- Chimes and Bells in the Xia,
Shang and Zhou Dynasties
- Tang Dynasty Music Show
- Tang Dynasty Dancing and Singing Show
Traditional Chinese music can be traced back 7, 000 - 8, 000 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 (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644 - 1911), the art of traditional opera developed rapidly and diversely in different regions. When these distinctive opera styles were performed at the capital (now called Beijing), artists combined the essence of the different styles and created Beijing opera, one 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.
Traditional Musical Instruments
They can be divided into four categories: stringed instruments, percussion instruments, plucked instruments, and wind instruments. 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, 300 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.
May 8, 2007 - Greenpeace rocks Beijing:
The four-day Midi Rock Music Festival, the largest outdoor music festival in China. 50,000 rock music fans came to the park to listen to more than 100 Chinese and overseas bands play over the four days.
The crowd were here for the music, but also for the atmosphere. Like every rock music festival, the Midi is young, dynamic and even explosive. But what makes the Midi unique compared to its western counterparts, is there is no place in China where one can dress in full punk gear without drawing curious eyes, or run around the park with a "Rock China!" red flag without drawing the police