The Six Arts
The six arts may refer to two sets of content. They may refer to the Six Classics: The Book of Songs, The Book of History, The Book of Rites, The Book of Music, The Book of Changes, and The Spring and Autumn Annals. Confucian scholars through the ages kept interpreting these classical texts, endowing them with rich significance. Theories related to the six arts represent the basic views of the ancients in regard to world order and values. The six arts may also refer to the six skills of rituals, music, archery, charioteering, the structures of written characters, and mathematics, which were the basic contents of school teaching in antiquity.
The six arts are the canons of kingly instruction by which the ancient sages expounded the Way of Heaven, set human relationships right, and kept the society in peace and order. (The History of the Han Dynasty)
Responsibilities of the Palace Education Guardian: admonishing the king against wrongdoing and tutoring the scions of state in the right principles. Thus he teaches them the six arts: the five types of ritual, the six styles of music and dance, the five ways of archery, the five methods of charioteering, the six structures of written characters, and the nine types of mathematics. (The Rites of Zhou)