Musical culture of ancient China

The first mentions of Chinese music go back to the 4th – 3rd millennium BC. e. (legends and myths). Documentary evidence of ancient ritual music dates back to the 16th – 11th centuries. BC. The developed forms of vocal creativity are evidenced by the “Book of Songs” (“Shijing”, 11th – 6th centuries BC), which contains magic songs, odes (cheng-ya, xiao-ya, etc.) and sung hymns. Wonderful images of 350 songs of “Shijing” cover all aspects of folk life.
Since ancient times, Chinese music has developed under the influence of religion and philosophy. In the Confucian treatises (“Yueji”), the cosmological concept of the nature of music was developed, its socio-political role was emphasized (music as one of the means of government control, an essential factor in educating people and achieving social harmony). The ancient Chinese used music as a means of education, improving human morals. They establish a connection between the aesthetic principle and the ethical one: “Music is the fragrant flower of virtue.”

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