乱世之音 – Chinese philosophy and culture

luàn shì zhī yīn 乱世之音

Music of an Age of Disorder

指动乱时代的音乐。儒家认为,音乐与社会政治相互联通,音乐能反映出一个国家的政治盛衰得失及社会风俗的变化。如果一个国家政治腐败、社会动荡,其音乐、诗歌等文艺作品一定充满了怨恨愤怒。统治者必须及时检讨并纠正政治弊端,以避免出现败亡的下场。

Confucian scholars believed that music interacts with both society and its political evolution; it also reflects the rise and decline of a state’s political strength and changes of social customs. If a state suffers from political corruption and social turmoil, its music and poetry will be full of resentment and anger. Hearing such music and poetry, the ruler must promptly review his governance and correct abuse of power so as to avoid downfall.

引例 Citations:

◎乱世之音怨以怒,其政乖。(《礼记·乐记》)

(动乱时代的音乐充满了怨恨与愤怒,这是因为政治混乱的缘故。)

The music of an age of disorder is filled with resentment and anger, reflecting the political chaos of the time. (The Book of Rites)

◎郑卫之音,乱世之音也,比于慢矣。桑间濮上之音,亡国之音也。其政散,其民流,诬上行私而不可止也。(《礼记·乐记》)

(郑国和卫国的音乐,就是动乱时代的音乐,近乎轻慢无节制了。濮水岸边的桑间所流行的音乐,属于国家将亡时的音乐。它们反映出时政极端混乱,民众流离失所,臣下欺瞒君上、图谋私利而不可制止。)

The music of the states of Zheng and Wei was the music of an age of disorder, bordering on wantonness. The music of Sangjian on the Pushui River was typical of a failing state. The government was dysfunctional, the people were displaced, yet officials cheated on the ruler and pursued selfish gains with no one to stop them. (The Book of Rites)

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