Chinese Music’s Five Elements, Five Tones

15 January, 2012 at 07:14 | Posted in Body & Mind, Chinese culture, Music | Leave a comment
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The concepts embedded in Chinese music, such as the five elements, are deeply interwoven with Chinese traditional culture

By Zhiping Chen
Special to The Epoch Times

Chinese music is based on the ancient Chinese pentatonic, five-tone musical system. The five tones are classified as: Kung, Shang, Chiao, Chih and Yue.

According to the Chinese theory of the Five Elements, related to Chinese music, the tones are connected to a myriad of cosmological concepts, as well as the inner workings of man.

Chinese do not see it as coincidence that human beings have five internal organs: heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and spleen; and five sensory organs: mouth, nose, eyes, ears and tongue; and five fingers on each hand.

According to Chinese tradition, any of these five tones can affect a human being’s internal organs and might act as a regulatory mechanism. Music can increase metabolism, open thought processes, and regulate the heart. Because everyone’s makeup is different, one person’s internal organs are different to the next person’s, and the music touches people in different ways.

According to the five basic tones, one can detect different influences in the human body. For instance, Kung-based melodies are classified as noble, Earth-related, and affect the spleen. Often listening to such music makes one tolerant and kind.

Read more: Chinese Music’s Five Elements, Five Tones | Culture | China | Epoch Times


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