can anyone tell me what 前後鼓吹 means?

In context: 賜以秬鬯一卣。寵以前後鼓吹。知悉。

I grant you one vessel of black millet herb-flavoured liquor, and I proclaim my favour for you. Let it be known.

Something like this?

The emperor is conferring honours on one of his generals...前後鼓吹 seems to have something to do with court music...?

  • 3
    I don't know the context, guess it's kind of 仪仗.
    – thinwa
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 8:19
  • Agree with user2550062.
    – Stan
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


鼓 = (beat) Drum 吹 = blow (trumpet)

"Beating the drum and blowing the trumpet around the person"

Similar terms: 前后部鼓吹,两部鼓吹

  • I agree with you. And the scene is similar to the following pic 状元巡街 goo.gl/xGe8gf By the way, the sentence is from an article of Koreans classical literature 《愁城誌》goo.gl/liHRyK
    – zz22
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 16:22

鼓吹 originally means the ceremonial musicians in the ancient dynasties. In your case, the whole context means a king is giving a duke some kind of reward. 秬鬯 is a kind of liquor rewarded by king to duke who makes great achievements or contributions. 寵以前後鼓吹 means the duke is invited by the king to a concert held in the palace. 前後鼓吹 means the royal musical band is playing ceremonial music around the duke.

However, in the modern life, the word is similar to 'preach' or 'boost'.

  • 1
    No, the person was granted a favor and an honor by the emperor so that he could have servants beating the drums and blowing the trumpets around him when he went out (@Norman Xu). This is called 仪仗 (@user2550062). This was partly to clear the streets. And this symbolized the social status and official ranking of that person. In ancient China, the number of servants to play the instrument, to carry the sedan-chair, the number of horses to be used and so forth were strictly regulated. Different rankings had different levels of rituals. The emperor 天子 had the highest level. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 0:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.