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The Overview of Chinese Music

According to the Chinese literature, Chinese music traces back to the Yellow Emperor times.From the discovery of Chinese archaeology, China music tracks back to 7,000 years ago.Chinese nation creates the abundant musical culture in its thousands of years.

Chinese music once had a profound impact on regions around China for the music.Meanwhile,from Confucius pass on Six Arts, the Huqin of Tang Dynasty, to the modern western music, Chinese music also absorb the foreign musical elements to develop constantly enrich its connotation.

Chinese alias be the state of the music because Chinese old music has a very important roles and status in personality cultivation, cultural life, national etiquette. Confucius put forward the learning step that prospering in poetry, develop in the ritual, finishing in music.Nowadays, Chinese national music is invaded by the foreign musical culture so most Chinese musician begins to find the native music back to develop the music of China.

Today we will learn the main content of the music of China.You can learn the knowledge about music history and any types of China music.

The History of Chinese Music

Chinese Oldest Music

Dawn of Chinese national music origin in from the Neolithic Age that till six thousand seven hundred to seven years ago and earlier than the ancestor of the Chinese family of Yellow emperor god.At that time, the ancestor maybe can fire the TaoXun, dug the bone whistle(Both of them are Chinese music instruments).

After the experts doing by archaeologist, they found that the old bone whistle is intact and can still play music and give the heptachlors out.In fact, ancient China basically uses the pentatonic scale.

Those original instruments tell that there is no doubt to tell people that humans at that time have the aesthetic judgement about tone.The oldest time is the origin of China song.

According to the recording of the ancient Chinese literature, the oldest musical culture has the characteristic that the combination of song, dance, music.At that time, the people sing the content that includes the wordships, grain, beast that reflects the knowledge of the ancestors to agriculture, animal husbandry, natural law.

The original dance accompanied by music also has the connection with the totem worship of primitive clans.For example, the Yellow Emperor Clan makes cloud as their totem so that their dance with music called Cloud Gate.We can find the Chinese original song from the Liu's Commentaries of History that is the basic sprout of music and the infant language.

According to the history carries.Fu Hsi and Shennong created the harps.After Fu Hsi dead, he didn’t complete the creation and Shennong studied it and then completed it finally.That’s why the descendant doesn’t call the harps name Fu Hsi or Shennong.

Then LengLun created the tonality and dace, Yang created the musical notation,Yellow Emperor created the Shen Yu, Kui created the drum.Rong created the bell.

Chinese Ancient Music

In the ancient times of the Han nationality, there is no separation between a poem and song then they call them the same name poetry which expresses the tight connection between Chinese poem and Chinese song.

The oldest Chinese poetry syllogism is the Book of Songs which have the melody and sang by the broad masses of the people.The tradition has transferred with the change of dynasties in China.When is Han dynasty, its name is Hanyuefu.The Tang Dynasty and Song poetry both can be singing.

Even though there is still have the Chinese pop musician compose for the ancient poetry, like the Prelude To Water Melody that the poetry talks about the Mid-Autumn festival wrote by Su Shi. The Chinese old song didn’t have the lyric but just have the poetry.

People look down on musician in Han Dynasty.The Chinese ancient painter has the different position because the Chinese painting has the compact connection with calligraphy.The painter belongs to the scholars and officials and they even can be an official in Song Dynasty.Nevertheless, the musician was in the low position at that time and they just take the entertainment to nobility.The famous singer also just appears in the poetry.

In Chinese ancient times, the Literati-official class of the Han nationality thinks that a man of culture should be well up in lyre-playing.The lyre is Chinese zither.However, the lyre is limited in the circle of Literati -official and can’t be public.Chinese zither have the low value and also the superordinate.

You would find that you can’t find the shadow of Chinese children songs in the history of China.That’s because children songs would just hand down by mouth but not paper.We can’t say that China doesn’t have the Chinese children songs.

Chinese Instrument

The music theory of Chinese ancient times developed slowly and didn’t have the high-ranking in Chinese history books written in biographical style so that there is lower information about it.But Chinese music is as same as Chinese literature which is the required course of the ancient Chinese intelligentsia and has the important status in the daily life of the ancient Chinese.The folks are full the musical melody.

The Theory of Chinese Ancient Music

The Han ancient music belongs to the scale system of the pentatonic.The five ranks in the scale system of pentatonic call Pentatonic:Do,Re,Mi,Sol,La.The famous Chinese ancient music has the A Music From Guangling, Mountain Stream, Three variations on the plum etc.

Chinese National Instrument

Rites of the Zhou Dynasty divided the ancient Chinese instruments to metal, stone, silk, bamboo, gourd, clay, leather, wood and call them in ancient orchestra.It’s the oldest method to divide the melodic instrument in China.

The musical instruments in Zhou Dynasty:

Metal tone includes chime,special clock, Cymbal.

Stone tone includes Bianqing,special Qing.

Clay tone includes Xuan.

Leather tone includes drum.

Silk tone includes Chinese zither, China se.

Wood tone includes Zhu, Yu.

Gourd tone includes Sheng, Yu pipe.

Bamboo tone includes flute, tube.

Special clock, Qing has the ringing sound that is called the voice of the Goldtone and the voice of the most elegant which admitted by the ancient government.When we talk about the traditional strung and woodwind instruments, that is the abbreviation of Silk and Bamboo voice.

The main ancient instruments have the Xun, Fou, Zhu, panpipe, Zither, Guqin, Se etc.The musical composition is normal and slow that work for the need of Chinese ancient court life and religious life.

After Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, China has the frequent communication with the foreign country through the western regions.The west has the Islamic music and Indian music at that time and most of them start to flow into ancient China.

The governor of Han and Tang dynasties pursue the open policy and were brave in absorption in the foreign culture likes the foreign instruments:flute, pipa,huqin.The Chinese music begins to absorb them and improve them into the local instruments.

Except Guqin, which was most beloved by literati and hand down to today, others are from other foreign to this day.Musicians devote themselves to dig, improve the ancient instruments like the Xun, zither, panpipe and keep their light to current music.

The Music of Past Ages

The Chinese old song is from the Chinese dynasty song in every dynasty.We will present the characteristic of every dynasty song.

Xia Dynasty and Shang Dynasty

According to the literature, Xia and Shang dynasty is the feudal system and in the early stage of feudal system.The music has begun to break away from clan and begin to be occupied by higher class.They have deviated from the primitive society in the totem worship and to sing the nature.

For example, Xia Yu governed flood then appears the song Da Xia to sing Xia Yu.Xia Jie governed the country with the cruel method and then Tang of Shang sends armed forces to suppress them have the song to sing this story.The witchcrafg is popular in Shang dynasty and then the witch and the wizard appear.They were fed by the slave owner and danced and sang in a memorial ceremony.They were the first man who makes music by profession.

The slave owner used the dance and song to hold the ceremony to the emperor of heaven, ancestor and also use them to relax themselves.After they were dead,they would ask the musician to be buried with the dead.The cruelty of the institution not only show the cruel government of the slave owner but also shows the improvement of productivity that the musical culture had the condition to develop fastly.

According to the literature, the wing drum which was made by crocodile exists in the Xia dynasty.Shang dynasty also has the wash-wheel and bronze drum and the exquisite stone resonator.In fact, in the bronze age, Shang dynasty also has the chime and cymbal which are a set of three.All kinds of Chinese percussion instruments appeared reflect that the percussion instruments are developing at the first.

The body instrument Tao Xun is from single tone hole,two tone holes to development of the five tone holes and it can give twelve and half tones series of sound out.According to the sound of Tao Xun,the basic five tone of Chinese musical thought appeared in late Neolithic Era, and seven tone appeared in the Shang or Yin dynasty.

The Western Zhou Dynasty and Eastern Zhou Dynasty

The Western Zhou Dynasty is the mature period of Chinese feudalism and the Eastern Zhou Dynasty began to from its heyday to its final collapse and the reign reinforcement.The court of the Western Zhou Dynasty had built the sophisticated system of rites and music.

The different position of officers has the different class and the compilation of dance group in their entertainment.We can see more epic music in the preceding dynasty.For example the music dance of six dynasties includes the Cloud Gate in Yellow Emperor, Flushing Pool in Yao Emperor, Shao in Shun Emperor, Balkh in Yu Emperor, Da Huo in Shang dynasty, Da Wu in the Zhou dynasty.

Zhou dynasty also had the action of folk songs with a view of the custom and conditions of the people.So it retained a large number of folk songs.After revised by Confucius, it becomes the first poetry collection in Chinese history. It has 105 poetries that from the early Western Zhou Dynasty to the middle period of Spring Autumn.

The best part of the Classic of Poetry is Feng which spread in Henan province and nearby.Furthermore, it still has the Da Ya and Xiao Ya which created by literati and the epic sacred song laud.Analyzed the word that handed down, we found that Classic of Poetry has ten style.In the ancient times, poetry is just the performance of Chinese song at that time.

Folk musical life of Zhou dynasty involves the multidimensional style.Mountain Stream which has a story that happened at this time.It reflected that the improvement of performance technique, composing technique and the appreciating level.

In the performance of Guqin, the bandsman also summarize that you must get it in your heart then you can performance in the instrument.There are many musicians that have the high level to sing the song that shows the great development of vocal music.

The achievements of the Zhou dynasty music culture are highly developed which could be proved by the ancient instrument that cropped up from a grave of the Warring States. The underground music treasure which can be likened favourably with Egyptian pyramids had provided the pattern of the court music system at that time.The grave has 124 unearthed musical instruments that have eight types.

According to the classing method of the eight tone in the Zhou dynasty, it nearly covers all of them.One of the most important is the 64 chimes instruments which divided into the three lines and the total weight is five thousandkg and the total range can reach the five octaves.

The Qin and Han Dynasty

With the Qin and Han dynasty began to have the government of musical office that we called Yuefu.It inherits the system to collect folk songs of the Zhou dynasty and recompose them.Then most of them were employed in the entertainment places.The Chinese lyrics that sang is called Yuefu poems.Later, Yuefu also delegate many types of music.

The main song type of the Han dynasty is the accompanied song.It developed from a singer song and accompanied by two singers to accompany by the instruments of silk, bamboo.It also has great influence to the music dance of Sui and Tang dynasty.

The northwest border area springs the wind and drums music up.It is made of different compilation wind instruments and percussion instruments then have the variety type of wind and drum music.

They could be playing right now, or play in tramp, or in the military music, court entertainment, folk entertainment. Today's remaining folk concoction still have the trail of the Han dynasty.In Han, the theatricals and variety shows occurred which includes the musical dance, acrobatics, sumo.

Three Kingdoms,Jin and Nan Bei dynasty

The Qingshang music was paid attention to by the regime of Cao and Wei.The war between turn of the Jin dynasty helps the Qingshang music flowing into southern China.Then the Qingshang music integrates with the Wu song, Xi song of south China.

Afterwards integrated fresh music comes back to north China and the main musical type that flowing into China at the Northern Wei Dynasty.With the expedite Silk Roads, the song of the regimes in the western regions begin to flow into the Chinese mainland in the Han Dynasty.Lv Guang take the Qiuci which have an important position in Sui, Tang, Yan music from Kuqa in Xinjiang to the Chinese mainland.Thus it can be seen that people of all nationalities have the widespread communication at that time.

At that time, the Guqin which is the typical instrument of Chinese traditional musical culture is tending to rise.The main performance is that it had occurred in the monograph Guqin Kum that is key to exercises or problems about the music title.Famous Guqin musician Ji Kang who is one of the seven sages of the bamboo grove recorded the Hui Wei.

That shows that the people had known the creation of Hui Wei in Guqin.There is an array of Guqin musicians appeared like Ji Kang, Ruan Ji etc at that time.Of course,there is also have more famous Guqin song composed like Guang Ling Verse, Yi LanCao, Potomania.

The important achievement of musical temperament includes that Xun Mao who was from the Jin dynasty finds the nozzle correction number in wind instrument and Chen Tian who was at Nan dynasty finds the new temperament in brass bells at this time.

The Sui and Tang Dynasty

The two generations of the Sui and Tang dynasty have the unified political power.Especially Tang dynasty has the political stability and economic boom.The governor of Tang dynasty pursues the open door policy and absorbs constantly other cultures.And with the integration of the musical culture of Chinese various nationalities in the Wei and Jin dynasty.Finally the integrated development of peak time of musical art as danced and sung music has begun.

The music of the Tang dynasty in court entertainment is called Yan Music.The Seven Ensembels, Nine Ensembels of Sui and Tang dynasty belong to Yan Music.They are the music from the music of Chinese various nationalities and some strange folk music.

There are mainly Qingshang music(Han nationality),West cool music(today in Gansu province),GaoChang music(today in Turpan),Qiuci music (today in Kuqa),Kangguo music(today in Uzbekistan),Tianzhu music (today in India), Komagaku(today in Korea).

The Yan Music was divided in TSO PU CHI and LI PU CHI.According to the poetry LI PU CHI of Bai Juyi,the performance level of TSO PU CHI is higher that LI PU CHI.The rage grand piece of song and dance of the Tang dynasty is a miracle because it inherits the tradition of Phase and Big Song and integrate the essence from Nine Ensembles of the music of various nationalities.

Music was divided in TSO PU CHI and LI PU CHI.According to the poetry LI PU CHI of Bai Juyi, the performance level of TSO PU CHI is higher that LI PU CHI.The rage grand piece of song and dance of the Tang dynasty is a miracle because it inherits the tradition of Phase and Big Song and integrate the essence from Nine Ensembles of the music of various nationalities.

Then it become the Sanxu to infix order and connect with dance.There are 46 songs in Record of Imperial Music Office. Chinese classical Dun Huang dance is of them and is composed by the legendary emperor musician.The style of this song is elegant and sung everywhere.The famous poet Bai Juyi had a poem that describes the progress when the song is showing which is Song of Chinese classical Dun Huang dance.

In the band of Tang, Chinese lute(pipa) is the main instrument.There is less difference between modern pipa. Quanzhou Nan Yin and the pipa of Japan retain the characteristic of the pipa of Tang in production and performance method.

Tang appeared the music theory that is the eighty-four tons and twenty-eight modes affected by the music theory of Qiuci.

There was popular song and dance drama that had story line, role, dresses up fun race, singing and dancing joyously and vocal accompaniment and orchestral accompaniment in the end of the Tang dynasty.

The poetry of the Tang Dynasty can be sung with music.The singer loved singing the famous poetry of the illustrious poet at that time.Of course, the poet also regards the popularity of their song as their writing abilities about poetry.

The prosperity of the musical culture of the Tang Dynasty also presents as the series of music educational institution.For example, the imperial music office, the operatic circle, the big music department, the wind and drum music department and the operatic kindergarten which teach the infant.These organizations have rigorous check and bring up many famous intellectual musicians.

The Song, Jin, Yuan Dynasty

The development of musical culture of the Song, Jin, Yuan Dynasty is on rising prosperity of town music.Compared with Sui, Tang Dynasty, it has the deeper development.With the economy buoyant, the playground likes Washe.Goulan begin at birth that is suitable for the life of a citizen stratum.

People can hear the art music and the show of acrobatics in Washe, Goulan.Those musical forms have the important influence to filial Chinese opera.

Inherit the development of poetry of the Tang Dynasty, poetry music of Song also acquired the unprecedented development.Singing literature of that has the short and long sentences can be divided into the style of Lead, Slow, Close, Pat, Order.

The method of forming a poem also have the reducing word and stealing voice etc. Jiang Kui is a famous Ci writer and musician who can write words and compose for the words.He has handed down 17 poetries and the decreasing words song Ancient Remose.Those works shows the mood that the author loved the motherland and the people and describe the sad and dreary prospect likes Yangzhou slow, Almond Blossom in the Sky.

Under the Yuan Dynasty, The national instrument of Sanxian begins to appear and needs to be noticed.At the time of the Song Dynasty, the record appeared the music theory of Yan music scale.In the meantime, the early Chinese traditional musical notation also appeared in the Etymology of Zhang Yan and Dream Pool Essays of Shen Kuo.

The modern Chinese traditional musical notation is originated in that time.The Song Dynasty also is the time that the Chinese operas seemed to be mature.It is characterized by the appearance of Nanxi of Song Dynasty.Nanxi also known as Wenzhou Zaju, Yongjia zaju and is abundant and natural.At the first, folk minor can be sung with no limits by the modes of ancient Chinese music.

Afterwards it would later evolve into the Qupai system of local opera music and appeared the style that organizes the same phrase of the different Qupai to the new Qupai.Nanxi has had the singing forms likes solo, antiphonal answer, chorus.

The rush hour of Chinese opera art is the sign of  zaju age of the Yuan Dynasty.The Yuan zaju opera comes from Northern China and then developed in South China and begins to blend with the southern opera.The representative author of Yuan zaju opera has Guan Hanqing, Ma Zhiyuan, Zheng Guangzu, Bai Pu, Wang Shifu, Jiao Jifu.

The representative opera has the Snow in Midsummer, Singlesword Guild of Guan Hanqing, Romance of the Western Chamber of Wang Shifu.Yuan zaju opera has the strict construction that every opera is composed of four screens.Every screen must use the same traditional music and also sung by a solo lead singer.The rules would be broken up by some great opera likes the Romance of the Western Chamber of Wang Shifu which has the 20 screens.

The Ming and Qing Dynasty

Because of the society of Ming and Qing Dynasties has the burgeon of the economic element of capitalism, the civil bourgeois is getting stronger day by day.Then the development of musical culture also has the popular characteristic.The folk ditty of the Ming Dynasty is rich in content and has the wide impact through the good and bad is intermingled.

The folk ditty is very popular at that time and everyone would learn it and sing it to the normal life.So there is much folk ditty were composed and published.Likes the Shan’ge of Feng Menglong, Micaculous Secret Tablature of the Qin that complied by Zhu quan.The Complete Book on Tone-system of Zhu Zaiyu has the great contribution to the ancient culture is because he creates the twelve-tone equal temperament.

It’s a great revolution of music and musical physics and also the significant invention in the history of science in the world.

Rap music is looming extraordinary splendor excelling the creator.The southern Tanci, northern Guci, folk art form,story-telling is more important.The principal part of the pretty southern Tanci is the Tanci that is from Suzhou.Suzhou has the three music genre that is the desolate old melody whose representative is Chen Yugan, the frank Ma tonality whose representative is Ma Rufei, the soft Yu melody whose representative is Yu Xiushan.

The main part of northern Guci has the Shangdong drum. Board drum of Jizhong, Xihe drum, Jingyun Dagu.The folk art form has the monochord, the Dadiao Tune of Henan.The story-telling has the Shandong story-telling, Sichuan dulcimer.

The song-dance music has the great development of people of all nationalities in Ming, Qing Dynasty.For example,the various kinds yangko of the Han nationality,the classical music Mukam of Uyghur nationality,the classic music Nang-ma of Zang nationality,the bronze drum dance of the Zhuang nationality,the Peacock Dance of the Dai nationality,the Song of Moon Dance of the Yi nationality,the Lusheng dance of the Miao nationality.The peak of opera music of Ming, Qing has the characteristic that is common systematic tunes of many varieties of Chinese operas.

There are four common systematic tunes in Ming dynasty that are Haiyan, Yuyao, Yiyang, Kunshan.The Kunshan was reformed by Wei Liangpu in Jiangsu Taichang and has the exquisite characteristic that the people like it. Afterwards,Kunshan go through the confluence of the southern and northern drama music that becomes the Crown of drama.The early opera is the A Tale of Hair Washing of Liang Chenyu of Ming Dynasty.

The important opera has the Peony Pavilion of Tang Xianzu of Ming Dynasty, Palace of Eternal Life of Hongsheng of Qing Dynasty.Yiyang tune has the flexibility characteristic and has the important impact to the local opera of various regions and make the local opera more and more.In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, the Bangzi opera which is the Representative of Qing opera in Shanxi and affect the opera from others place.

This opera is enduring in Chinese northern provinces.In the end of Qing Dynasty, the Pihuang tune which is made up of the two basic melody West flowing tone and Erhuang initial shaping in Being.Then it generated Peking Opera which it influences all of China.

In the Ming, Qing Dynasty, the development of an instrument prepared for many instrumental ensemble for folk.For example,the Zhihua Temple music of Beijing and the wind orchestra music of Hebei Province, south Yangzi string and pipe ensemble, multi-repetitious gong-drum ensemble etc.

There are also many other popular music of violin at the time,likes the Wild geese on the sandbank of Ming Dyansty, Running Water of Qing Dynasty and other violin song likes Parting In Yangguan, Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute.At the turning of Yuan and Ming dynasty, the pipa song had the AVulture Hunting the Swan and Ten-sided Ambush.

Chinese Modern Music

Western music spread to China through the missionary on late Ming Dynasty.In the gift menu that Matteo Ricci gives as a present to the Emperor Wanli,It had the western piano which was an old piano according to the test. Thomas Pereira who is missionary begin to teach the theory of western music and enter a book about it.

The state also begins to spread into China. The palace also built a western music group In the time of the Qianlong Emperor and the instruments include the violin, cello, contrabass, woodwind instrument, xylophone, clarinet, Guqin.The player is wigged when they are playing music.

In the late 19th century, China is forced to make the southern coastal area to be open and then began to touch the western music and instruments.The music of Guangdong did it firstly and absorb the harmonic method of the west to create the new instrument dulcimer and wood xylophone and then developed the music that the music group can tutti.

So far the music of Guangdong still has its special characteristic and is the successful model in the integration of Chinese and western.

The folk musician created the new stage in the development of the performance of Chinese instruments.The Erhu composer Liu Tianhua customize the positon of Erhu and improve the performance of Erhu and composed the ten Erhu solo likes the Beautiful Night, Marching on the Bright Road, Song of Sickliness etc.

The performer Hua Yanjun(Blindman A – Bing) composed the Erhu song The Moon Over a Fountain, Listen Pine, Great Waves Sweeping Away Sand.Although the times are turmoil, Chinese folk music also has the great development in solo and music group.

In the May 4 new Culture Movement between 1910 to 1920, more chinese traditional music in who were studying abroad before were beginning to come back to China and beginning to play the European music.They also began to record the original song by using stave.

The big city made up the modern symphony orchestra which mixed the European classic music and jazz and is very popular in music hall and radio.Although using western instruments and musical method, the popular music still is the Chinese style that the melody and the pentatonic scale are the important part which can help them popular in people.

Zhou Xuan is part of the most popular female singer and the representative of Chinese popular music at that time.She was singing The Wandering Songstress, Seasons Song of the main theme song of Street Angel was very popular at that time.Because those songs fit the moment that the people anti-Japanese that the people called her “a voice of gold”.

The Music of the Chinese Communist Revolution

In the time of the Northern Expedition, Chinese musician coordinates the revolution and then composed more and more songs for revolution that is widely sung in the National Revolutionary Army.Some of them use the melody of the popular foreign song to coordinate the song for revolution.

In the time of the Anti-Japanese War, musicians were indispensable and composed more song for anti-Japanese.For example, the Yellow River Cantata of Xian Xinghai

In the time of the Anti-Japanese War, musicians were indispensable and composed more song for anti-Japanese.For example, the Yellow River Cantata of Xian Xinghai was magnificent and reflects that spirit of the national anti-Japanese at that time.

Nie Er composed the March of the Volunteers for the movie Sons and Daughters of the Storm which is more magnificent and become the military song of the anti-Japanese army.After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in order to remember the time of war, the government made a decision that the March of the Volunteers becomes the national anthem of China.


After the meeting of Yan’an in 1942, the Communist Party began to adapt the local folk songs to the songs for revolution in the region where they controlled.Like East Is Red of Shaanxi folk song.The purpose of adoption was helping the propagation of the communist idea between the illiterate peasant.

During the Cultural Revolution in the western music was illegal.The songs of the revolution and the quotation song began to be popular again and China stops the association with the foreign country.Even in the feast of welcoming US President Richard Nixon, the band played the American song Haystack in Turkey that the minister of culture protested to the prime minister at that time.The mainland Chinese music entered the trough.

Nonetheless, the development of music didn’t stop.The model opera of the Cultural Revolution is arbitrary but added the Peking Opera into replace the western orchestra then generate the special result.With the Jinghu and drum of the background orchestra, it extruded the characteristic of Peking Opera

Chinese Contemporary Music

The Music of  Chinese Mainland

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China,the popular song added the translational Soviet union pop songs.The various regions began to establish the orchestra which played the western classical music and the latest song of Chinese composers.

The harmonious groups of Eastern Europe also had repeatedly played in China and the Chinese musical group also took apart in many international shows.Chinese musicians also tried to use the method of the western music to compose the music that has Chinese feeling.There is a successful song that is Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto which adopts some melody from Shaoxing opera.

On the association with the third world countries,China established the Oriental song group to learn and sing folk songs to various nationalities of Asia, Africa, Latin America.Then Chinese folk music was good by the world.Every year of the Spring Festival, Gloden Hall of Vienna will take place the concert of Chinese New Year.

The music of Hong Kong and Taiwan

At the 1950s and 1960s, Hong kong and Taiwan continue the red lanterns and green wine life of Shanghai.With the growth of the Japanese economy, the Japanese music began to have the influence of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Chinese harbor pedestal singer likes the Ou Yang Fei Fei, Judy Ongg, Teresa Teng sang many Japanese songs.

At the time of 1980s,the new generation of musicians began to rise sharply in Hong Kong and Taiwan.They had a wide sphere of vision about music and combine the popular style of Europe and America with Chinese music then founded the vigorous progress of the music.They also had great influence of Mainland China.

The vocal style which was from the campus song of Taiwan and created by Teresa Teng made Chinese pop music to the peak which had the distinct style of Chinese music.When Teresa Teng say in America, she absorbed many Americans who worked at the stage management although they can’t understand the Chinese lyrics.If the songs from Hong Kong or Taiwan have the tight connection with mainland China, it would become very popular likes the Chinese new year songs.

Chinese Popular Music

Since China began its reform, popular musica entered China from Hong Kong and Taiwan especially the campus songs of Taiwan and the song sang by Teresa Teng was very popular in Mainland China. Ming-Min Zhang became popular after his performance in CCTV New Year's Gala which was the first time that the song of Hong Kong and Taiwan performance in Mainland China.

Since that Chinese popular song combined with the music style of various regions of the world then composed many popular songs.Chinese popular music is fast developing and becomes one fresh troop in the popular music of the world.

Chinese harbor pedestal music developed rapidly and had the same synchronization of global popular trend.Especially, the government of Hong Kong don’t disturb the composition of music and then Hong Kong appeared more singers and songs.They not only are fashionable in mainland China but also are popular in Japan, Korea.

After the communication between the mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Chinese music from the world, it appears the trend that integrated with each other.Then the total title called “”Global Chinese Pop Music” is coming.

One of the outstanding performance is that mainland China is one of the greatest consumer markets.That’s why the publisher and establishment of Chinese harbor pedestal and the popular music list of overseas begin to pay more attention to the Chinese market.

It’s worth seeing one music which likes the folk song in popular music. Their typical example is the campus folk. Urban folk, barracks ballads.Those folk music had a space for popular music and also had the glorious times in the history of Chinese music.

Chinese Ethnic Music

Music of China's Ethnic Minority has the abundant and various style and content, likes the Music of Tibet, Mongolian music.

Music of Tibet

Tibetan is nationality which can sing and dance well.Their songs have the beautiful melody and are vast varble.The music of Tibet can be divided into Buddhist music and folk music.The most famous music of Buddhist music is that Lama sings the tune without the words.

The music of Tibet is loud and sounds like the meteorological plateau of the infinite blue sky.It’s melodious tunes, but the main is pentatonic scales.The style of dance and song had the Sgor-gzhas song and dance, Guozhuo dance etc.The element of music of Tibet was absorbed by the music of Han nationality and the west.

Some composer imitated the characteristic of music of Tibet and composed some excellent songs likes the Around the new town, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.The music of Tibet also absorbed the element of extra music.The famous Tibetan singers had the Tseten Dolma, Han Hong who mainly sings the Han nationality song, Rong Zhong Er Jia,Dongya,Qiong Xue Zhuo Ma.In the formal drama,there is excavated that is the traditional Tibetan opera King Gesar.

Mongolian music

Mongolian music divides into the long tune folk songs and the short tune folk songs.The long tune has many unmeaning phonogram music for voice in a Chines opera and has the friendly style of prairie.The normal instruments of Mongolia have the horse head string instrument, Komuz, Sihu, Sanxian, Mongolia gushing, Mongolia pipa, Nomad Flute, Xinglong sheng, flute.

The characteristic of Mongolian instrument is gentle and quiet.The most characteristic is the horse head string instrument which is a string instrument that carves a horse head in lyre column.Its tone is beautiful and deep and has the minimal value with abundant performance.It is not only used in folk songs and the accompany of a rap song. But also applied to play string voice carrying the melody and the running and bray of horse.

Music of Dai Nationality

Music of Dai nationality is similar with the music style of Burma, Thailand and has the soft melody.Characteristic instruments have the cucurbit flute and elephant-foot drum.The unusual tone of cucurbit flute is the music style of Dai nationality.

The music of Dai nationality divides into the two basic musical style vocal music and instrumental music.It mainly includes the folk songs, singing and dancing music, rap music, local opera music.The folk songs can be divided into folk song (sung in the fields during or after work), ballad, sad melody, religious songs.

Naxi Ancient Music

The Naxi Ancient Music is the music that performance in the old man of Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County.It is said that it from Central China in Ming Dynasty.Due to the difficult transport at that time and had less connection with the outside world, the music keeps its original feelings.There is only a series of music groups of the old man can play it.It’s the living fossil in the 14th music of China and get extensive attention by the musical world.

Music of Dong Nationality

The original Dong Chorus is the unique folk system that uses harmony in China.It is basically the chorus of female voice without the accompaniment.The harmony is very tuneful and even caused a sensation in the transnational, and repeatedly won the prize.

Music of Uygur Nationality

The music of Uygur nationality is basically similar with the Arabic music which has the great attention to rhythm and can play ten of kinds of rhythm by using a small tambourine.The main musical instruments have the Dutar, Rewapu and the largest is Tambur.The classical music of Uygur nationality Twelve Muqam includes many things and it is the origin of many folk songs.

Music of Tajik Nationality

The music of Tajik nationality belongs the music style of Arab and has great differences with the music of Han nationality.The music is excellent at using the semitone and has the tactful changing melody likes the hooted eagle.The most characteristic is the song that the composer Lei Zhen Bang composed for the movie Visitor to the Ice Mountain which completely used the melody of the folk song of Tajik nationality.

Korean Nationality Music

Korean nationality music is basically similar with the music of the North Korea and South Korea.China also holds the Korean nationality in the northeast China.The main instruments have the extended drum and Kayagum.The Kayagum likes the zither of ancient China and is smaller than modern zither and also have the unusual shaking maneuver which put it on the knee in hunker.

Music Of Local Opera

The Chinese opera is part of the most popular and diffusive art in China.The every region has its local opera.The most characteristic opera is the Beijing opera. The basement of Chinese opera is the high-profile singing and accompanied by bamboo flute, watchman's clapper, drums, gong, Beijing opera fiddle.

Other operas also have the Hebei Clapper Opera, Yu opera, Pingju Opera, Yueju Opera, Cantonese opera, Kun Opera, Qin opera, Huangmei opera, Teochew opera, Gaoja opera, Nuo opera.All of China has more than 600 regional operas.The Kun opera is listed by the United Nations as the world oral cultural heritage directory.

Chinese Rock Music

When we spoke of the rock music of Hong Kong, we must talk about the music group Beyond.Because the initial seed of Chinese rock music appeared in the 1970s of Hong and Taiwan.Under Western influence, Hong appeared some underground bands in 1970s and 1980s.But except Beyond, the others had the less influential.

After the launch of the reform and opening policies in China, the modern western music entered into China by various methods.Some of musical young touched the rock music and began to form a band and then to compose with imitation.

The first time of Chinese rock music be shown is May 9,1986.When the Beijing Workers' Gymnasium took place in the concert that commemorated the International Year of Peace. The little knew Cui Jian was dressed in long flown and carrying a guitar.Then he sings the I Have Nothing which is the beginning of Chinese rock song.That’s why Cui Jian was called the first man in Chinese rock.

At the ending of 1980s and the beginning of 1990, Chinese rock music bearing has appeared the music groups like the Beyond, Tang Dyansty, Panther, Transmigration, Compass.In 1994, Hong Kong Coliseum held the “The power of Chinese rock music” concert which becomes the most passionate scene in the history of Chinese rock.

The Magic Stone Sanjie which includes the Dou Wei, Zhang Chu, He Yong and the Tang Dynasty music group pushes the Chinese rock music to the summit.After that, the Chinese rock music began to appear in the differential tendency and had various music styles in the music circle.

For example Zheng Jun, Xu Wei, Zero which walked to popular style, the punk band Pangu which walked to lo-fi,the House fly, Zuoxiao Zuzhou, Wang Lei.Electronic music and the rap music become popular and the various musical style influenced each other and interation.

Chinese Religious Music

Chinese religious music could be divided into Taoist music, Han Buddhism music, Tibetan Buddhism music, Chinese christian songs.

The Development of Western Music in China

In 1900s, Beijing established the first wester brass band in China. The missionary school Ginling College was established in 1913 and equipped the music major which had the immense influence to propagate the western music.In 1927, Shanghai established the Shanghai national school of music.In 1930, Shanghai established the first western symphony orchestra in China.

By introducing the western music, the Chinese who were good at absorbing the foreign culture had the great improvement of control and digest the western music.From 20th century, many Chinese began to win the award within the national game likes piano, violin, euphonic singing, opera singing and many musicians composed many vocal song and the song which played by western musical instruments.

Comparison Between Chinese And Western Music

Chinese music had mastered the heptatonic scale early but preferred the harmonious pentatonic scale.Then put the key point to promote music in pentatonic and chase the melody and the transition of rhythm.

The development direction of China is unique with the western music.Western people who never heard the Chinese music before would think music of China likes the line float in the sky, and Chinese who never listened before would think music of western likes the mixed noise.

Chinese Music Colleges And Universities

Chinese Conservatory of Music, located in Beijing, is a comprehensive higher music university which is good for the education and research of Chinese traditional music.The purpose of this university is training the professional who works on the performance, composition, theory, scientific research of national music.Nevertheless, it also trains other professional of others music.

Central Conservatory of Music, located in Beijing, specially trains the musician who works on western music.The music school inherits the experience of Chinese traditional music and keeps absorbing the intense musical culture from all around the world.

Other famous music colleges include Shanghai Conservatory Of Music, Sichuan Conservatory Of Music, Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Wuhan Conservatory Of Music, Shenyang Conservatory of Music, Xi'an Conservatory of Music.

In fact, history of music of China was not only the vast Chinese songs, it also created the abundant musical culture of the world.In the future, we will introduce more thing about it.Keep reading our articles,you can be the top Chinese songs in Chinese history,or find the way to get the Chinese music download.

We will also upgrade the chinese christian song, chinese pop songs, chinese kid song for you.Hope you would like the content from our website.

Jack Smith
Jack Smith
I am a Chinese music lover, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my passion for Chinese music with you. Through my love for Chinese music, I hope to connect with fellow enthusiasts and explore the beauty and depth of this incredible art form.


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