"In early China, conceptions of music became important culturally and politically. This fascinating book examines a wide range of texts and discourse on music during this period (ca. 500–100 BCE) in light of the rise of religious, protoscientific beliefs on the intrinsic harmony of the cosmos. By tracking how music began to take on cosmic and religious significance, Erica Fox Brindley shows how music was used as a tool for such enterprises as state unification and cultural imperialism. She also outlines how musical discourse accompanied the growth of an explicit psychology of the emotions, served as a fundamental medium for spiritual attunement with the cosmos, and was thought to have utility and potency in medicine. While discussions of music in state ritual or as an aesthetic and cultural practice abound, this book is unique in linking music to religious belief and demonstrating its convergences with key religious, political, and intellectual transformations in early China."
Related: "Music, Cosmos, and the Development of Psychology in Early China" - by Erica Brindley (2006) (unpaywalled PDF)
Related: "In Tune With The Cosmos: Tuning Theory, Cosmology, And Concepts Of Sound In Early China" - Dissertation by Noa Hegesh (2018)
"The Book of Rites, also known as the Liji, is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty as they were understood in the Warring States and the early Han periods. The Book of Rites is a diverse collection of texts of varied but uncertain origin & date.
During the reign of Qin Shihuang, many of the Confucian classics were destroyed during the 213 BC "Burning of the Books." However, the Qin dynasty collapsed within the decade: Confucian scholars who had memorized the classics or hid written copies recompiled them in the early Han dynasty. The Book of Rites was said to have been fully reconstructed, but the Classic of Music could not be recompiled and fragments principally survive in the "Record of Music" (Yueji) chapter of the Book of Rites."
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