Confucius condemned Zheng 鄭 and Wei 衛 music, which had widespread popular appeal. He may have expected music to display fundamental patterns in the natural world and thriving human relationships, tasks that could be compromised by irregular and relatively complicated music like that of Zheng and Wei. He was also convinced that Zheng and Wei music would motivate undisciplined behavior in listeners. A third consideration may have been that even if some benefits of participation would derive from music that included innovations, traditional forms should be preferred because they would further bonds between generations and encourage a sense of community by emphasizing shared inheritance. Confucius seems unaware that innovation can help keep musical traditions alive, but he may have recognized that well-known music facilitates kinds of engagement that novel music cannot. Such engagement was key to what Confucius sought from music and would be reason enough for his judgment.
Dao – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2017
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