Theory Of Music In Ancient Chinese Philosophy — страница 5

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beings have them in common. He regards desires as a natural nature and takes it to be recognized per se. Despite this, however, he argues that the action and the way to realize desires have to be controlled artificially. In his view, music plays the role of nurturing and controlling these desires. Li (rites), whose purpose is to establish order to human society, does not play its role merely to moderate human selfish desires that are the roots of social disorder. Rather its purpose lies in culturing and establishing mutual harmony between human desires and goods. Li as a criterion for moderation and self-constraint will give order to human society. Li will manifest its function by clearly determining the vertical hierarchy of social roles. The established of li-compatible

“fen” (distinctions) is requirement for the development of society. However, human society is not maintained only by a hierarchy of social differences. Social integration and harmony is another fundamental aspect of order preservation. This function of harmony depends on music. In Xunzi, music is inseparable from harmony and li is also inextricable from reason. “Music unites that which is the same; rites distinguish that which is different.” Xunzi says that “music is the most effective means to government,” thereby emphasizing the socially harmonizing function. He provides some evidence as to how music fulfills social ethics. The passage is as follows: “When music is performed in the ancestral temple of the ruler, and the ruler and his ministers, superiors and

inferiors, listen to it together, there are none who are not filled with a spirit of harmonious reverence. When it is performed within the household, and father and sons, elder and younger brothers listen to it together, there are none who are not filled with a spirit of harmonious kinship. And when it is performed in the community, and old people and young toether listen to it, there are none who are not filled with a spirit of harmonious obedience. Hence music brings about complete unity and induces harmony.” This passage demonstrates that when rites are performed in the household, community, and nation, expression of reverence and honor toward superiors will encourage obedience to authority. The idea of using ritual music as a means to govern is also found in the “Yueji”

chapter of the Book of Rites. There it is said that “rites, music, justice institutions and governing bodies are different, but the ultimate purpose of these is the same.” The purpose is to give order not only to the hearts of individual people, but also to society as a whole. I-D. Book of Rites on “Yueji”: connecting rites and music with cosmological order As a source of the Confucian perspective on music, the “Yueji” chapter is quite representative. It enriches and deepens early theories of music. Xunzi’s basic claim to bring about the social function of music is also eminently laid bare here: “Music harmonizes human hearts, rites differentiate social differences. Harmony gives rise to mutually better understanding and distinctions will encourage mutual respect.

When honor and reverence is formed, distinction between the noble and the ignoble will become clearer, and music’s harmonizing power is exercized, harmony between high stratum of society and low stratum of society will follow.” The rationale for the notion that music should be used to maintain social and national order lies in its power to arouse human spontaneity. The “Yueji” declares that “music is created from within whereas rites are engendered from without.” Hence, when music is created from within, this signifies the tranquilizing power and when this power is reached at its pinnacle, hatred in human hearts will disappear. As to the social efficacy of rites and music, the tone of “Yueji” is bluntly transparent. “ Early sage kings were said to have governed

by exercing modesty as a virtue” in this context signifies the governing through the medium of rites and music. As a means to justify political authority, rites and music form a connection with the foundation of nature and cosmology. In the “Yueji,” “music is the harmony of Heaven and Earth and rites are the order of the universe. Rites represent the principle of Heaven and Earth distinction whereas music embodies the principle of harmony.” Now rites and music are not merely confined to regulating human action as a moral instrument, nor are they just producing organized sounds to please the ears. They become a foundational origin of nature which is the root of human existence and thus they are a body of harmony. Music, described this way, is the mytaphysical origin and