Esthétique de la musique en Chine médiévale : idéologies, débats et pratiques chez Ruan Ji et Ji Kang

Abstract : In third-century China, the huge political and intellectual mutations occurring after the collapse of the Han dynasty result in the awakening of a new self-consciousness of man and the emergence of new philosophical trends (the so called Dark Learning), or also an artistic activity breaking off with four centuries of Confucian orthodoxy. Music, which occupies a privileged position in the life of literati, evolves as well, as far as its traditional status and practice are both concerned. No more considered a tool of moralization for the sake of civilized order or social harmony, it becomes a private and free distraction, emancipated from political or any other pragmatic purpose. The conceptions of music appearing in this context of nascent aesthetics provide the subject matter of our research. Focusing on Ruan Ji 阮籍 (210-263) and Ji Kang 嵇康 (223-262), two leading figures of the well-known literati group “the Seven Sages of the bamboo grove” who were also famous poets, thinkers and musicians, we attempt to examine their aesthetic thought throughout their main writings on music, concerning issues such as the origins and nature of music, its moral or social functions, its political or macrobiotic use, its ethical or dietetic virtues, and also its relation to man’s emotions. The textual analysis is completed by the study of musical practices or gestures (Ruan Ji’s whistling, Ji Kang’s playing the zither), that illustrate the effective application of their ideas in concrete life. Therefore, aesthetics does not only consist in a mere discourse, but becomes a kind of ethos, in which the emancipation of music is inseparable from that of the individual himself, through his aesthetic experience.
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Julie Gary. Esthétique de la musique en Chine médiévale : idéologies, débats et pratiques chez Ruan Ji et Ji Kang. Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Ecole normale supérieure de lyon - ENS LYON, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015ENSL1061⟩. ⟨tel-01277217⟩

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