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PHIL110045Artistic Charms of Chinese Traditional Culture CHEN, Jia School of Philosophy Sept. 25, 2018
Music: the Rites Embedded in Music • I. The Origin • II. The System of Rites and Music • III. The Culture of Rites and Music
Chronological Development • Xia Dynasty (2070—1600 BC)—the first slave-owner’s state in Chinese history • Shang Dynasty(1600-1100 BC)—the first era with reliable historical account • Western Zhou (1046-771 BC) —rule by virtue and the system of ritual and music educationThe Spring and Fall Period (770-477 BC) The Warring States (476-221 BC)
I. The Origin of Music 1.Unearthed ancient musical instruments • Bone flutes (the earliest music instruments) • Pottery Xun • Stone Qing • Turtle bell • Pottery horn • Drum and Nao (percussion)
Jiahu Bone Flute of Wuyang贾湖骨笛(Henan Province, 8700 years of history)
Pottery Xun and bone whistles: unearthed in Hemudu site, Zhejiang Province, in 1973, about 7000 years of history • Egg-shaped or olive-shaped, holed wind instrument • Acoustic holes: means this was already an advanced instrument of melody, made according to certain musical scale or mode
Pictograph: “music” depicts the image of stringed instruments placed on a wooden stand. C1: Added “a tuning instrument” AH: music referring to all five tones and eight instruments
2. “music of ancestors” Lv’s Commentaries of History —richand systematic records on “music of ancestors”, describing intended educational activities of rites and music (song, dance) Yellow Emperor—Cloud Gate, Large Clouds Roll Zhuanxu—Continuing Clouds Emperor Yao—Grand Xian Emperor Shun—Grand Shao Emperor Yu—Grand Xia
The content of music (including the rites) was centered on the praise for kingship and ruling achievement, for example, regulating watercourse. The slave-owner class started to undertake conscious education by establishing schools. Xia Dynasty: Xiao (teaching) Shang Dynasty: Xu (archery) Zhou Dynasty: Xiang (cultivation)
Main aim of music education: to educate the upper class for ritual and performative skills as well as military education Music, in the form of poetry, song and dance, was closely linked to the ritual performances.
Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC) Duke Dan of Zhou: established a set of institutions that systematized and integrated the existing rites and music A political system based on a patriarchal society was established, including four methods :
Li Zehou, The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition “‘Rites’ was a general term that encompassed rituals governing everything from the sacrificial system to military and political affairs to everyday life……Fundamentally, then, the rites were a coercive set of demands, restrictions, and rules imposed on the individual’s external conduct, actions, and demeanor. ” (p.11)
(1) • Moral norms for rulers’ behavior in political occasions such as ceremonies, expeditions • Ethical codes for ordinary peoples’ daily life in the patriarchal society People in each class has his/her own position
(2) Educational Subjects Rites and Music are the first two subjects in Six Arts—the other four are: archery, charioteering, literature, arithmetic Music education includes: • Musical virtue—education for etiquette and morals • Musical vocabulary—education for poetry and recital • Musical dance—praise for ancestors
The Spring and Fall Period: 770-477 BC • On the one hand, a further development of the ritual and music institution had prepared for the cultural prosperity of “hundred of intellectual schools.” • On the other, this period is an age of radical social changes and marks an essential milestone in the development of music education in Pre-Qin period.
The Warring States Period (476-221 BC) Weakening in royal power—results in a collapse of the system of rites and music The main theme for intellectual debates—how to restore the national order and rebuild social norms; what is the role of ritual and music; is there a mandate of heaven, etc.
Chime Bells of Marquis Su of Jin晋侯稣钟(Western Zhou Dynasty )http://tv.cctv.com/2017/12/10/VIDEenUvkd7Wfrf78SCUkF4x171210.shtml
Chime-bells from the Tomb of Marquis Yi of the Zeng State 曾侯乙编钟(Early Warring States, Hubei)
III. The Culture of Rites and Music: Confucius’ Contribution
1. A revival of the humanistic spirit An underlying agenda for Confucius’s learning ritual and music was tolook to the spirit and personality of ancient ancestors in the Western Zhou Dynasty, the age of prosperity. Recover from the dark age of “collapsed ritual order and filthy music” and restore the harmonious social system Confucius inherited, preserved, and interpreted this historical tradition of rites and music.
“Confucius said of the Ji family, ‘They use eight rows of eight dancers each to perform in their courtyard. If this can be tolerated, what cannot be tolerated?’” (Analects 3.1) • Emperor: eight rows of eight dancers • Feudal Princes: six rows of eight dancers • Da fu (a senior official): four rows of eight dancers —Ji family should use
Rites—a practical embodiment of the principle of reasonableness; plays a structural function of integrating politics, culture, ethics, aesthetics and social norms. • Music—clear awareness of the role of music education centered on the idea of harmony
2.Harmony: Three Levels Confucius developed the notion of “harmony” as the essential character of music. Three levels of “Music Entails Harmony”: 1st Level: Cosmological Ground of Musical Structure “Music is (an echo of) the harmony between heaven and earth.” (Liji, Book of Rites)
Harmony of music is a manifestation of the cosmic order of nature since they had a similar structure of the integration of various elements. The primary function of music was facilitating the communication between nature, or heaven and human being.
“These ancient organized, communal cultural activities have embodied the earliest form of the intermingling and interpenetration of the individual emotion as well as sensuous form on the one hand with the collective and order in human action on the other.” (Li Zehou, The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition, 4-7).
2nd Level: Social/political implication Confucius offered a principle of this social harmony which is depended on cooperation and coordination among different members. “Exemplary people seek harmony not sameness; petty people, then, are the opposite.” (The Analects, 13.23)
An Important Difference between Rites and Music. • As a social norm demanded from an external stronger power, rites often enforce coerciveness. The result brings a tension between the necessity of obeying rules on the one hand, and on the other, the natural individual existence as a feeling, embodied being. • It also results a disadvantage of amplifying the tension between different social groups.
Contrastingly, music united different social groups as a harmonizing agent, instead of separating them from each other. • The pre-Qin early Confucianism finds the solution in music of communicating between communal reason and individual sensibility.
The 3rd level:moral level A perfection of personhood that requires the unity of aesthetic beauty and moral goodness Confucius offered his criteria for good music: • “pleasing without being excessive” • “mournful without being injurious.”
Confucius’s aesthetic standard regarding musical feelings— • Be moderate in expressing feelings: abstinence from giving full vent to uncontrolled emotions； • Do no harm to either body or mind • A social/collective feeling: not pure rush impulsion A balance between sense and sensibility—ideal of music
“Let a man be first incited by the Poetry, then given a firm footing by the study of rites, and finally perfected by music. ” “兴于诗，立于礼，成于乐 ” The Analects, 8.8 Yue Jiao (乐教 Music Education): • Poetry education: sentiments • Rites education : behavior • Music education: excellence
Thanks！ And to be continued…