Observations placeholder

Shi Kuang - And the ghostly music of the River Pu



Type of Spiritual Experience

Environmental influence

Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

David Hawkes  - translation, introduction, and notes (2011 [1985]). Qu Yuan et al., The Songs of the South: An Ancient Chinese Anthology of Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets

Shi Kuang (zh:師曠 (师旷)) was a 6th-century musician, and Music Master for the Duke of Jin. A blind musician,

Shi Kuang attempted to prevent the Music Master of a visiting ruler from playing the ghostly music which the latter had heard while camping by the River Pu (the music of Shi Yan, see main entry).

After hearing just a few bars, Shi Kuang realized the dangerous quality of this tune, and tried to prevent the perilous continuation of play.

The Duke of Jin, however, commanded that its play continue: thence a mighty wind arose sweeping the tiles from the roof of his palace, a three-year drought in his duchy commenced, and the duke himself contracted a debilitating disease from which he did not recover.

The source of the experience

Music Bureau

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps