Recently I have been listening to Lee Hom's album. I have also posted some videos of him on my FB~ There quite a few songs that I like in this album and one of them is 伯牙绝弦. The lyrics was very interesting but I have no idea what this song is about so I googled the story of 伯牙 and 子期.
The story goes that 伯牙 was a very talented musician in ancient China and he is a master in playing the 古琴. However, being so famous and talented in his field, he was not able to find a person who can share his passion with him. Often he will play in loneliness.
One day, he was playing on a boat when he noticed that there was a man standing on the river bank, looking at him. He stopped playing. The man on the bank told 伯牙 not to be worried about him standing there as he is just a wood cutter. He was mesmerised by 伯牙's music and hence stood at the river bank to listen to him. The wood cutter even knew which piece and which line 伯牙 was playing.
Excitedly, 伯牙 asked the wood cutter to come to his boat. The wood cutter was 钟子期. 伯牙 and 子期 talked about music through the night and eventually they 结拜 to be brothers. At that time, 伯牙 had official matters to do and had to leave the city where he met 子期. However, he made a pact with 子期 to see him again next year, same time, same place.
One year passed, 伯牙 came back to the river and waited for 子期. However, 子期 did not turn up. Anxiously, he walked around that area to look for him. He asked an old man if about 子期. The old man was shocked and asked him if he is 俞伯牙. Eyes reddened, the old man told 伯牙 that he is 子期's father and 子期 has contracted a illness and died 3 months ago. Before he died, he has requested his father to bury him by the river so that he can listen to 伯牙 again when he comes to find him.
Destraught, 伯牙 went to the tomb of 子期 to play for him one last time. After playing, he cut the strings of his 古琴 and broke the instrument in front of 子期's tomb. 伯牙 felt that he has lost the one and only 知音 he has and he has no reason to continue playing anymore. Therefore the title of my post, 伯牙绝弦为子期. And the word 知音 dervied from this story.
After I read the story, I felt very touched. This story is not really that 高潮迭起 but I pictured the scene of 伯牙playing alone in front of his friend's tomb and imagine the 幽怨的琴声. The whole image just let me feel very sad.