Chinese Characters for Music: Yīn Yuè 音樂

19 April, 2013 at 07:02 | Posted in Chinese culture, Music | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Conveying the special significance of music,
literally ‘the sound of happiness’

By Cindy Chan
Epoch Times Staff

The Chinese characters 音樂 (yīn yuè) stand for music. 音 is the character for sound, while 樂 refers to music itself as well as the concepts of happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment. The two characters combined literally mean “the sound of happiness.”

The ancient Chinese regarded music as a tool to contact the gods, and music was not only for enjoyment and entertainment but also part of sacred ceremony to reunite humankind with Heaven.

In addition, music is the ancestor of medicine and its primary purpose in ancient China was to heal illness. The character for medicine, 藥 (yào), is derived from the character for music.

藥 comprises two parts: 樂 at the bottom and the radical 艹 at the top, which refers to grass, herbs, and other grass-related plants. Following discovery of the healing effects of herbs, 艹 and 樂 were combined to form 藥.

via Chinese Characters: Yīn Yuè 音樂 | Culture | China | Epoch Times


Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

“What do you think about this?”

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.