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Village people, village music and the theoretical significance of the concept that poetry can harmonize people

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Xiang li 乡里 (township civil service) is the basic political and social unit of the Zhou dynasty. Village people were the nobles who occupied certain positions in political and cultural affairs. Village music was employed in social gatherings of local communities. The rites and the music reflect the attempt of the nobles in the Zhou dynasty to make their secular lives refined, poetic and artistic. Drinking rite and shooting rites were regular local activities rich in artistic implications and both showed the characteristics of early drama. Poems and music were at the core of such friendly and harmonious gatherings of local communities. These activities and the notion that “poetry can harmonize people” have exerted profound and far-reaching influences upon the mind of the Chinese people as well as Chinese literature.


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