China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Traditional music

Traditional music The mythological creator of music is Ling Lun, who inspired in the sounds of birds made a bamboo pipe. But the Traditional Chinese music dates back around 8,000 years founded on the discovery of a bone flute created during the Neolithic Age. The oldest written music is Youlan or the Solitary Orchid, attributed to Confucius.

In the earlier Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, music was reserved only for the royal families and dignitary officials. It was principally made on chimes and bells.

Later, in the Tang dynasty, dancing and singing became very popular, spreading from the court to the common people. Another important influence in the Chinese music was the inclusion of foreign religions like Buddhism and Islam. Exotic and spiritual melodies were introduced in Chinese customs and were accepted with pleasure by the Chinese people.

During the Song dynasty, innovative opera –including the traditional Zaju and Nanxi -was performed in theatres, tearooms and showplaces. New writers and artists created a new type of literature resembling lyrics called Ci. In the Yuan dynasty, Qu, another type of literature based on melodies turned into popular. During this period also were created numerous musical instruments including the pipa, the flute, and the zither.

After these periods, in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the art of traditional opera grew speedily and diversely in many regions. When these unique opera styles were performed at the capital Beijing, artists united the essence of the regional styles and created the great Beijing opera, one of three cornerstones of Chinese culture among with the Chinese medicine and Chinese painting, which still continue to be valued in modern times.

In addition to these types of music, Chinese peasants have composed folk songs for centuries, developing separately their local essence. Folk songs usually describe the working and daily life of people like fishing, farming, and herding; and are popular in rural areas until now, despite the restrictions suffered by the Communism.

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