There was a Chinese man who faked his way into becoming a musician for the King of Qi without knowing how to play the instrument at all. He imitated movements of other musicians and was paid a good salary in the ensemble until the King died. The new King preferred solo performances, so he fled

Chinese Idiom Story – Lan Yu Chong Shu

In ancient times, there was a country called Qi. The King of Qi liked to listen to music, especially to yu [an ancient reed instrument]. At that time, he had 300 musicians who could play the yu. The king liked liveliness, and every time he listened to the yu, he always asked the 300 musicians to make an ensemble for him.

There was a person called Nan Guo, and when he heard that the king liked to listen to an ensemble, he thought it was a good opportunity to make money, and so he ran to see the king. Nan Guo bragged to the king and said, “Oh, Great King, everyone who has heard me playing yu has been moved. Birds sing after hearing it, and flowers will dance after hearing it. I want to present my skill to Your Majesty.” The king was very excited, so he let Nan Guo join the yu ensemble.

But in fact, Nan Guo couldn’t play the yu. So what did he do?… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

13 thoughts on “There was a Chinese man who faked his way into becoming a musician for the King of Qi without knowing how to play the instrument at all. He imitated movements of other musicians and was paid a good salary in the ensemble until the King died. The new King preferred solo performances, so he fled”

  1. Agussert

    Checks out. I used this strategy in music class throughout grade school.

  2. Numerous-Ad6898

    Kinda like how Posh Spice barely ever sang and just did poses and vogueing moves

  3. reb0014

    Man you think the other musicians would call him out on his bs

  4. weirdgroovynerd

    The original *Milli Vanilli*.

  5. TJ_McWeaksauce

    The other musicians must’ve done this dude a solid by not ratting him out.

  6. DodGamnBunofaSitch

    what do you call a guy who likes to hang out with musicians?

    a drummer

  7. danhoyuen

    So basically the entire Sacramental Kings front office.

  8. SmittyFromAbove

    Did this when I signed up for band and there was too many kids and one teacher so I was basically never taught how to play the flute and pretended to play in the Christmas concert in front of the whole school and their families.

  9. runthruamfersface

    The OG air guitar champion

  10. TellingLolbits

    This story wouldve been funny for a musician like me, if only i didnt have to memorize the “poem” of it for my exams

  11. mmmyesplease---

    Harold Hill inspiration, right there.

  12. cake-for-breakfast

    Is this real history, or is this a story? I can’t find anything extensive about this. Did they ever catch the guy?

  13. Zenox55

    it was great for me, until I became the only trumpet player in my school’s orchestra… but hey, I can say I was 1st seat trumpet in high school lol

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