Analects 3.23

Original Text:

子语鲁大师乐曰乐其可知也始作翕如也从之纯如也皦如也绎如也以成

Translation:

Other Translations:

The Master was discussing music with the Grand Music Master of Lu. He said, “What can be known about music is this: when it first begins, it resounds with a confusing variety of notes, but as it unfolds, these notes are reconciled by means of harmony, brought into tension by means of counterpoint, and finally woven together into a seamless whole. It is in this way that music reaches its perfection.”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

The Master, speaking with the Grand Music Master of Lu, said, Music can be understood in this way. The players first in unison, then freely harmonizing, playing separately or carrying on from one another, and thus the piece is completed.

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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