Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Musical finale

The course on Confucian ethics wrapped up today with a return to the Analects. I produced a one-page digest of key passages, some of which we'd discussed at length, some of which are influential for later developments we read about, and some of which were new. Here are the three new ones we spent the most time discussing (but in reverse chronological order), and one other, the wonderful VI.20.

The Master was discussing music with the Grand Music Master of Lu. He said, “What can be known about music is this: when it first begins, it resounds with a confusing variety of notes, but as it unfolds, these notes are reconciled by means of harmony, brought into tension by means of counterpoint, and finally woven together into a seamless whole. It is in this way that music reaches its perfection.” (Slingerland, 27)

The Master said, “One who knows it is not the equal of one who loves it, and one who loves it is not the equal of one who takes joy in it.” (59) 

The Master said, “Find inspiration in the Odes, take your place through ritual, and achieve perfection with music.” (80)

Zixia said, “The gentleman has three aspects: when you gaze upon him from afar, he appears grave and imposing; once you approach him, he appears mild and welcoming; and when you listen to his words, he appears strict and serious.” (223)

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