Play I Ching Music
The I Ching Directly Translated
Into .wav Music Files
If you make Windows Media Player your default player, this music will play in an endless loop. Other media players have this feature as well.
Yin Yang to King Wen’s Summer Solstice Symphony
Yin Yang to King Wen’s Autumnal Equinox Symphony
Yin Yang to King Wen’s Winter Solstice Symphony
Yin Yang to King Wen’s Spring Equinox Symphony
This I Ching Music File is a little different from the others. It's the same music, but with pauses added, to more clearly define the Musical Phrases .
Yin Yang to King Wen’s Summer Solstice Symp.- Musical Phrases
Some of the music files load slowly, especially the following one!
New, as of 9/27/2012
This last I Ching Music File has a slow tempo. It is meant for a Nine Minute Meditation. As said before, if you make Windows Media Player your default player, the music will play in an endless loop. With this slow version, an endless loop makes for a nice long meditation. I have slept all night with this tune softly repeating.
The Autumnal Equinox has just passed. King Wen’s Autumnal Equinox Symphony is almost the same as King Wen’s Summer Solstice Symphony. The two differences are that the Summer Solstice music is played in the key of C in the Ionian Mode, and the Autumnal Equinox music is played in the key of E in the Phrygian Mode. I’ve kept the main musical form. It may not sound much different, but it is. Refer to the Zodiac Music section for the reasons why it is this way. There is a lot of different music possible within this musical system. At this time though, I’m keeping it somewhat simple.
King Wen’s Autumnal Equinox Symphony!
Yin Yang To King Wen 's Autumnal Equinox Symphony. - Slow Koto Meditation
In this section, the binary math of the I Ching is directly rendered into playable .wav music files. These compositions start very simply, and gradually build, eventually reaching a crescendo with one of King Wen’s Symphonies. The music is a bit different and strange at first (there are so many different scales possible), however King Wen’s work actually sounds good once you get used to it. Of course, the type of sound choice is quite important. At present, A = 440vps is accepted as Standard Tuning or Concert Pitch. Although other tuning standards may be used, this is the one used here. The Key and Mode are determined by the time of year. The first composition uses King Wen’s Summer Solstice Symphony. The Chromatic Circle of Keys shows that the Key of C and the Ionian Mode both correspond to the Summer Solstice, therefore they are used here. However, King Wen’s Autumnal Equinox Symphony is played in the Key of E, and in the Phrygian Mode. King Wen’s Winter Solstice Symphony is also played in the Key of C, and in the Ionian Mode, but it is played an octave lower than the Summer Solstice. King Wen’s Spring Equinox Symphony is played in the Key of A, and in the Aeolian Mode (see Zodiac Music). Although the order of the Hexagrams is the same, they really do have a different flavor. The instrument’s pitch must be “clean and clear”, in other words, no vibrato, delay or strong sound effects. When such effects are used, honestly - the result sounds terrible. The rhythm is generally a simple two half notes per measure. The updated music played here is almost the same as is printed elsewhere on this site. The main difference is that the empty measures (the musical term is "rests") have been omitted. The Intros and Endings are also slightly different. Short of having a live master musician play this music, the best that I can do is to use the available electronic music technology. So far, I have found only one digital instrument that approximates these requirements, the Japanese Koto.
The basic Chinese Music Notation is on the right side of this page. The first musical phrases are each repeated, forwards and back (for balance), about twice, the short ones are repeated four times. There are also some variations. When you get to Fu Hsi's Square; it's read left to right, top to bottom; and then in reverse, right to left, bottom to top.
Interestingly, Fu Hsi’s Square can also be read top to bottom, left to right, and then in reverse, bottom to top, right to left. The music in these Fu Hsi.wav files follows these four sequences (see I Ching Music 1 & 2). The Magic Squares are also read in this manner. Surprisingly, the music generated by the Magic Squares is rather bland, as magic as it may be. I like King Wen’s work the best. King Wen’s Square can be read left to right, top to bottom, and then in reverse, right to left bottom to top. For some reason, the reverse order just doesn’t sound as good to me, so I left it out and simply repeated his sequence again, left to right, top to bottom. King Wen’s Square sounds weak when it’s played top to bottom, left to right and then reversed, so I again exercised “artistic license”, and left that out too. To state the obvious, the 64 Hexagrams each represent one of the 64 possible relationships between the 8 notes of the Upper Octave and the 8 notes of the Lower Octave. They are each played once, and only once, within a set of 64 Hexagrams.
Eventually, much more music will become available. The plan is to have King Wen’ Symphony in all 12 Keys and all 7 Modes. Then the Magic Squares and Jing Fang's Square too. That is much more than I can do quickly; and besides, my Web-host severely limits the amount of memory that I can use for music. I have no clue why I'm not allowed to have unlimited space!
The truth is, I plan to pursue this endeavor for the rest of my life. Speed is not as important to me as is accuracy. I expect there will be a fair amount of evolution. Thank you for your patience. Good luck to you all, I know I'll need some of that too! Hope you enjoy!
Below, are examples of I Ching musical notation along with modern musical notation.
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