Music of China is truly one-of-a-kind completely a unique art and very
deviant-- truly majestic. Even the Modern Chinese music, in a style, is very
much like a Western Modern Music still maintaining its somewhat distinct
Traditional Chinese music is ruled by the five musical elements quite
distinct from Western music. Another specialization of the Chinese music is
that it works on different scale, using a five-tone scale rather than the
eight-tone scale of Western World. One cannot also ignore the fact that
Chinese music is sung in the Chinese language, that left many, a wonder
struck and sometimes considered it, as odd and unimaginable.
Inspire of its odd, unique characteristic, Chinese Music is exotic and
awe-inspiring in its own and special way.
Chinese music is basically pentatonic-diatonic, meaning that the basic
pentatonic scale can change pitch within a diatonic context. Most of the
compositions are stunning pentatonic with diatonic/ brilliant passing tones.
Traditional orchestral music is the finest specimen of change pitch and
Traditional Chinese Music
The modification of pitch, rhythm, beat, tone and the composition in
Traditional Chinese music are highly distinctive and different from the
Western Music. This is mainly due to the unique sounds and playing styles of
traditional Chinese musical instruments.
Chinese musical instruments are classified into 4 categories based
on the techniques by which they are played---
Blown, bowed, plucked, and struck instruments.
In Traditional Chinese orchestras, the blending of all the different
instruments served to create a harmonious and beautiful auditory atmosphere.
Many Chinese instruments can produce purely unique and amazing sounds.
Modern Chinese Music
Popular Modern Chinese Music embodies many countenances of Western music
from Electric Keyboards to Guitars.
With the standard drum set, electric guitars, headsets and microphones,
outdoor stage, and the excited crowd of fans, the Chinese consort definitely
shows the strong influence of Western Culture on the Chinese society.
Modern Chinese Music classifies into --
Soft rock, rocks, or dances music.
Main Instruments in Chinese Music
The seven-five- or ten string zither, Qin, is considered to be the one of
the foremost instruments by the scholars. The compositions make use of a
wide range of timbre effects. This instrument continues to be the supreme
musical representative of the literati culture.
The Zheng is a movable-bridge zither, and the most powerful solo instrument
in China. Its repertory ranges widely, from ancient pieces to folk songs,
operas, and on to the newly composed music.
This is the most characteristic of the Chinese classical instruments,
described in writing as early as the Han Dynasty, and found in variant
throughout the area. Instruments of similar heritage and design also
includes the Japanese Koto,
The pipa is a large lute-like instrument with large frets and a broad
fingerboard. It was introduced into China from Central Asia, prior to the
T'ang Dynasty, and has both a "well read" and a "combative"
Pipa recording illustrates -
Chine: L'art du pipa
Xiao has developed as a solo repertory. It is a vertically held bamboo
flute, and the only instrument appropriate for accompanying the Qin,
as it is suited to music of similar depth and restraint.
The following recording includes some superlative solo tracks--
The Art of Tong Ku-Chiun
It is a two-stringed trifles more associated to the lower classes,
therefore does not enjoy the same sort of abstract repertory as the other
instruments. It got its universal acceptability more in the twentieth
Spirit on two Strings, Vol. 1 - Traditional
The Chinese Music considered being supreme due to its unique
characteristic. The most significant role for the instrument remains in
Chinese Opera, although the solo repertory is also simultaneously