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Musical Cultivation in the “Xiu Wen” Chapter of the Shuoyuan

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Aside from the Yue Ji 樂記 (Record of Music), the “Xiu Wen 修文” (“Cultivating Refinement”) chapter of the Shuoyuan 說苑 (Garden of Persuasions) is perhaps our richest source of pre-Qin (xian Qin 先秦) and early Han 漢 Confucian musical thought. Though woven together from earlier sources, “Xiu Wen” nonetheless manages to present its own distinctive expression of the role of music and its relationship to the greater system of ritual institutions. This article undertakes an examination of the chapter’s philosophies of ritual and music, focusing especially on the latter, and in the process attempts to demonstrate what is unique about the text in relation to its forerunners in the realm of musical thought.

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Correspondence to Scott Cook.

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Cook, S. Musical Cultivation in the “Xiu Wen” Chapter of the Shuoyuan . Dao 16, 389–416 (2017).

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