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Traditional Chinese Musical Instrument



Ancient Chinese believed that the music could purify people's minds. More than 3,000 years ago, ancient China had some 70 types of musical instruments. The royal family and aristocrats had their own orchestra. For them, music was also a way to display their power, position and taste distinguished from common people. However, as music was never limited to the upper social class, the musical trend gradually turned from solemnity to entertaining. Huge and complex instruments like the bronze chimes gave way to more lively and easy-play wind and reed instruments. The Tang Dynasty, one of the strongest and most prosperous empires in Chinese history, was a golden age for musical development. Many of the Tang emperors were musicians or composers themselves. With frequent cultural exchanges with other cultures, a large number of exotic instruments were introduced, altered and finally adopted into the family of Chinese traditional instruments. Chinese traditional musical instruments can be mainly classified into three categories, string, wind and percussion. Here is a brief introduce to typical Chinese musical instruments.

Xun

Xun

Xun(Chinese: 埙) is a kind of wind instrument. It’s one of the oldest musical instruments found so far in China with a history of more than 7,000 years, and play a important role in world music circle. The instrument has been...

Xiao

Xiao

Xiao (Chinese: 箫) is one of the oldest musical instrument in China. It’s a kind of wind instrument. It enjoyed a time-honored history. The melody of vertically-played bamboo flute or Xiao in Chinese, reminds people of a lone...

Sheng

Sheng

Sheng,one of the oldest musical instrument in China, is a kind of wind instrument. And it’s the oldest musical instrument used reed in the world. It has played an active role in promoting the development of Western musical i...

Pipa

Pipa

Pipa has four-stringed lute with 30 frets and pear-shaped body. The musician holds the instrument upright and play with five small plectrums attached to each finger of the right hand. The history of Pipa dates back at least 2,000 ...

Guzheng

Guzheng

Chinese Zither (Chinese name: Guzheng) is one of traditional musical instruments in China. It’s a kind of plucked instrument. It originated during the Warring Period more than 2,500 years ago in China. The earliest known ver...

Guqin

Guqin

Guqin, the oldest musical instrument in China, is also known as the Seven-stringed instrument. The body is a long and narrow wooden sound box. Usually, it is 130 centimeters long, 20 centimeters wide and 5 centimeters high. The su...

Erhu

Erhu

Erhu, a kind of bowed instrument, is the most representative one in the Chinese traditional folk musical instrument. As one of the most popular Chinese string instruments the two-stringed vertical fiddle has a long history of more...

Drum

Drum

China, Mesopotamia ancient Egypt, ancient India are regarded as home of drum. As a traditional percussion instrument, drum occupies a prominent place in Chinese culture. According to the ancient literature, it might as old as Chin...

Dizi

Dizi

Flute (Chinese pinyin: Dizi) is a kind of ancient Chinese musical instrument and is the most representative musical instrument with with strong ethnic characteristics. Dizi is always performed in occasions, such as Chinese traditi...

Chinese Chimes

Chinese Chimes

Chinese chimes are large-scale musical instrument in China, which originated in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC), and reached heyday during the Warring States period (770BC-221BC). Chinese Chimes are made flat with sharp co...