Theory Of Music In Ancient Chinese Philosophy — страница 2

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bodily desire. In this context, Confucianism seizes upon the a form of art which affects a person’s psychological state. Such an art’s ethical persuasiveness surpasses attempts to awaken reason through mere preaching for persuasion. Ancient Confucians understood and recognized this point. In this context, we can see why Confucius once said that “one who knows it (the way) is not the equal of one who loves it, and one who loves it is not the equal of one who takes joy in it.” (Analects, Book Six) Joy draws on the pleasure via sensory organs. If one receives “Dao” as joy through sensory organs, the pleasure coming from physiological functions can no longer run counter to “Dao,” the object of reasoned thought. If a sensual system associated with the physiological

function of sensory organs is in harmony with Dao completely, that harmony will become a concrete force that commits us to Dao’s ideals and objectives. In order to legitimize the status quo ruling power and draw internalized obedience, as a means of appeasement, human beings began to use art before employing ethical norms outright. In China, “yue” appeared prior to “li.” In ancient times, irrespective of whether they are western or oriental, the form of art encompassed poetry, songs, and dance. In ancient China, this undifferentiated comprehensive form is called “yue” (music). During the pre-Qin era, the efficacy of the politics of “yue” (music) was brought into high relief. Confucianists since Gongzi commonly referred to “yue” as “shishuliyue” (poetry,

books, rites, and music) and regarded it as a publicly recognized canon. But literate peoples during the period ranging from the Warring States period to the Wei-Jin era distinguished between philosophy and art, and eventually they subdivided art itself into various genres. Jikang’s differentiation of the voice of nature from human voices was made possible by the prior differentiation of poetry from music. Jikang emphasized the natural character of the sound of music and simultaneoulsy criticized the theoretical premises on which the traditional social function of music and art was based. Here I will first characterize the chronological process of the formation of the Confucian music theory ranging from the pre-Qin era to the era when the Book of Rites, with a section on

“musical instruments,” first appeared. Then I will concretely describe and analyze the definining characteristics of the Confucian claim that “music has in it grief and joy”. China’s perspectives on music were not concretly described prior to Xunzi’s writings on music. Only some fragmentary descriptions of it appear in some literature such as the Chunqiu (The Spring and Autumn Annals). Here I will explore some perspectives on music pertaining to Jikang’s critical attitudes toward Confucianist theory on music. In doing so, for the Xianjin era, I will base my argument on the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu), the Tales of the States (Guoyu), and the Book of Documents (Shujing). I will also use the Analects (Lunyu), since it correlates “liyue” with an awakening of

internal emotions, and Xunzi’s “Treatise on Music” (Yuelun), which developed Gongzi’s music theory. The Book of Rites, and in particular the “Book of Music” (Yuezhi) section, will also be a principal source of analysis. I-A. Shamanistic function of pre-Qin era music During the Western Zhou era, the Rites of the Zhou Dynasty (Zhouli) provided a standard for rulership. And it was widely read, being used as a basis for the handling of political affairs by feudal lords as well as central dynastic kings. It was also the standard for determining right from wrong, thus playing a key role in restoring order, and even in determining the destiny of the dynasty. In this period, it was informed heavily by clan practices and its main regulations were deeply embued with religious

concerns. Therefore, in this period, people regarded natural gods and ancestral spirits as “Heaven” (Tian, or “Heavenly God”), and followed natural principles as the “Way of the Heaven” (Tiandao). They regarded the power of Heaven over human beings as taking the form of a “Heavenly commandment” (Tianming), and the ruler controlled his subjects in accordance with divine power. Society was agricultural, emphasized the observance of natural phenomena, and regarded this as an indication of divine providence determining the fall and rise of all the works of human beings. This line of thought that exemplifies the primacy of Heaven over human beings, and as such formed the foundation of the Confucianist political thought. As a constituent of this political body, ancient