Chinese music

When discussing Han Chinese music, it is common to distinguish two major styles: northern and southern. The styles correspond to the two major geographical and cultural areas where most Han people live.

Although both styles emanate from the general Han Chinese culture, they differ in detail because of environmental conditions. The north is cold, dry, and windy.

The hardships of life are reflected in the high-pitched, tense, and agitated style of folk song.

chinese music

The south, on the other hand, has mild weather and much rain. Life seems to be easier, and the folk songs of the south are generally lyrical and gentle in nature. Chinese music today is also influenced by Western musical concepts, which is an inevitable consequence of historical and social change. The common belief that the Chinese scale is a pentatonic scale without half steps is only partly correct.

They also use various forms of a five-tone pentatonic scale See figure 2 in Han Chinese Music Scales. Southern Chinese folk songs tend to progress in more conjunct motion and smoother lines and emphasize the intervals of thirds and fifths.

Northern melodies tend to progress in more disjunct, angular motion, and emphasize intervals of a fourth. These tendencies in the use of melodies are related to the tonal characteristics of the contrasting dialects of the two areas. Except in special cases such as free-rhythm introductionsmost Chinese music is in duple rhythm. However, the weak beat to strong beat stresses in Western music are not necessarily used. Triple meter is rare, even in modern folk compositions.

Syncopation, on the other hand, is the norm rather than the exception. Chinese instrumental music is traditionally heterophonic if it is performed on more than one instrument or for an instrument and voice. Although Chinese music does not use the triadic, four-part harmonic progressions of Western music, harmony may occur occasionally.

In fact, the sheng mouth organ produces fourths and fifths when played in the traditional manner, and some qin and zheng zither passages have two or more pitches sounding together when the musicians pluck two or more strings simultaneously.

The Chinese people's fondness for clarity may have prevented them from developing a heavy musical texture. Perhaps the most intricate aspect of traditional Chinese music, and of much East Asian music, is the use of nuance in instrumental and vocal timbre. Even when playing one instrument, there are minute differences in timbre production of a single tone. Much attention is placed on the production and control of single tones; each tone is regarded as a musical entity.

The best example of this is heard in qin zither music. Vocal music is also complicated because of complex tonal inflections and the intricacies of the Chinese language. Therefore, timbre in Chinese music has a deeper meaning than simply tone color as an end in itself. Chinese vocal quality is often described as being high-pitched and nasal. This is generally true, but there are regional differences.

The northern style of singing such as Peking opera tends to be higher and more shrill than the southern style of singing such as Kun opera or Nanguan. This north-south contrast in vocal quality can even be heard in the local Baiguan northern-style theater and Nanquan southern-style theater or lyric song on the island of Taiwan.

Thousands of indigenous and Sinicized musical instruments exist in China, but the Chinese seem to favor chordophones and aerophones. Of all the chordophones, the qin zither is by far the most venerated. It is depicted in many paintings and mentioned in classic literature. Next in importance to the qin zither is the zheng zither. In the past, solos and small ensembles were more characteristic of traditional Chinese music making; the large Chinese orchestra with a baton-waving conductor is a product of the twentieth century.

The pipa lute originated in Central Asia and is an instrument of great virtuosic possibilities. It is the subject of many paintings and poems and has held a societal position similar to that of the guitar in Western culture.Music of China refers to the music of the Chinese peoplewhich may be the music of the Han Chinese as well as other ethnic minorities within mainland China.

It also includes music produced by people of Chinese origin in some territories outside mainland China using traditional Chinese instruments or in the Chinese language. It covers a highly diverse range of music from the traditional to the modern.

Different types of music have been recorded in historical Chinese documents from the early periods of Chinese civilization which, together with archaeological artifacts discovered, provided evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou dynasty BC — BC. These further developed into various forms of music through succeeding dynasties, producing the rich heritage of music that is part of the Chinese cultural landscape today.

Chinese music continues to evolve in the modern times, and more contemporary forms of music have also emerged. According to legends, the founder of music in Chinese mythology was Ling Lun who, at the request of the Yellow Emperor to create a system of music, made bamboo pipes tuned to the sounds of birds including the phoenix. Archaeological evidence indicates that music culture developed in China from a very early period. Excavations in Jiahu Village in Wuyang CountyHenan found bone flutes dated to 8, years ago, and clay music instruments called Xun thought to be 6, years old have been found in the Hemudu sites in Zhejiang and Banpo in Xi'an.

During the Zhou dynastya formal system of court and ceremonial music later termed yayue meaning "elegant music" was established. Around or before the 7th century BC, a system of pitch generation and pentatonic scale was derived from a cycle-of-fifths theory. Chinese philosophers took varying approaches to music. To Confuciusa correct form of music is important for the cultivation and refinement of the individual, and the Confucian system considers the formal music yayue to be morally uplifting and the symbol of a good ruler and stable government.

The answer was that it only mattered that the ruler loved his subjects. In ancient China the social status of musicians was much lower than that of painters, though music was seen as central to the harmony and longevity of the state. Almost every emperor took folk songs seriously, sending officers to collect songs to record the popular culture. The Imperial Music Bureaufirst established in the Qin dynasty — BCwas greatly expanded under the emperor Han Wudi —87 BC and charged with supervising court music and military music and determining what folk music would be officially recognized.

In subsequent dynasties, the development of Chinese music was influenced by the musical traditions of Central Asia which also introduced elements of Indian music.

The first major well-documented flowering of Chinese music was for the qin during the Tang dynasty ADthough the qin is known to have been played since before the Han dynasty. Through succeeding dynasties over thousands of years, Chinese musicians developed a large assortment of different instruments and playing styles.

A wide variety of these instruments, such as guzheng and dizi are indigenous, although many popular traditional musical instruments were introduced from Central Asia, such as the erhu and pipa.

The presence of European music in China appeared as early as when the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci presented a Harpsichord to the Ming imperial court, and trained four eunuchs to play it.

The New Culture Movement of the s and s produced a great deal of lasting interest in Western music.Press ESC to exit. Email or Username. Password Forgot login? Discover Featured Music Videos People. Sign up Sign in. All rights reserved. Play All Start Radio. Under The Cliff - Wu Na.

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The last part of your Myspace URL. Ex: myspace. Facebook Twitter Email.Chinese musicthe art form of organized vocal and instrumental sounds that developed in China. It is one of the oldest and most highly developed of all known musical systems. Chinese music history must be approached with a certain sense of awe. Indeed, any survey evokes the music of a varied, still-active civilization whose archaeological resources go back to bce and whose own extensive written documents refer to countless forms of music not only in connection with folk festivals and religious events but also in the courts of hundreds of emperors and princes in dozens of provinces, dynastiesand periods.

For all the richness of detail in Chinese sources, however, it is only for the last segment of Chinese music history—from the Song dynasty — ce to the present—that there is information about the actual music itself. Yet the historical, cultural, instrumental, and theoretical materials of earlier times are equally informative and fascinating.

Chinese writings claim that in bce the emperor Huangdi sent a scholar, Ling Lun, to the western mountain area to cut bamboo pipes that could emit sounds matching the call of the fenghuangan immortal bird whose rare appearance signaled harmony in the reign of a new emperor. By imitating the sound of the bird, Huangdi made possible the creation of music properly pitched to harmonize his rulership with the universe. Even this symbolic birth of music dates far too late to aid in discovering the melodies and instrumental sounds accompanying the rituals and burials that occurred before the first historically verified dynastythe Shang c.

The sounds of music are evanescent, and before the invention of recordings they disappeared at the end of a performance. Archaeological digs have uncovered globular clay vessel flutes xuntuned stone chimes qingand bronze bells zhongand the word gufor drum, is found incised on Shang oracle bones turtle shells and ox bones used by rulers for ritual divination and sacrifice to obtain the grace of their ancestors. The earliest surviving written records are from the next dynasty, the Zhou — bce.

There are occasional comments about the singing of peasant groups, which is an item that is rare even in the early historical materials of Europe. Their great variety of topics love, ritual, political satire, etc. The songs also include references to less-durable musical relics such as flutes, the mouth organ shengand, apparently, two types of zithers the qin and the se.

Despite the controversial authenticity and dates of ancient Chinese written sources, a combined study of them produces tantalizing images of courtly parties, military parades, and folk festivals, but it does not provide a single note of music.

Nevertheless, in keeping with the prehistoric traditions of China, the philosophies of sages, such as Confucius Kongfuzi; — bce and Mencius Mengzi; c. The straightest path to this material is found in the legendary quest of Ling Lun for bamboo pipes that replicate the song of the mythical fenghuang. The charm of such a tale tends to cloud several interesting facts it contains. First, it is noteworthy that the goal of the search was to put music in tune with the universe.

Music is the harmony of heaven and earth while rites are the measurement of heaven and earth. Through harmony all things are made known, through measure all things are properly classified. Music comes from heaven, rites are shaped by earthly designs. Such cosmological ideals may be not merely ancient superstitions but actually cogent insights into the cultural function of music in human societies.

Confucius, as pictured in The Analects written long after his death, had a similar view of music, including a concern for the choice of music and modes proper for the moral well-being of a gentleman.

chinese music

It is an open question as to how much performance practice followed the admonitions and theories of the scholars, but centuries later one finds numerous pictures of the wise man standing before some natural beauties while his servant follows closely behind him carrying his seven-stringed zither qin for proper use in such a proper setting. Another point to be noted in the legend of the origin of music is that Ling Lun went to the western border area of China to find the correct bamboo.

Indeed, cultures from Central and West Asia or tribal China greatly influenced the growth and change of music in imperial China. Finally, it is significant that, although the emperor in the myth was primarily concerned with locating pipes that would bring his reign into harmony with the universe, the goal was also the creation of precise, standard pitches. Chinese music. Article Media. Info Print Print.

Top 10 Websites to Download Chinese Songs & Music For Free

Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Formative period Ancient artifacts and writings Aesthetic principles and extramusical associations Tonal system and its theoretical rationalization Mathematical relationship of pitches Scales and modes Extramusical associations of pitches within the tonal system Classification of instruments Han dynasty 3rd century bce —3rd century ce : musical events and foreign influences Tang dynasty 7th—10th century Thriving of foreign styles Courtly music Song and Yuan dynasties 10th—14th century Consolidation of earlier trends Musical theatre Ming and Qing dynasties 14th—early 20th century Further development of opera Forms of the 16th—18th centuries Jingxi Peking opera Other vocal and instrumental genres Developments since Period of the Republic of China and the Sino-Japanese War Communist period.

Chinese music Written By: William P. See Article History. Formative period Ancient artifacts and writings Chinese writings claim that in bce the emperor Huangdi sent a scholar, Ling Lun, to the western mountain area to cut bamboo pipes that could emit sounds matching the call of the fenghuangan immortal bird whose rare appearance signaled harmony in the reign of a new emperor.The majority of music resources on the Internet are in English.

The best solution to the problem is to use a good VPN service with servers in China to unblock it. I recommend you to use PureVPNit allows you to access all music sites from China and download songs for free. With it you can also watch all Chinese movies and TV series from Chinese websites for free.

It has 6 servers in Beijing and Shanghai and it promises a 31 day money back guarantee policy. Its search results provide only links to songs from where you can download latest Chinese songs for free.

Users can choose their favorite songs on its song list and play online. Users can find a large collection of trending songs and tracks on it. You can listen to songs or play popular songs listed on its interface. It is easy to download music with QQ music, you can download its app and download it to your phone. Downloading is free for most songs, but copyrighted and HD music is only open to download for paid members. The site has more than 35 million legitimate Chinese songs.

On Migu users can almost find any song your like through its search engine. They can listen to music online or download songs by several clicks. The site also has more than 3, MTV for watching online. It is free to download songs but users need to become its register first. It has both Android and iOS apps available. The site is supported by Netease, one of the biggest Internet Giant in China. Soso Music allows users to discover songs through its search box and then lots of song resource links are listed in the results.

People can listen to the song before downloading. If you want to download it, you will need to install its windows software or mobile app after downloading it. It owns a user-friendly interface which puts everything within reach of your fingertips and It always stays updated fairly frequently. It is so easy to download songs on Kuwo. Its front page offers many song rankings based on popularity and regions. It has channels such as Singers MV, Rank.

With its powerful search function users can find free music link crawled from the web and download very easily. The site features various song and track rankings. Users must register first before downloading songs.

I use Allavsoft to download the music from spotify, youtube, bandcamp, deezer, soundcloud etc to MP3.Traditional Chinese music can be traced back 7, - 8, years based on the discovery of a bone flute made in the Neolithic Age. In the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties, only royal families and dignitary officials enjoyed music, which was made on chimes and bells.

During the Tang Dynasty, dancing and singing entered the mainstream, spreading from the royal court to the common people. With the introduction of foreign religions such as Buddhism and Islam, exotic and religious melodies were absorbed into Chinese music and were enjoyed by the Chinese people at fairs organized by religious temples.

In the Song Dynasty, original opera such as Zaju and Nanxi was performed in tearooms, theatres, and showplaces. Writers and artists liked it so much that Ci, a new type of literature resembling lyrics, thrived.

During the Yuan Dynasty, qu, another type of literature based on music became popular. This was also a period when many traditional musical instruments were developed such as the pipa, the flute, and the zither.

During the Ming - and Qing Dynasties -the art of traditional opera developed rapidly and diversely in different regions. When these distinctive opera styles were performed at the capital now called Beijingartists combined the essence of the different styles and created Beijing operaone of three cornerstones of Chinese culture the other two being Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese painting which continue to be appreciated even in modern times.

Besides these types, Chinese peasants were clever enough to compose folk songs, which also developed independently with local flavor. Folk songs described working and daily life such as fishing, farming, and herding and were very popular among the common people.

The following are just a few of them:. The Horse-headed fiddle is a bowed stringed-instrument with a scroll carved like a horse's head. It is popular in Mongolian music. With a history of over 1, years, it even influenced European string music when Marco Polo brought one back from his travels through Asia. Its wide tonal range and deep, hazy tone color express the joy or pathos of a melody to its fullest.

The Mongolian people bestowed upon their beloved horse-headed fiddle a fantastic legend: during horse-racing at the Nadam Fair -- their featured grand festival--a hero, Su He, and his white horse ran the fastest, which incurred the envy and wrath of the duke. The cruel duke shot the horse dead, and Su He grieved so much that he met his horse in a dream.

chinese music

In the dream, the horse told Su He to make a fiddle from wood and the hair of a horse's tail, and to carve the head of the fiddle in the shape of a horse's head.

The lad followed the horse's advice and when he finished, the fiddle produced an extremely vivid sound. From then on, people loved this instrument and composed many songs for it. By the the Tang Dynasty -the pipa had reached its summit. It was loved by everyone--from the royal court to the common folk--and it occupied the predominant place in the orchestra. Many well known writers and poets created poems and mentioned it in their works.

Bai Juyi, the master poet, vividly depicted the performance like this: rapid and soft notes mingled were just like big and small pearls dropping onto the jade plates. Afterwards, the pipa underwent improvement in playing techniques and structure. Players then changed from holding the pipa transversely to holding it vertically, and from using a pick to using the fingers to pluck the strngs directly. In modern times, the volume and resonance has also been improved.

The traditional work 'Spring Moonlight on the Flowers by the River', which has a history of over one hundred years, has brought harmony and a sense of beauty to untold numbers of people. When playing, the player usually stands the Erhu on his lap, and moves the bow across the vertical strings. Though he could not see anything of the world, he played his Erhu using his heart and imagination. This melody conjures up a poetic night scene under the moonlight and expresses the composer's desolation and hope.

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Chinese Music

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Music of China

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