang Dong [5; 6], dissertation E. V. Shulgina on the pitch organization of ancient Chinese music [7]. The topics of dissertations of recent years speak about the breadth of scientific interests of Russian researchers. The authors consider the problems of traditional Chinese theater (Budaeva T. B., 2012) [8], philosophical and poetic symbolism (Novoselova A.V., 2015) [9], fret systems (Peng Cheng, 2011) [10], manifestations of national traditions in the works of modern Chinese composers (Yan Jianan, 2020) [11].

A brief digression into Russian musical sinology makes it possible to realize that the field for research of Chinese music remains as wide as ever. Nevertheless, of the Russian-language works specifically addressing the problems of palace music, only a few can be named. This is the abovementioned study by V. I. Sisauri, devoted to Chinese ceremonial yayue music and its development, starting from the Han era (206 BC 220 AD) to the end of the Tang era (618-907); Zhou Qi's article on art in the structure of Russian and Chinese palace art culture [12], as well as the dissertation of O. V. Poluektova, raising the problems of palace music on the example of the Tang Dynasty [13].

The lack of research on Qing palace music in Russia can be explained. The inaccessibility of musical scores that have only recently become the property of the scientific world, treatises describing music and other musicological sources, the difficulty of reading them, etc. they became an objective obstacle to the study of Qing music.

Chinese musicology is perceived as very fruitful in the study of Qing music. In general, it focuses on the problems of factology, the interpretation of ancient sources, and the peculiarities of the musical culture of this period as a whole. There are also interdisciplinary studies considering, for example, the influence of the Qing Theater on the formation of the Beijing opera. At the same time, societies, orchestras and ensembles promoting Qing music function in the country.

One of the main societies and propagandists of Qing palace music was the Qing Musical Society "Chengde". Its absolutely amazing history of its origin and existence only strengthens the idea of the deep ineradicable interest of professional Chinese musicians in the legacy of the past. With the fall of the Qing Dynasty, almost all the musicians of the imperial court were dismissed, condemning them to complete poverty. However, very soon, in 1920, one of the main musicians of the Tang Sifu Palace orchestra, a performer on the xihu and drum, revived the Qing court entertainment music called Qingyin shifan, forming the aforementioned Qing Musical Society "Chengde". This orchestra used handwritten scores of twenty-three works preserved by court musicians in gonchi notation. A small orchestra, which used the same musical instruments as the Yanxiang Yuedui palace orchestra, played music mainly for his own pleasure, but soon he was invited to events of the local elite, whose reverence for Qing palace music led to its revival. By the end of the 1930s, there were thirty-two members of the society, and up to forty musicians participated in some of its events. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the palace scores were lost, but later in the private collections of some performers miraculously preserved handwritten copies of scores for sixteen works, and the tradition was revived again in 1982. In 2011, the orchestra was included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China.

With all the variety of modern approaches to the study of Qing Dynasty music in Chinese musicology, one can observe disagreements regarding the assessment of the cultural significance of certain objects of research. For example, even today scientists are arguing about the historical and practical role of the 14 lui system described by the Qing Kangxi Emperor in the first volume of the encyclopedia of musical palace life "Yu Zhi Lui Lui Zheng Yi". Most of them, admittedly, lean towards the historical significance and aesthetic value of this system and urge the scientific world to a deeper insight into this phenomenon (see more about this [14]).

The attitude of Chinese musicologists to the problem of ya-yue culture can be called dynamic. (the designation of the synthesis "music singing dance" in the official art). If before the cultural revolution the attitude towards ya-yue was categorically negative, then in the late 90s and early 2000s it was talked about as an underestimated progressive phenomenon in the development of the ceremonial and musical culture of the imperial court (see more about this [15]).

It should be noted that for Chinese science, one of the most attractive aspects of the Qing musical culture remains the sphere of musical instruments. Moreover, it is not at all limited to the description and classification of traditional instruments, many of which still remain in performing practice. The topic of instrumentation is associated by researchers with the functionality of court orchestras [16], the regulation of their compositions [17], issues of ethnic integration of musical instruments that came from conquered lands (Mongolian, Uighur, Tibetan, etc.) and many others. The well-known love of the Qing emperors for well-educated Europeans, represented in China by Jesuit missions, expands the topic of musical instruments to questions of the influence of imported European musical instruments on the life and everyday life of the imperial court [18].

No less fascinating for Chinese science is the study of musical-theoretical and other treatises of the Qing era. Some of them were the results of the labors of several generations of emperors (see, for example, the aforementioned "Yu Zhi Lui Lui Zheng Yi"). The field for research in this area is vast and requires painstaking work and patience, primarily due to the difficulty of understanding the content of treatises written in old Chinese characters, often without intervals between sentences and without separating punctuation marks.

Despite all the difficulties and obstacles in the way of scientists, the results of the study of palace music of the Qing era, however, are quite extensive and allow us to draw the following picture of court musical life.

The music involved in the palace art culture system performed not only the utilitarian functions of servicing the palace, but also had a significant impact on the circle of artistic interests of the close aristocracy and nobility, as well as the development of culture and education in general. Talented musicians and dancers fulfilled the artistic orders of the emperor and his family members. Moreover, the inclusion of music in the regulations of ceremonies and events of national importance gave the palace artistic culture a high social status.

Music was part of the multi-element structure of the palace artistic culture of the Qing emperors. The functioning of various types of art in the system was uneven, but they were all directed in the right political direction. Musical art had no less political significance in the life of the emperor than any other. The system of musical styles and genres was strictly regulated and synchronized with the political ceremonial system of the imperial palace.

A number of researchers of the Qing palace ceremonial find obvious parallels with the functionality of the so-called "ceremonial departments" of other cultures, giving examples of comparative analysis, for example, of the ceremonial life of the Chinese and European, as well as the Chinese and Russian courts of the XVIII century. Such an analysis will certainly be productive in the study of palace cultures in parallel civilizations of the East and West, will establish points of contact in the general logic of the development of palace cultures, will reveal their unique features and general patterns of stadium development.

Strict regulation of any, even the most personal events of the emperor required the functioning of special organizational structures. "A Sacrificial order was responsible for conducting ceremonial events, in particular their musical side," writes researcher Zhou Qi, "at the Chinese imperial court. The Court Music and Theater Ministry, which was originally part of the Sacrificial Order, was responsible for the training of musicians, actors, singers, dancers, and subsequently completely for ya-yue.

At the imperial court, music was performed by an orchestra with a frame for yue-xuan musical instruments, a percussion and brass orchestra, an orchestra with singers for the performance of solemn hymns. There were entertainment and folk orchestras inherited from the Song era. In addition, there were positions of the chief court musician and music mentor" [12, p. 96].

The main part of the ceremonies with music took place on the territory of the Gugong Palace Complex in Beijing, also known as the "Purple Forbidden City". This palace was founded by Zhu Di (1406), the third emperor of the Ming dynasty and until the end of the empire was the residence of the ruler, empress and concubines. It is the largest and best preserved architectural ensemble of ancient wooden architecture in the world. Its territory covers 72 hectares, and the number of premises reaches almost 10,000. Happy visitors of the "Forbidden City" noted a certain mystery, solemnity, grandeur and beauty of the palace. The Gugong Ensemble was planned strictly along the central axis of the city of Beijing. In the center of Gugong were three large palaces: Taihedian, Zhonghedian and Baohedian. On both sides of these three palaces are Wenhuadian and Uindian, which were the venue for ceremonies or banquets. The territory of the palace complex was decorated with numerous parks and ponds, in which rare flowers and herbs were cultivated.

In addition to official palaces for meetings, receptions, banquets and audiences, the "Forbidden City" had residential palaces of wives and concubines, each of which was located behind high gates and necessarily included a large picturesque courtyard surrounded by flowers and trees. According to the rules of Gugong, empresses, wives and concubines stayed here for life. Women spent their days taking care of improving their appearance and working on their spiritual world, which they perfected through dancing, playing musical instruments and spectator participation in traditional Chinese opera.

As mentioned above, during the Qing Dynasty, all ceremonial acts of playing music in palaces took place under the direction of music departments. Having inherited the Ming Dynasty ceremonial music management system, the Qing emperors organized the Taichangsa department in the palace, which is responsible for temple ceremonies and sacrifices, rituals and music in the palace, as well as the Jiaofang Court School, where musicians, actors and singers were trained. The school was responsible for teaching subjects to play musical instruments and composition, for conducting rehearsals, studying folk music, etc.

The ceremonies of all the temples were managed by the music department of Shen Yue Guang, who in 1755 (in the twentieth year of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor) It was renamed Shen Yue Shu (). The management of banquet (table) music was entrusted to the department of Shi Ban Chu () (For more information, see [19]).

The ruling elite of the Qing, consisting overwhelmingly of Manchus, showed an active interest in music and musical instruments of various ethnic minorities, tribes and peoples living in the territories conquered by them. "With the further expansion of territories," the researcher writes, "a large number of ethnic musical instruments began to arrive in mainland China, and with them music from Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet and other regions. The Manchu aristocrats of the Qing Dynasty came to the Central Plains in the minority, but willingly accepted musical instruments and music of various ethnic groups, integrating their art into the court music of the Qing Dynasty" [20, p. 33]. All this led to the formation of a new style of palace music based on the multinational musical tradition.

It is quite natural to say that the musical instruments of the Qing Dynasty palace came from different national groups: Manchu, Han, Mongolian, Uighur and others. In addition, musical instruments could be used, which fell into the palaces of the emperors of the Qing dynasty from other countries: for example, Nepal, Myanmar, Persia and Arab countries.

The manuscripts of the Qing dynasty "Qing Shi Gao", "Qing Huidian", "Qing Tundian", etc. contain a large amount of information about the musical instruments used in the ceremonial music of the palace. Twenty-seven percussion musical instruments, fifteen wind instruments and twenty-four stringed plucked instruments are mentioned.

The composition of musical ensembles and orchestras began to closely depend on the type of palace ceremonies, and according to the book "The Code of Laws of the Qing Dynasty" (), written during the reign of the fourth emperor, the music of the honorary imperial escort assumed five different compositions of orchestras: Qian Bu Da Yue (), Nao Ge Da Yue (), Nao Ge Gu Chui (), Nao Ge Qing Yue () and Tao Ying Yue ().

One of the most important elements of the culture of the palace were musical and theoretical treatises and collections created during this period. The unique side of this phenomenon was the involvement in the process of creating collections of palace music not only of professional court musicians, but, above all, of the emperors themselves Kangxi and Qianlong. It was the latter that determined the style of palace music, its genre composition, the number and quality of instrumental ensembles, and even the sequence of performances of musical works integrated into ceremonial and festive events, banquets and meetings of officials, the exits of emperors accompanied by an orchestra of instruments, etc.

The first in the list of musical treatises is the book "Yu Zhi Lui Lui Zheng Yi" () [21] of the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors, which has become a real guide to conducting ceremonies. This book plays a crucial role in the research of Qing Dynasty music. Of all the works, it is the most complete and perfect book that has absorbed the musical knowledge of the era under study, and contains a description of the music performed in the imperial palace, as well as musical and theoretical ideas of the emperors of the Qing dynasty, a description of the musical hierarchy, recordings of works, etc. The book consists of four volumes, namely, Shang Bian ( with kit. the upper volume), Xia Bian (? from the whale. the lower volume), Xu Bian ( - from the whale. the subsequent volume) and Hou Bian ( - from the whale. the last volume). The first three volumes were published in 1713 (in the fifty-second year of the reign of the Kangxi Emperor), the fourth volume was published in 1746 (in the eleventh year of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor).

Another example is the book "Qing Shi Gao" (), written by the politician of the last year of the Qing dynasty Zhao Ersun [22]. It consists of detailed notes on the history of the Qing Dynasty, including detailed descriptions of palace ceremonies and accompanying music.

A number of valuable manuscripts are continued by the book "Ju Gong Da Cheng Nan Bei Qi Gong Pu" (1746) written by Yun Lu (1695-1767), Prince Zhuang of the Qing Dynasty, the sixteenth son of the Kangxi Emperor. The book combines 81 volumes, which contain scores of two thousand ninety-four works with sheet music [23].

There are other books describing the ceremonies and music of the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries. Some of them have been translated into modern Chinese. Among them is "E Yun Ge Qiu Pu" (1870) ()), written by Wang Xichun [24]. This book contains texts and sheet music from eighty-seven works of the Beijing opera genre of the Qing Dynasty.

The emperors took great care in fixing and preserving palace ceremonies, capturing every detail of ceremonial acts in manuscripts. A subtle understanding of the possibilities of musical instruments, the plasticity of movements, the musical dynamics of palace escorts, etc. turned ceremonial acts into moving paintings, and sometimes into real works of art. Their research can become an exciting activity for scientists whose goal is to reconstruct the magnificent entourage of the last imperial dynasty.

Thus, modern Chinese musicology has quite clearly identified for itself the main areas of study of the Qing palace musical culture. Nevertheless, many of its aspects remain unexplored and continue to arouse active scientific interest.

We are talking, first of all, about the sound of the most lively music in different types of architectural spaces in palace halls, under temple arches, in garden and park complexes, on the water, in the open spaces of the Gugong and Chengde palaces, etc. This aspect implies the analysis of a whole complex of expressive means that combine (along with the acoustic features of performance venues) the nature of music, its type, genre affiliation, the composition of performers and instruments, the time of year and event, and much more, including the reflection of listeners. Understanding the musical palace art as a system of regulated musical events, where music is presented in organic synthesis with other types of arts, can give the key to the reconstruction of the musical life of the palace.

This difficult task can be solved by exploring the Qing palace music consistently and purposefully in several research aspects. One of the first and important areas of research is the analysis of the socio-historical conditions of existence and development of the court music of the Qing dynasty of the late XVII-XVIII centuries, which at its core consciously inherited the traditions of the musical life of the previous Ming Empire. Already at the very beginning of the rivalry with the Ming dynasty, the Manchus realized themselves as full-fledged contenders for the throne of the Celestial Empire. This position made it possible for the first Manchu ruler to focus on the Chinese tradition, identifying himself with the reincarnation of the ideal ruler of antiquity by Zhou-gong. The organic integration of the Manchus into the "Chinese world" led to a relatively rapid transition of the Chinese to the side of the Manchus. Many of the former Minsk dignitaries became the elite of the Manchurian state, the confidants of the new rulers and largely determined their policy.

The ruling Manchurian elite sought to seize all the wealth of Chinese culture, making it their natural heritage. Under the Manchus, the status of Confucius as a completely wise subject who created the imperial ideology was preserved and strengthened. The first translations into the Manchu language of the collections of Confucian classics "The Four Books" (Si Shu) and "The Pentateuch" (Wu Jing) were begun under Nurhatsi at the beginning of the XVII century. Confucius closely linked music and politics and formed the Li Yue system (the union of ethics of decency and ceremonial music), which later marked the landmarks of Qing musical culture. Confucius argued that music shapes correct behavior and makes people more moral. With the help of music, people can work on themselves and improve their character. "All musical sounds," Confucius said, "are born in the human heart. Feelings originate inside a person and are embodied in the form of sounds; when all these sounds acquire completeness, they are called musical tones. That is why in a well-governed society, musical sounds are peaceful and thus bring joy to people, and the management there is harmonious; in a disordered society, musical sounds are malicious and thus cause people's anger, and the management there is perverted; in a dying state, sounds are sad and thus cause anguish, and its people are in a difficult situation. The ways of music development have much in common with the governance of the country" (Quoted by: [25, p. 330]).

The second direction of research can be considered the study of the architectural space of temples, palaces, imperial gardens and parks (including summer residences), where music was played directly, sometimes mixing with the sounds of nature, the murmur of water, birdsong, rustling leaves, etc. The composition of musical "suites" and performing instruments was determined not only by the traditional approach to palace entertainment, but also by the acoustic features of the sounding spaces themselves, their functional purpose and symbolic meaning. The music was embedded in the event itself and caused reflection in connection with a whole complex of expressive means that were used to create an atmosphere from other types of arts theater, choreography, decorative art, literature and poetry, design of premises and venues. Here we can also talk about the content side of music, a topic that is completely ambiguous in relation to the Qing palace musical art. The limitations and specificity of the immanent expressive possibilities of the music of the studied period were often compensated by program titles in symbolic and poetic form (Begonia under the moon, Changeable hibiscus, The Song sung by the dragon, etc.) interpreting the meaning of the music and tuning listeners to the philosophical and poetic perception of the composition.

The third important direction should remain source studies, implying the study of the musical and theoretical works of the Qing era and, first of all, the study of the musical encyclopedia of court life "Yu Zhi Lui Lu Zheng and" the Kangxi and Jianlong emperors from the point of view of the traditional component, as well as the possible influence of European art, the missionaries of which are French, Italiankie et al . Jesuits coming to China. It is the musical-theoretical treatises that continue to remain, along with the preserved scores of the music of the palace, the main sources of musical notation and description of music at the court.

The study of all the aspects described above together will undoubtedly lead to the realization of the goal of the planned research the reconstruction of Qing palace music as a sounding art in various architectural spaces of the imperial court (with its genre and content component), and embedding it into the overall picture of the Qing palace art culture.

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25. Sacred culture of China: an encyclopedia in 5 vols. + add. volume. / Ch. ed. M. L. Titarenko. Moscow: Oriental Literature, 2006-2010. Vol. 6 (additional). 1031 p. , ill.

First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the study (the main aspects of the study of palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries) is touched upon by the author in several directions. A brief summary is given about: the historical and historical-cultural context of the development of the unique phenomenon of musical culture of the Qing Dynasty palace music; its social functions, including the function of intercultural and interethnic integration of the Celestial Empire; the composition of musical ensembles and orchestras; the main epistolary sources of research in a promising problem area. The author introduces valuable material into Russian musicology, which, of course, "will contribute to expanding the scientific horizons of the issue under study and will allow us to comprehend the deep meanings of the music of the Purple Forbidden City as a global phenomenon of musical culture" (a unique phenomenon of world artistic culture). The article is devoted to the problematization of the study of palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries. However, to complete this logical procedure, which precedes any scientific research, the article does not contain two basic characteristics inherent in research goal-setting: 1) there are no indications of the existing scientific problems of certain aspects (what exactly is to be supplemented with scientific knowledge?); 2) there is no assessment of the degree of study of the problems involved. As a result, the research intrigue is lost: it is difficult to separate the well-known textbook material of Chinese history from a poorly studied area. The lack of a clear and transparent research program makes it difficult to assess its completeness. Therefore, despite the fact that the author managed to draw attention to the unique phenomenon of the world's artistic (intangible?) culture, the historical significance of which is undeniable and needs to be preserved in world recognition, there is no reason to believe that the subject of the study has been studied sufficiently by the author. The revision of the introductory section of the article, where its goals and objectives would be clearly spelled out, as well as the text structure necessary to present the results of the study and the degree of study of each aspect of the study of palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries, would significantly increase the scientific significance of the presented material. The methodology of the research is subordinated to the logic of historical narrative, so that it is possible to trace individual cause-and-effect relationships in the formation of a unique phenomenon of world artistic culture, which, without a doubt, is the palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries. However, the lack of a research program (in particular, clearly defined tasks) did not allow the author to summarize the considered aspects of the subject of research, summarizing in intermediate conclusions the scientific result obtained (achieved scientific novelty new knowledge). As a result, the goal-setting of the study, which should precede the presentation of its results, was put by the author in the final section, replacing the final (generalizing) conclusion, and the conclusions that would allow the reader to navigate the subject of the study (which area has already been well studied and which has not) are absent in the presented work. In the opinion of the reviewer, a small revision of the structure of the article (necessary: an introduction with the research program, intermediate conclusions on the considered aspects and a summary of their final conclusion) would significantly enhance the completeness of the study, would raise the article to a higher quality level. The relevance of the topic raised by the author, the disclosure of the cultural and historical context of the formation of a unique phenomenon of world artistic culture, the palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries, and its role in the interethnic integration of the Celestial Empire, is due to the increasing role of Chinese culture in global cultural integration processes. In the new modern conditions, on the one hand, the problem of preserving objects of traditional intangible culture (and the palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries) is becoming more acute. one of them); on the other hand, using the example of a historical phenomenon, the author managed to emphasize the "soft power", the integrating function of musical culture, which, unfortunately, is not always rationally used today in establishing intercultural communication. The work submitted for review certainly has a scientific novelty. However, since the author did not focus on it in the text of the article, verification of the results obtained is difficult. One can only guess which of the presented information are well-studied by Chinese historians and art historians, and which constitute a new result. The style of work is generally scientific, although some statements look redundant or not fully thought out (for example: "According to the rules of the Gugong Empress, wives and concubines stayed here for life. We didn't waste a lot of free time"). The main comments on the structure of the article were outlined above. They are connected, among other things, with the improvement of the methodological tools of the work. There are some comments on the content of the test: in some cases, the lack of punctuation marks makes it difficult to read the author's thought (for example: "Confucius claimed that music is the first thing a ruler should study"), in some cases there is not enough space before the dash, in others there are extra spaces before the commas. The bibliography, taking into account the genre of the review stated by the author and the significance of the studied period for the formation of a unique phenomenon of world artistic culture, does not fully disclose the problematic area of research. There is no literature that reveals the methodological approach of the author. There are very few references to scientific literature over the past 5 years (only 1 source). The problem of the article is not placed in the actual context of world science (there are no references to well-known studies of intangible culture and criticism of problematic articles of recent times). The design needs to be finalized taking into account Russian standards: the names of several authors must be separated by commas, they are separated from the name of the source by a dot, the description cannot be without a name (paragraph 2), etc. Appealing to opponents is generally correct. Although the opinions of colleagues are given exclusively in a complementary way. The author avoids criticism or his own opinion regarding the thoughts of colleagues included in the text. The interest of the PHILHARMONICA readership. The International Music Journal to the submitted article is guaranteed when it is finalized, taking into account the comments of the reviewer.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

To the journal "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" the author presented his article "Palace music of the Qing Dynasty of the late XVII-XVIII centuries: the main aspects of research", which conducted a study of the directions of studying Chinese court musical art. The author proceeds in the study of this issue from the fact that the problems of the functioning of musical art in the closed sphere of the court life of the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty of the XVII-XVIII centuries are insufficiently developed. The author sees the reasons for this fact in the historical realities of China: the study and more preservation of the art and culture of the last dynasty in China were considered after the abdication of the emperor in 1912 as exclusively bourgeois propaganda. As noted by the author, it was only at the end of the 70s of the twentieth century that Chinese scientists were given the opportunity to impartially study the imperial palace culture, whose history dates back thousands of years. The relevance of the study of the cultural and historical heritage of the Qing Dynasty is due to a number of political reasons: the Manchus, who hid their origin in order to avoid repression, were able to openly declare themselves, and in a number of schools and universities in China began to teach the Manchu language. The scientific novelty of the research lies in the systematic analysis of available scientific works devoted to the problems of the article and the development of proposals for further study of it. The theoretical basis of the research was the works of Chinese and Russian scientists, art historians and musicologists (G.M. Schneerson, E.V. Vinogradova, J.K. Mikhailov, Zhou Qi, Wang Haozhu, Zhang Ke, etc.). The methodological basis of the work is an integrated approach, including comparative, art criticism and bibliographic analysis. In his research, the author analyzes in detail two main areas of research on Chinese musical heritage: Russian musical sinology and Chinese musicology. After conducting a thorough bibliographic analysis of the Russian scientific discourse from the 1940s to the present, the author comes to the conclusion that there is a small amount of work devoted to the palace musical art of the Qing Dynasty. The author sees the reason for this phenomenon in the inaccessibility to Russian scientists of musical scores, which have only recently become the property of the scientific world, treatises describing music and other musicological sources, as well as in the difficulty of reading them. According to the author, unlike Russian musicology, Chinese is perceived to be very fruitful. There are both extensive theoretical studies and practical recommendations. The author notes that, in general, Chinese musicology focuses on the problems of fact, interpretation of ancient sources, and the peculiarities of the musical culture of this period as a whole. There are also interdisciplinary studies examining, for example, the influence of the Qing Theater on the formation of the Beijing opera. At the same time, societies, orchestras and ensembles promoting Qing music are functioning in the country. With all the variety of modern approaches to the study of Qing Dynasty music in Chinese musicology, the author observes disagreements regarding the assessment of the cultural significance of certain objects of research. In the article, the author also presents a detailed picture of court musical life, describes the importance of palace music of the Qing era. According to the author, the music involved in the palace art culture system performed not only the utilitarian functions of servicing the palace, but also had a significant impact on the range of artistic interests of the close aristocracy and nobility, as well as the development of culture and education in general. Having conducted such a thorough analysis, the author comes to the conclusion that modern Chinese musicology has quite clearly identified for itself the main areas of study of the Qing palace musical culture. However, the author concludes that there is insufficient knowledge of such an aspect as the sound of live music itself in different types of architectural spaces. In this regard, the author assumes the analysis of a whole complex of expressive means that combine both the acoustic features of the performance venues and the nature of the music, its type, genre affiliation, the composition of performers and instruments, the time of year, and the reflection of listeners. The author proposes to solve this research task in several directions: analysis of the socio-historical conditions of existence and development of court music of the Qing Dynasty of the late XVII-XVIII centuries; study of the architectural space of temples, palaces, imperial gardens and parks; source studies, implying the study of musical and theoretical works of the Qing era. In conclusion, the author presents the conclusions and main provisions on the studied material. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing a topic for analysis, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The results obtained allow us to assert that the study of an authentic musical direction is of undoubted scientific and practical cultural and art criticism significance. The obtained material can serve as a basis for further research within the framework of this issue. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. This is also facilitated by an adequate choice of an appropriate methodological framework. The bibliographic list of the study consists of 25 sources, including foreign ones, which seems sufficient for generalization and analysis of scientific discourse on the studied problem due to the specificity of the subject of the study. The author fulfilled his goal, received certain scientific results that allowed him to summarize the material. It should be noted that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication.