In the spring and Autumn period, there was a man named Yu Boya, who was a famous zither player at that time. When Yu Boya was young, he was intelligent and eager to learn. He once worshipped an expert as a teacher and his piano skills reached the level, but he always felt that he could not express his feelings about all kinds of things. When Boya’s teacher knew what he thought, he took him by boat to Penglai Island in the East China Sea to let him enjoy the scenery of nature and listen to the waves of the sea. Boya looked up and saw the waves surging and splashing; Seabirds fly and sing to the ear; Mountains and trees are lush, like entering a fairyland. A wonderful feeling arises spontaneously, and the harmonious and beautiful music of nature seems to play in my ears. He couldn’t help playing the piano, turning the sound at will, integrating the beauty of nature into the piano sound, and Boya experienced an unprecedented state. The teacher told him, “you have learned.”
One night Boya took a boat tour. Facing the clear wind and bright moon, he had many thoughts, so he played the piano again. The sound of the piano was melodious and getting better. Suddenly someone on the shore exclaimed. Boya heard the sound and came out of the boat. He saw a woodcutter standing on the shore. He knew he was a bosom friend. He immediately asked the woodcutter to get on board and play for him with interest. Boya played a tune praising the mountain. The woodcutter said, “it’s good! It’s majestic and solemn, like Mount Tai towering into the clouds!” when he played to show the surging waves, the woodcutter said, “it’s good! It’s broad and vast, like seeing the rolling water and the boundless sea!” Boya was excited and said excitedly, “bosom friend! You’re really my bosom friend.” This woodcutter is Zhong Ziqi. Since then, they have become very good friends.
The meaning of high mountains and flowing water is: a metaphor for a bosom friend or confidant. It is also compared to the music.