“Both my parents loved music,” he said abruptly. “My father played the violin, my mother the qin. I chose the violin, though I could have learned either. I regretted it sometimes, for there are melodies of China I cannot play on the violin, that my mother would have liked me to know. She used to tell me the story of Yu Boya, who was a great player of the qin. He had a best friend, a woodcutter named Zhong Ziqi, and he would play for him. They say that when Yu Boya played a song of water, his friend would know immediately that he was describing rushing rivers, and when he played of mountains, Ziqi would see their peaks. And Yu Boya would say, ‘It is because you understand my music.’” Jem looked down at his own hand, curled loosely on his knee. “People still use the expression 'zhi yin’ to mean 'close friends’ or 'soul mates,’ but what it really means is 'understanding music.’” He reached up and took her hand. “When I played, you saw what I saw. You understand my music."