Music in Taoism

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Taoist Music: The Great Depiction of Yin-Yang Philosophy Taoism, also known as Daoism, is an indigenous Chinese religion with its origin traced to the sage Laozi (Lao-tzu), a philosopher of ancient China believed to have lived in the sixth century B.C.E (Little 115). In Chinese, Dao means "way" or "path,” which is the appropriate way to behave and to lead others — but the Daode jing also refers to Tao as something that existed "before Heaven and Earth," a primal and chaotic matrix from which all forms emerged. The Classic of the Way and Its Power (Dao de jing or Tao-te-ching) introduces the doctrine of the Tao and serves as a guide for Taoists’ behavior and experience. The Dao de jing teaches the importance of cultivating simplicity,…show more content…
However, Daoist rituals not only serve all sorts of divinities but also serve to the common people. Therefore, it has the function of amusement as well (....). Intrumental music is provided by an ensemble consisting of percussion and wind instruments. It includes the faqi (ritual instrument)--qing (large bowl made of brass and hit by a wooden stick), yinqing (small bowl made of brass and hit by a slender metal stick), moyu (small gong made of brass and hit by a thin bamboo stick), and shouling (brass hand bell). Wind instruments are di (horizontal flute), and guan (reeded pipe); and percussion instruments consists of gu (drum), shougu (hand-held drum), bo (cymbal), and luo (gong). Taoists regard percussion instruments such as cymbals, gong, drum as the ritual instruments that possess magic function (Tschaikov 77). Thus, corresponding rules and regulations are constructed on the application of each instrument so that the balance harmony can be maintain throughout the performance of rituals. Last but not least, the core concept of Yin-Yang balance is acknowledged in Taoist rituals, also refer as Ke-Yi. “Ke” stands for the scriptures and religious text, and “Yi” depicts the ceremonial procedures of the ritual. Taoist rituals can be grouped into three categories: Xiudao fashi, Jinian fashi, and Zaijiao fashi. Xiudao fashi are the daily morning and evening offices.
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