Change Social Practices and Customs
This is one of the important functions of music. Social practices are common forms of behavior formed within communities over time, and they can also include aspects that do not conform to rites. Changing such widespread habits is extremely difficult and cannot be accomplished by mandatory regulations alone. This is where music comes into play by affecting and stirring people’s emotions so that they gradually change their ways and willingly conform to the requirements of rites.
Music was appreciated by the sage kings; it improves people’s behavior, stirs and moves them, so they change social practices and customs. Thus the sage kings guided their subjects with music and rites, so that the subjects treated each other with friendship and good will. (Xunzi)