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Music of China appears to date back to the dawn of Chinese civilization, and documents and artifacts provide evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC).

According to Mencius, a ruler had asked Mencius whether it was moral if he preferred pop songs to the classics. The answer was that the only thing matters being whether or not he loved his subjects.

The Imperial Music Bureau, first established in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), was greatly expanded under the Emperor Han Wu Di (140-87 BC) and charged with supervising court music and military music and determining what folk music would be officially recognized. In subsequent dynasties, the development of Chinese music was strongly influenced by foreign music, especially that of Central Asia.

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The Daqu of Songs and Dances (221 BC-AD 960 )
The common characteristic of the two periods is that the mainstream musical form was the Daqu of songs and dances; what distinguished them was the fact that in the earlier period, the music of the Han nationality was dominant, whereas in the later period, owing to unprecedented exchanges between China and the utside world, the musical traditions of other nationalities overwhelmingly affected Chinese songs, dances and music.
The Dawn Breaks (The Prehistoric Period - The 16th Century BC)
Ancient documents trace the history of Chinese music back to the Yellow Emperor However, this is not completely reliable, as the legends about the Yellow Emperor are mixed with much material from the ideologies of later times (for instance, it is said that the "twelve tones" were formed in the time of the Yellow Emperor, but this attributing of a later creation does not accord with scientific archeological findings).
Folk Instruments & Music
In the course of its development over several thousand years, Chinese folk music has produced a host of forms, amassed a large number of works and fostered many outstanding performers.
Folk Songs
As was the case with other ancient peoples, Chinese folk songs originated in primitive hunting, ritual, mating and herding activities.
Instrumental music in China is played on solo instruments or in small ensembles of plucked and bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and various cymbals, gongs, and drums.
Introduction of Ancient Chinese Music
Music of China appears to date back to the dawn of Chinese civilization, and documents and artifacts provide evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC).
The Music of Bells And Drums (16th Century - 221 BC)
This period of history spans the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties the Spring and Autumn and Warring States peri0ds and up until the time the Qin Dynasty united China - about 1,300ears.
Emergence of New Musical Genres (960 - 1911 )
This historical period spans the Song (including the Liao and jin), Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, and the characteristic of this period is that not only did the song and dance music which had occupied the leading positi0n in the previous era continue to develop, but many new musical genres appeared, which spurred all-round progress in music and musical instruments, laying the foundation for the music of modem China.
Religious Music and the Music of Flutes and Pipes
Buddhism was introduced to China in the Eastern Han Dynasty, bringing with it Cultural influences, including that of music, from India and the regions to the west of China into the Central Plain.
Harmony & Serenity
Farming relies on land, sufficient water and sunlight. After a period of time, people see their harvest. Because of the peasants' love for land and expectation for harvest, they learned how to live in harmony with nature.
The Beginning of Time -- Ancestor of All Dances: Primitive Dance
The embryo and childhood of dance can be traced back to the first days of human beings, far exceeding human memory. In the Warring States Period, the great poet Qu Yuan raised over 100 questions about Heaven, Earth and Man in his famous Tianwen (Question the Heaven).
Blue Dream -- Intelligence Derived from the Sea
China has a long coastline extending over 18,000 km, with islets spread all around. Residents along the coast are mainly engaged in farming, fishing and sometimes salt industry.
Dances of Differet Nationalities
We are boating on the long river of history and impressed by the brilliance of ancient dancers. Time goes by, we can no longer see their dances. However, in the vast land of China-in remote mountainous villages, on broad pasture land, in red valleys, on the blue sea, among dense forests, along the endless silk road-we can still feel their dancing arts.
Folk Dance
Among the Chinese dances, the folk dance is the greatest in number, the most extensive and the deepest into life, and the closest to everyone's daily life.
The Acme of Perfection
After Chinese dance entered the civilized society from the primitive times, its development accelerated and got matured quickly The "Yayue" (elegant music) system established in the early Western Zhou Dynasty was a milestone marking maturity of the Chinese dance Culture.
Heavenly World --- Pure Land Jewels: Religious and Grotto Dances
Another important component of the Chinese music and dance Culture is the religious dance. The religious dance originated from the Wu (Sorcery Dance of the primitive society.
Legacy of Primeval Dances
For Oroqen people, who engage themselves in hunting in the Daxinganling and Xiaoxinganling mountains in northeast China, there is a folk story about "combination between hunter and female bear". A series of sacrificing ceremonies was carried Out in hunting. The folk dance named "Black Bears Fighting" is just the heritage of primitive totem worship activities.
Loveliness and Grace -- Charm of the Desert Oasis
Oases are like beautiful islands in the boundless desert, and the oasis Culture gives out light of human wisdom.
Red Flower with Fragrant Dews
The counterpart of Yayue (Elegant Music) was jiyue (Women Music). The two were like both wings of the Chinese dance art.
Review of Ancient Dances
The brilliant culture of Chinese dance found its root in the depths of history. From its fountainhead, the trickles gradually converged into today's profound ocean.
Straight for Wardness & Robustnes
"Chilege Song" was composed by nomadic tribes about 1,500 years ago, which depicted vividly the boundless pasture land and free herding life. The herdsmen compared the heaven as an extremely large house, showing their broad mind, unsophisticated feelings and heroic spirit as the son of nature. Dances of the Mongolian, Kazakh, Khalkhas, Oroqen, Ewenki, Manchu and Xibe ethnic groups have all maintained features of the pasture land culture.
Yishunbian -- Steps of the Plateau
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as "the roof of the world", is filled with far-stretching mountains, lofty icy peaks and precipitous deep valleys. The Himalayas, the world's highest peak Everest, the Gangdisi Mountains and the Buddhism sacred "Gangrenboqi" peak are all found here.

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