This article discusses two interpretations of musical harmony around the 3rd century BCE based on the Xunzi 荀子 and the Lüshi Chunqiu 呂氏春秋 (Annals of Mr. Lü), comparing the concepts of resonance between sound and qi 氣 in each interpretation. The Xunzi supports the moral influence of the sage kings’ music where ethical resonance between sound and bodily qi serves as firm ground for musical harmony begetting social harmony. In contrast, the Lüshi Chunqiu advocates the idea of physical resonance between sound and cosmic qi whereby musical harmony acts as a contributor to cosmic harmony. In discussing resonance between sound and qi, the Xunzi restricts its scope to the human realm while the Lüshi Chunqiu extends it more broadly to the cosmic realm, which indicates that humans foster cosmic harmony. This broader perspective is an adequate reflection of the germinating idea of a resonant correlation between the human and cosmic realms.
Dao – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2017
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