Week 3

1.Readings provided by Engtat: Age invaders, Body music, Confucius computer
2.Studying code of Music-painting

In Ancient Chinese Music, it has presented theory of YIN YANG and Wu-hsing in the music.


1. Yin Yang and ancient Chinese Music

Music of Ancient China was regarded as the image of the order of the Universe. The cyclic nature of the Universe and the interplay of YANG and YIN are the bases of music theory. The twleve sounds in an ancient China music was expressed as six Yang sounds (superior) and six Yin sounds (inferior). And these tones are arranged to correspond to the months.
Yin-yang doctrine governs acoustical theory concerning pitch calculation and determination of the harmonious interval, 3:2.

2. Wu-hsing and ancient Chinese Music

The symbolic numbers which the “Five Voice” have in common with the Five Elements signify the hierarchical order of the tones. Five , the central number used for the fundamental tone of the scale, represents the Universe.

Five voice corresponding with five element:

Five voices Chio Chih Kung Shang Yu
Five elements Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Western equivalents f# a d e b

Wu-hsing doctrine governs music theory concerning the scale through the mutual numerical basis five.

3. Confucian music

In Confucian music, the definite forms through which feelings are expressed in music are the five notes. When these five elements interact properly and harmoniously, the order of the universe is maintained and music of the best quality is produced. Harmony is therefore the key principle of aesthetic judgment; the world of man should and can be made better and more orderly and more beautiful when harmony. The Confucian interest in music is due essentially to its educational and ethical motivations; and the primary role of music is to build one’s moral character.


Six arts and Confucius:
Six arts established by Confucius as the curriculum for his followers- Poetry, writing, ritual, Yi, music, Chun qiu. (Check the translations) (《诗》、《书》、《礼》、 《易》、《乐》、《春秋》)
p.s. Six arts of ritual, music, archery, charioteering, writing, and calculations (礼、乐、射、御、书、数) are the curriculum in Zhou Dynasty, which are different from Confucius’ six arts.
We could look into more details and bring these six arts into Confucius computer (music and Yi (yin yang and wu-hsing) have brought into).

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