Theory Of Music In Ancient Chinese Philosophy

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Theory Of Music In Ancient Chinese Philosophy Essay, Research Paper Abstract JiKang’s Naturalistic Theory and Criticism of Art In China, from the ancient times, a synthesis of all forms of art that includes poetry, song, and dance has been called “music”. According to the standard Confucianist viewpoint on music, this synthesis was dubbed “politeness-music.” The main characteristic of Confucianist music theory lies in its emphasis on music as a political instrument. Confucianists ordered society according to hierarchcal distinctions and simultaneously attempted to harmonize differentiated classses through music. Furthermore, by connecting the basis of its music theory with the order of the universe, it helped to justify the Confucian establishment. It was JiKang, a

Daoist thinker of the Wei-Jing era, who was in direct opposition to the Confucianist music theory. By emphasizing that music has in it neither grief nor joy, JiKang criticized Confucinaists by denuding the underlying political implication of Confucianist ruling order and its music theory. According to JiKang, there must be a clear distinction between subjective value system of humans and objective factual world of nature. Jikang, stressing nature’s independence from human values, supported the idea that human beings have no right to govern nature within their value system. Rather, human beings are a part of nature and they can feel supreme joy only when they obtain the characteristics of nature. In this paper, focusing on some points related to Jikang’s criticism, the author

examines the formative process of Confucianist music theory that purports to claim that music has in it grief and joy. Jikang’s critical task proceedes by recovering the significance of the existence of music. Instead of old music theory that emphasized the social utility of music, JiKang’s keen criticism and his own new music theory helps reestablish the appropriate position of art in its original sense. The implication of this reinstitution of music in its ideal state is that music is now taken to claim its own ground and nature, no longer subordinated to human society and emotions. In this regard, music comes to have its own purposive value, and no longer used as a means of governing and control. To sum up, in this paper, via the analysis of Ji-Kang’s theory that music

has in it neither grief nor joy, Jikang’s criticism of the existing Confucianst music theory which is said to subordinate aesthetic consciousness to ethical consciousness helps reveal the true significance of art and the aesthetic consciousness of naturalism. I. A thesis of Confuciansim on “LiYue” (rites and music) The form of control of one social class over other classes is two-fold. One half of this two-fold form is a control by coercive power of the state. The other is a form of leadership that is manifested by such conventional institutions as education, religion, and the customs. In order to establish a stable controling power of one social class over other classes, it is thought preferable to reach a consensus rather than to use force. Control based on consensus is

feasible through voluntary agreement. If those ruled firmly believe that the interests of the ruling class reflect the overall interests of social members of a nation, and that social justice is fulfilled by the ruling class, this will increase the cooperative tendency between the ruling and the ruled. A deep trust in the legitimacy of the ruling class’ power will internalize this as a kind of moral awareness. The moral awareness will demand sensual positiveness just as much as reasoned judgement. Our sense has an attribute of attributing some values to things that are the objects of our tacit intention. Sense forms one’s own belief system and desire. Henceforth, it is important to have the sensual motivation through which the objective of reason is identified, morally, with