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                      Home Chinese Idiom 高山流水 (gāo shān líu shuǐ)
                      高山流水 (gāo shān líu shuǐ)
                      Learn Chinese - Chinese Idiom


                      During the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋時期,770-476 BC), there was a man whose name was Yu Boya.Yu boya famous music master at that time, having a good command of the temperament and superb skills in playing the musical instrument. He was bright and eager to learn when he was young.He had formally acknowledged several experts as his teachers,and his skills in playing the musical instrument had already reached a fairly high level. But he still felt that he could not superbly express the various things which had deeply impressed him.Knowing what was in his
                      mind, his teacher took him to the penglai Island,a fabled abode of immortals,on the East China Sea by boat.On the island,his teacher let him enjoy the natural scenarios and listen to the roaring of the great waves.looking into the distance,Boya saw that the waves were turbulent and that the white breakers leapt skywards.Sea birds were circling in the air,and their crying was very pleasant to the ear.Trees were green and intriguing feeling welled up in his mind,as if he had heard the harmonious and charming music of nature.He couldn't help taking his musical instrument and playing it .He followed his inclinations while he was playing,and incorporated the beautiful nature with his music,thus reaching a realm of thought he had never experienced before.Seeing this,the teacher said to hime,''You have mastered the art of playing."

                      Once,on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month,he was boating for sight-seeing.The moon was bright and a cool breeze was blowing gently.With myriads of thoughts welling up in his mind,he began to play the musical instrument.The melodious music became more and more beautiful when a man on the bank shouted "bravo!"Hearing the shouting,Boya came out of the boat,and saw a woodcutter standing on the bank.He knew that this man was keenly appreciative of his talents,because he understood his music.He immediately invited the woodcutter to his boat and ,full of zest,he played the musical instrument for him.When Boya played a piece of music eulogizing the high mountains,the woodcutter said,"wonderful!The melody is as magnificent and dignified as Mount Tai which reaches to the sky!"When he played a piece of music depicting the turbulent waves,the woodcutter said,"Wonderful!The melody is as vast and mighty as the great rivers!"Boya was excited,and siad,"Bosom friend!You are really my bosom friend!"That woodcutter was Zhong Ziqi.Since then,they had been very good friends.

                      This story appears in The Works of Lie Zi.From this story,people havederived the set phrase"high mountain and running water" to refer to understanding and appreciative friends.This set phrase is also used to refer to melodious music.

                      春秋時代,有個叫俞伯牙的人,精通音律,琴藝高超,是當時著名的琴師。俞伯牙年輕的時候聰穎好學,曾拜高人為師,琴技達到水平,但他總覺得自己還不能出神 入化地表現對各種事物的感受。伯牙的老師知道他的想法后,就帶他乘船到東海的蓬萊島上,讓他欣賞大自然的景色,傾聽大海的波濤聲。伯牙舉目眺望,只見波浪 洶涌,浪花激濺;海鳥翻飛,鳴聲入耳;山林樹木,郁郁蔥蔥,如入仙境一般。一種奇妙的感覺油然而生,耳邊仿佛咯起了大自然那和諧動聽的音樂。他情不自禁地 取琴彈奏,音隨意轉,把大自然的美妙融進了琴聲,伯牙體驗到一種前所未有的境界。老師告訴他:“你已經學了。”

                      一夜伯牙乘船游覽。面對清風明月,他思緒萬千,于是又彈起琴來,琴聲悠揚,漸入佳境。忽聽岸上有人叫絕。伯牙聞聲走出船來,只見一個樵夫站在岸邊,他知道 此人是知音當即請樵夫上船,興致勃勃地為他演奏。伯牙彈起贊美高山的曲調,樵夫說道:“真好!雄偉而莊重,好像高聳入云的泰山一樣!”當他彈奏表現奔騰澎 湃的波濤時,樵夫又說:“真好!寬廣浩蕩,好像看見滾滾的流水,無邊的大海一般!”伯牙興奮色了,激動地說:“知音!你真是我的知音。”這個樵夫就是鐘子 期。從此二人成了非常要好的朋友。


                      高山流水(gāo shān líu shuǐ)
                      【翻譯】high mountain and running water.


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