Classic of Music

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Classic of Music
Traditional Chinese 樂經
Simplified Chinese 乐经

The Classic of Music (Chinese: 樂經; pinyin: Yuè jīng) was a Confucian classic text lost by the time of the Han dynasty. It is sometimes referred to as the "Sixth Classic" (for example, by Sima Qian [1]) and is thought to have been important in the traditional interpretations of the Book of Songs.[2]

Qing dynasty scholar Shao Yichen (邵懿辰, 1810-1861) proposed that the book never existed, but more usually it is thought that all copies were destroyed during the burning of books and burying of scholars.

A few traces remain in other surviving works, including the Zuo Zhuan, the Rites of Zhou, and the extremely redacted, poor-quality Record of Music contained in the Classic of Rites. As accounted in the Book of Han, Dou Gong 竇公 (5-4 cc. BC), a musician of the state of Wei possessed a book Yue shu which was presented to Han Wen-di. However, the text is associated with the Da siyue section of the Zhou li (大宗伯 part).



  1. ^ Watson, 1969: p. 11, from chapter 61, biography on Boyi and Shuqi
  2. ^ "The Shih Ching or Book of Poetry Archived 2005-09-09 at the Wayback Machine.". The China Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. IV, No. I (Jan 1926). Accessed 17 Oct 2005.