音 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yīn 音

Musical Sounds

指音乐,是由心中情感触动而发出的有节奏和韵律的声音。古人常以“音”与“声”相对:凡自然物所发声音叫作“声”,由人的内心情感触动而发出的声音叫作“音”;单一的声响叫作“声”,不同“声”的比配叫作“音”,不同的“音”组成有节奏的曲调叫作“乐”。古人认为,“音”发自人的内心,一国或地区的音乐往往反映该国或地区的民心民意和世风世情,由此儒家提出了文艺反映政治得失及具有社会教化功能的理论主张。

Musical sounds, or simply music, are artistically rhythmical sounds flowing forth from one’s stirring emotions. Ancient Chinese often made a distinction between musical sounds and plain sounds. Sounds created by a natural environment are plain sounds, while those created when emotions well up in one’s heart is music. A single sound is called sheng (声), different sounds that come together are called yin (音); when these sounds beautifully fit together, they are called music (yue 乐). Ancient Chinese believed that musical sounds derive from one’s inner motions, and that the music of a country or a region reflects the popular sentiments and the social mores there. Hence Confucian scholars believed that art and literature demonstrate both virtues and flaws in a country’s governance and therefore play the role of moral education.

引例 Citation:

◎凡音者,生人心者也,情动于中,故形于声,声成文,谓之音。(《礼记·乐记》)

(一切音乐,都产生于人的内心,情感在心中激荡,便通过声音表现出来,各种声音组成有节奏的曲调叫做音乐。)

All music comes from one’s heart and soul. When emotions stir in one’s heart, it will find expression through a proper combination of sounds. A tune consisting of various rhythmical sounds is called music. (The Book of Rites)

◎音,声也。生于心,有节于外,谓之音。(许慎《说文解字·音部》)

(音是声音的一种。产生于内心,有节奏地表现出来后,叫做音乐。)

Music is a particular kind of sounds. What flows forth from the heart in a rhythmical pattern is music. (Xu Shen: Explanation of Script and Elucidation of Characters)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *