The interpretation and application of Confucius’ idea of “music and teaching” in the exhibition of Confucius Museum

I. The content of Confucius’ musical aesthetic thought

(1) The musical spirit of Confucius – the realization of “benevolence” is the prerequisite for the realization of ritual and music.


(2) Confucius’ standard for evaluating musical beauty – “perfection and beauty”.

Confucius took the standard of social ethics and morality as the standard of art, but did not abolish formal beauty as a result. The harmonious unity of beauty and goodness is the harmonious unity of beauty in content and beauty in form.

  1. To develop the relationship between beauty and goodness into a systematic theory of philosophy
  2. To unify beauty with goodness, and to determine the advantages of art by the needs of politics and morality
  3. indirectly caused the lack of independence of art itself

(3) Aesthetic guidelines – “music without lust, sorrow without injury”, that is, “harmony”

  1. Confucius demanded that the emotions to be expressed in art should be moderated and social
  2. “The Way of the Middle”
  3. Directly addressing the relationship between Ya and Zheng, reflecting the class limitations of Confucius’ history

(d) Confucius on the social role of music – “Xing”, “Guan”, “Qun”, and “grievance”

(V) Confucius’s advocacy of proper music

  1. indignation at the collapse of rites and music; 2. aspiration for elegant music; 3. disgust and rejection of Zheng Sheng

(6) Confucius’ practice of music education.

The system of music education–the six arts: ritual, music, archery, imperial, calligraphy, and mathematics; the four teachings: literature, conduct, loyalty, and faith; the six scriptures: poetry, calligraphy, ritual, Yi, music, and [spring and autumn]( 57e22b490bd1bea540524e68); the five constants: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and faith

(vii) Confucius’ ideas on music education – “There is no class in teaching and teaching according to the material.”

Confucius’ thought on music aesthetics

Second, the reasons for the excessive entertainment of today’s music culture

The cultural environment we live in today is an entertaining one. People pursue music culture that can bring physical and mental pleasure, but contemporary music culture shows the trend of entertainment first.

(a) Music has an aesthetic function.

Both in history and in contemporary times, the development of music culture cannot be separated from the fetters and influences of political factors. The excessive entertainment of music culture belongs to a kind of psychological reversal of people’s long-term subjugation of music to politics, but this reversal often causes people’s attitude toward music to go from one extreme to another, and people want to break through the heavy pressure and eagerly seek self-release, thus making themselves neglect the real music.

(2) People’s own blindness and going with the flow.

Contemporary society is full of confusion, and there are many people who follow the crowd. The over-entertainment of music culture is also the result of most people’s blind pursuit of trends. In today’s society, people are too lazy to think and discriminate, and treat music too casually and impetuously.

(3) The influence of the improvement of economic level on music culture.

With the development of economic level, music culture is more and more pursuing the shallow emotional catharsis and pleasure satisfaction. The economic development will promote the development of music culture, this is undeniable, but this also tends to make the entertainment of music culture unrestrictedly enhanced, ultimately detrimental to the development of music culture.

(4) The choice between keeping the tradition and “going out and bringing in”.

Chinese civilization has a long history, and people’s attitude towards our own traditional music culture has changed a lot after the development of the times, but they show a strong pursuit of the new wave music forms from abroad. “The ancient is used in the present, the foreign is used in the middle”, both of which I think we have not really done well in the dissemination of music culture.

Three, the performance of excessive entertainment of music culture

(1) The endless music talent shows.

Looking at the talent shows we see on a regular basis, from an objective point of view, the emergence of these forms of programs has contributed to people’s inertia, and many people want to make it big and become famous by taking shortcuts. In the long run, Abstract: From ancient times to the present, the development of music culture has undergone generations of baptism and incubation, and the changes of the times are constantly promoting the development and progress of music culture. Confucius, as a famous thinker and educator in China in ancient times as well as the founder of the Confucian school, has had an extremely profound influence on the development of music culture in later generations with his musical aesthetic ideas. Looking at the development trend of today’s music culture, the rapid development of social civilization has led to a tendency of over-entertainment in today’s music culture. This paper takes the musical aesthetic thought of Confucius as the starting point, and discusses the influence of Confucius’ musical aesthetic thought on the development of today’s music culture, so as to make a personal viewpoint on the phenomenon of over-entertainment of today’s music culture. This has a certain influence on the development of society as well as the progress of human beings themselves.

(b) The single-minded pursuit of ratings and the means to absorb the public’s attention.

For example, in “The Voice of China” program there has been such a phenomenon, standing on stage singing people, the fight is not the singing ability, but the tragedy of their own life, which is not only contrary to the real connotation of this program to express, but also detrimental to the social climate, which is like pretending to use the means of art to achieve a kind of economic interests, so that the music becomes impure.

(c) The public’s attention to the idols themselves far exceeds the idols’ musical works.

There are many examples of this phenomenon in the entertainment industry, and it has also created a more fickle atmosphere in today’s music and cultural entertainment industry.

(d) Absurdity and novelty as beauty.

People tend to feel interested in some unusual musical works, some songs can make people feel fun and novel, and thus are completely entertaining, thus also causing some good musical works are not able to pass down.

Confucius’ “great style, holy descendants of Danqing”

The influence of Confucius’ musical aesthetics on the development of music culture in later generations

(I) Positive influence

  1. conducive to the establishment of a correct view of contemporary music education. The musical spirit of Confucius, “benevolence”, and the organic unity of perfection, truth, goodness and beauty that he proposed, cultivated the national spirit, thus achieving the harmony of the individual and society.
  2. It is conducive to the establishment of the concept of harmonious music. Confucius’ aesthetic attitude toward music is “harmony”, which makes the internal emotional experience and external expression of music aesthetics remain in a state of harmony.
  3. Confucius’ idea of teaching people according to their abilities and without discrimination has led to the gradual civilianization and popularization of music. Mr. Cai Yuanpei’s proposition of “replacing religion with aesthetic education” is the inheritance and development of Confucius’ idea.
  4. Confucius advocated proper music, respected elegant music, and opposed the sound of Zheng Wei, which enhanced the artistry of music and made the music culture of later generations more specialized.

(II) Negative effects

  1. Confucius started the tradition of judging art by the standards of political morality, which indirectly caused the lack of independence of art itself and made music, as an independent art, lack an independent status in China.
  2. Confucius directly addressed the relationship between elegant music and the sound of Zhengwei, promoting elegant music and opposing the sound of Zhengwei, which to a certain extent also hindered the development of folk music and prevented some of the excellent folk music of ancient times from being transmitted to later generations.
  3. Confucius had a deep-rooted influence on the understanding and strengthening of the social function of music. In the history of new China, we also have a quite long period of time to use music as a political appendage and a mere propaganda tool, which made the development of music once slide down to a low point.

V. Conclusion

Today’s music culture space seems to be extensive, but in fact it is a restricted space of choice. In order to avoid further deepening of the phenomenon of excessive entertainment of music culture, we should do the following:

  1. improve the ability of discrimination; 2. reform the music system; 3. enhance cultural self-confidence; 4. establish correct values.

So that our music culture can be better developed and progressed.

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