“Astronomers Who Don’t Know Music are not Good Chinese Medicine Doctors”

What kind of a title is this?! This is an incredible statement!

But indeed, I want to talk about science-科学, which if Chinese explains word by word, means the sub-subjected subjects for study and research, then we should know that in ancient China, there were no sub-subjected subjects for study. There only had the study of nature from astronomy, mathematics, literature, philosophy, or the science’s points of view. Many accomplished celebrities in our history were astronomers, historians, sociologists, scientists, and etc, at the same time.

On 2020JUL26, I had a post “The Ancestor of Medicine Is Music”
https://lnkd.in/gUW9J6C. But today, I am talking about the origin of the twelve majors of music in China, and their value in our cultural history.

For any nation, music is an indispensable part of life. The genius of the ancient Chinese was that they not only connected music with farming and solar terms but also used it in developing the country and healing people.

In Chinese traditional viewpoints, throughout the year, spring and summer are Yang, autumn and winter are Yin. Mistaking the solar terms of farming was a matter of people’s livelihood. Therefore, Yellow Emperor(黄帝, about BC2600-2700), had his people find sacred bamboo from Kunlun Mountain(昆仑山), cut out twelve bamboo pipes of different lengths, and arrange them in order, with the longest pipe the first.

These tubes were filled with particularly light ash and then inserted into the ground at the northwest foot of Yinshan Mountain(阴山山脉) to monitor the changes of Mother Earth Qi(the change of Yin and Yang). When the change occurs, the ash from the corresponding tube will fly out and make different sounds at the same time.

On the day of the Winter Solstice, the Yang energy inside Mother Earth starts to grow, and the ash from the first tube will soar out, making a “hum”(”嗡“) sound. The ancients called this sound Huang Zhong, which is equivalent to the C key of modern music.

The twelve-tone basic sounds arranged out by the ancients are listed from low to high like this:


They correspond to the twelve bamboo tubes. With the monthly change of the Yin & Yang energy of Mother Earth, one bamboo tube will make the corresponding music tone sound in a month. Twelve sounds, twelve months.

Among them, five sounds were mentioned in 黄帝内经- “Yellow Emperor’s Internal Canon” and correspond to the human five internal organs. The ancients invented music therapy based on these five sounds. Modern science also believes that music has the effect of healing the body and mind.

Mother Earth can sing! Amazingly our music and songs are something that resonates with Mother Earth’s energy and voices.

What a great nature and harmonious rhythm between humans and Mother Earth!



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