zhì shì zhī yīn 治世之音
Music of an Age of Good Order
Confucian scholars believed that music interacts with both society and its political evolution; it also reflects the rise and decline of a state’s political strength and changes of social customs. Music education fosters good governance and social stability. In an age of peace and stability with enlightened governance and harmony, its music and poetry are characterized by serenity and joyfulness. “Music of an age of good order” also refers to some eulogies in The Book of Songs.
All music is born in people’s minds. As people’s inner emotions surge, they turn into sound. When sound is formed into a pattern, music is created. The music of an age of good order is filled with peace and joyfulness thanks to the harmonious political atmosphere of the time. (The Book of Rites)