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Aesthetics And Precision In Court Ritual Songs, Ca. 266–272

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses several sources in order to frame a turn in Xun Xus life. Lacking specific evidence to explain why Xun was first called on to act as a music expert in 26970, it applies a social explanation using available clues. The chapter points to evidence that his kinsman Xun Yi was considered by the court as appropriately skilled to restore music performance, and that when Yi died Xun Xu, already associated with an exegetical committee staffed with musically minded scholars, was thrust into the world of court music. Since Shen Yue in the sixth century, and continuing down to today, a line of thinking sees Xun Xu as having been an important developer of yuefu, concerning both song lyrics and ensemble direction; he is thought to have been chiefly responsible for collecting and carrying forward numerous ballads of the Cao rulers.

Keywords: court music; Shen Yue; Xun Xu



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