The history of Chinese music goes back to the beginning of the Chinese civilization. There are historic documents and artifacts that provide proof of musical culture that was well-developed way back during the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC-256 BC). In the present day and age the music of China still maintains its rich heritage in its compositions, yet blending into it contemporary influences.
The oldest written music that has been found in China is Youlan or the Solitary Orchid, which has been attributed to the great Chinese Thinker – Confucius. The fact is that in the past the musicians of China were not as well respected as the painters and artists, though music has been an important part of the Chinese culture.
The western influence on Chinese music entered in 1601 when the first European, Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci, who reached China, brought with him the Harpsichord and taught four local eunuchs how to play it. However, the major influences of western music began to seep in during the Republic of China era (1912-1949), as the New Culture Movement of the 1910s and 1920s created lasting interest in Western music. It was in this era that symphony orchestras were coming about and being performed in the major cities of the nation.
Post 1942, the scenario began to change and a large-scale campaign was initiated in the Communist ruled areas, where the people were forced to adapt folk music in order to create revolutionary Chinese songs. This was to educate the illiterate rural population about the goals of the party. However, post the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, a fast tempo Northwest Wind style was initiated by the people in order to counter the government. The music then progress into bringing about Chinese rock, which could not reach any heights of popularity because of strict regime of the communist government.
The traditional music of China is generally played on a solo instrument, or optionally in small ensembles. The typical scale is of five notes. The musical instruments traditionally used are:
The Woodwind and percussion instruments:
The bowed stringed instruments:
The plucked and struck instruments:
China has a number of ethnic groups that are concentrated in the southeast and northwest of country. These regional groups have their own forms of traditional Chinese music. The regions include:
Here is a list of famous Chinese singers:
Ho Yeow Sun
Alan Ke You Lun
Lee Pui Ming
Jimmy Lin Chih Ying
Liu Li Yang
Mi Lu Bing
Daren Tan Sze Wei