Shi Kuang's discernment of sound: the legendary wisdom of the Spirit of ancient music

49 views · Organized by 苏肆 on 2024-05-16

In the history of ancient Chinese music, there was a blind musician who was famous for his extraordinary musical ability and ability to distinguish sounds. He was Shi Kuang, a musician in the State of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period. The story of Shi Kuang's sound discrimination is not only a miracle of musical perception, but also an ode to wisdom and spiritual depth.

Shi Kuang's discernment of sound: the legendary wisdom of the Spirit of ancient music

Shi Kuang's discernment of sound: the legendary wisdom of the Spirit of ancient music

During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, there was a special musician in the court of the State of Jin. His name was Shi Kuang. Although he was blind, his inner world was colorful because of music. Shi Kuang not only mastered the six rules, but also excelled in the performance of various instruments. What he was most praised for was his almost inconceivable ability to distinguish sounds.

One day, Ping Gong of Jin held a banquet in the palace. Envoys from all over the world gathered together. The scene was grand and lively. In the middle of the banquet, suddenly a weak music sounded, which seemed to carry the vast mountains and rivers and the vicissitudes of time, but it was so far away that it was almost difficult to catch. Everyone looked at each other, not knowing where the music came from, and no one could discern its meaning. At that moment, Shi Kuang slowly stood up, facing the direction of the music, and closed his eyes, as if the whole body and mind were immersed in the ethereal melody.

"This sound, originating from thousands of miles to the north, is the sound of Yandi." The teacher's calm and firm voice broke the silence of the banquet. When everyone heard of it, they were amazed and could not believe it.  The sound of the north is vast and distant, which contains the vigor of Yanshan and the cold of the north wind, which can not be found in other places."

Soon after, an emissary arrived from the state of Yan and confirmed Shi Kuang's claim that it was the court musicians of the State of Yan who were testing the new instrument and were inadvertently identified by Shi Kuang. This matter quickly spread to the vassal states, and the ability of Shi Kuang to distinguish sound became a good story in people's mouths.

However, Shi Kuang's skill in discerning sounds did not end there. On another occasion he was walking in the woods when he suddenly stopped and listened. Others puzzled, saw him softly said: "This bird, the phoenix of the south also, its cry and long, must be isolated, miss the homeland." Later, as expected, someone found a rare phoenix in the south, just like Shi Kuang's description of the scene. Each and every one of these shows Shi Kuang's extraordinary musical perception and deep understanding of nature.

The story of Shi Kuang's music discrimination is not only a praise of his personal musical talent, but also a reflection of the profound heritage of ancient Chinese music art. In that era without the assistance of modern technology, Shi Kuang's inner sensitivity and love for music helped him reach the realm of resonance with heaven and earth, and his story inspired future generations to explore the infinite possibilities of music and the mystery of harmony between the mind and nature. Shi Kuang, as a blind musician, became a bright star in the ancient music world, illuminating the road of blending music and wisdom.

Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Guqin (pinyin: Gǔ Qín) is a traditional Chinese musical instrument with a history of at least 3,500 years. Guqin is also known as Yaoqin, Yuqin and Seven-stringed Qin. The guqin has 13 emblems that mark the rhythm, and is also a ritual and musical instrument. It belongs to the silk in the octave. Guqin has a wide range, deep timbre and long aftertone.

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