The Great Musician Kuei

When the Yellow Emperor fought with Yen Ti on the field of P’an-ch’üan, his vanguard was composed of bears, wolves, panthers, lynxes and tigers, while his ensign-bearers were eagles, ospreys, falcons and kites. This was forcible impressment of animals into the service of man. The Emperor Yao entrusted K’uei with the regulation of music.

K’uei was a composite being, half beast, half man, of irreproachable virtue. The prince of Jing had a daughter, with splendid black hair and very beautiful, so that her brightness cast a light around her, and she was named ‘the dark Lady’. Kuei Married her and she bore to him a son called Po-fong.

Kuei was man of perfect virture, his son, on the other hand, is said to have had ‘the heart of a pig’. He was insatiably gluttonous, covetous and quarrelsome.

Kuei was a great musician, he invented music and dancing. When he tapped the musical stone in varying cadence, all the animals danced to the sound of the music. When the Shao in its nine variations was heard on the flute, the phœnix itself flew down to assist.

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