From prehistoric bone flutes to Confucian bell-sets, from ancient divination to his beloved qin, this book presents translations of thirteen seminal essays on musical subjects by Jao Tsung-i. In language as elegant and refined as the ancient texts he so admired, his journey takes readers through Buddhist incantation, the philosophy of musical instruments, acoustical numerology, lyric poetry, historical and sociological contexts, manuscript studies, dance choreography, repertoire formulation, and opera texts. His voice is authoritative and intimate, the expert crafting his arguments, both accessible and sophisticated, succinct and richly tapestried; and concealed within a deft modesty is a thinker privileging us with his most profound observation. The musician’s musician, the scholar’s scholar, bold yet cautious, flamboyant yet restrained, a man for all seasons, a harmoniousness of time and place.
A musician and scholar fluent in European and Asian languages, Colin Huehns was educated at King’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Xi’an Music Conservatoire. He plays bowed instruments and hammered dulcimers: the violin, erhu, horsehead fiddle, and yangqin.
Undergraduates and postgraduates studying Chinese language and culture, ethnomusicology, musical performance (Chinese and Western), and conventional musicology. Academic institutions and libraries.