曲高和寡(QU GAO HE GUA)
Highbrow Songs Find Few Singers
The higher the level a song is, the fewer the people that will join in the chorus.
Song Yu of Chu was a man of letters who lived during the Warring States period. One day, king Xiangwang hearing that Song Yu was too careless in his conduct, summoned him to his presence and said, gSir, is there anything in your conduct which is not censurable? Donft you know people are gossiping about you?h
gYes,h rejoined Song Yu, gWhat your majesty has said might be true. But I beg your majesty to hear me out before criticizing me. A few days ago, I saw a person singing in the street. He first sang a folksong named eSong of the Rustic Poor,f which was joined by several thousand others. Then he sang a highbrow song called eSong of the Spring Snow,f which only a few score of others could follow. Towards the end, he changed to a more elite song, which only half a dozen people could sing. This shows that the more select a song, the fewer the people who know it. So, how can the average person understand what I do?h