The Guqintai is located on the bank of Moon Lake at the northern foot of Guishan, Turtle Mountain in Hanyang (Wuhan), just to the west of where the Han flows into the Changjiang.|
It is famous for Yu Boya 俞伯牙 a famous musician of the Chu Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period 770 - 476 BC. One day Yu Boya was boating here when a sudden downpour beat down on him. He went ashore and to the rhythm of pattering rain plucked his qin. A woodsman nearby, named Zhong Ziqi, overheard him and was captivated by the beauty of Boya's playing.
Boya played tune after tune and each time Ziqi surprised him by telling him the meaning of the piece. When Boya played Gao Shan Liushui, High Mountains Falling Water, Ziqi said it reminded him of lofty Mount Tai. When Boya played a piece about turbulent waters Ziqi said it sounded like vast and mighty rivers.
Boya was delighted to fine someone who truly appreciated and understood his playing and they became close friends. Later, when Boya returned to this place he was devastated to learn that Ziqi had died. Boya played one final piece before Ziqi's tomb, then smashed his qin and never played again.
This story is the origin of the expression 知音 Zhiyin, One who understands. In China happiness was often determined by finding someone that really appreciated one's talent.
The Guqintai was built in the Northern Song dynasty 960-1127. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, most recently in 1957. A platform by the waterside in front of the hall is said to be the place where Yu Boya played his guqin. A stone stele set in the center of the courtyard, is carved with an image of Boya on the front and this story on the back.