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The best instrumental songs: Section "The best Chinese traditional instrumental music"
In the process of moving out of:
Video 1.
High Mountain and Flowing Water performed on the guzheng by Xiang SiHua (2000)
. Source.
Video 2.
Suwu herding sheep performed on the erhu by Song Fei (2017)
. Source.
Video 3.
Ambush from ten sides performed on the pipa by Jiaju Shen (2017)
. Source.
Video 4. . Source.
Video 5. . Source.
Video 6.
Wang Jin beats Gao Qiu theme music from The Water Margin featuring a suona solo
. Source.中国古典十大名曲/105343
This is a good place to start your journey, though it misses a lot, and some songs are not as memorable as others, there is huge variability in that list.
Video 7.
The Ten Most Famous Melodies in Ancient China
. Source. A single video with a collage of all ten songs.

Chinese musical instrument

words: 921 articles: 38
The main four instruments are undoubtedly:
but there is also amazing content on others which must not be missed, including:
Infinite Wikipedia instrument list:
Figure 1. Source.
Figure 2. Source.

Erhu (two string bowed, 二胡)

words: 148 articles: 6
Figure 3.
A blind erhu street performer playing in Jingzhou, Hubei (2006)
. Source. Playing the erhu is a traditional occupation for blind people in China, a notable example being Abing.
Figure 4. Source.
Video 8.
Suwu herding sheep played by Song Fei (2017)
. Source.
Video 9.
The 12 Most Famous Erhu Melodies in China (2021)
. Source. TODO transcribe list.

Erhu piece (二胡曲)

words: 76 articles: 2
Composed by Abing in 1949[ref]
Video 10. . Source. contains an amazing orchestral version for di flute TODO identify! When attempting to upload to YouTube, it identifies as "Su Wu Tending the Sheep" and give a name "Chen Tao", but no further information. Chen Tao is presumably this dude: | 陈涛苏武牧羊/5532#11_2 mentions that it comes from an erhu concerto composed by Peng Xiuwen
The sadness of the erhu perfectly fits the role and mood of the story! Brilliant!
Video 11.
Suwu herding sheep played by Song Fei (2017)
. Source.

Erhu player

words: 31 articles: 2
Once Ciro Santilli played Suwu herding sheep while his mother in law was around, and she quickly pointed out:
Suwu by Abing!
He's very popular!
And also a composer, e.g. he composed Reflections of the Moon on Erquan.
Figure 5. Source.
Video 12.
Suwu herding sheep played by Song Fei (2017)
. Source.

Guqin (seven string plucked, 古琴)

words: 457 articles: 11
Figure 6. Source.
Figure 7. Source.
Figure 8.
Stringless guqin fan painting by Feng Chaoran (1943)
. Stolen traight from on
Wind in the pines and a babbling brook are nature's melody. A qin was brought along, but there is no need to play it
The The Gateless Barrier vibe and Chinese naturalism is just awesome.

Guqin player

words: 101 articles: 2
Bo Ya was good at playing the qin. Zhong Ziqi was good at listening to the qin. When Bo Ya's will was towards high mountains in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, "How towering like Mount Tai!" When Bo Ya's will was towards flowing water in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, "How vast are the rivers and oceans!" Whatever Bo Ya thought of Ziqi would never fail to understand. Bo Ya said, "Amazing! Your heart and mine are the same!" After Zhong Ziqi died, Bo Ya broke his Guqin because he thought that no one else can understand his music.
Figure 9. Source.
Figure 10. Source.

Guqin bibliography

words: 99 articles: 1
words: 98
John Thompson's Guqin website.
Holy crap amazing list of Guqin pieces by the guy for MP3 download!
Download all mp3:
wget -r -np -l 1 -A mp3
Ciro Santilli Contacted John by email in 2019 telling him to put his stuff on YouTube and offering help, and he replied, but nothing came of it unfrotunately. Edit: he uploaded a bunch of videos of him playing live in 2020!
John focuses on playing the tunes in a "historically informed performance", in particular using silk strings rather than metal ones which are used by most modern artists:
Video 13.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter performed by John Thompson (2020)
. Source.

Guqin piece (古琴曲)

words: 216 articles: 5 entry:
Video 14. . Source.
Composed by Bo Ya for the guqin.
But there is an awesome guzheng adapatation which is perhaps better known in modern times, partly because it is not as long/slow. TODO origin.
Video 15.
High Mountain and Flowing Water performed on the guzheng by Xiang SiHua (2000)
. Source. Performer Chinese name: 項斯華
韦编三绝 is a chengyu that means "to study diligently", i.e. to read so much to the point that your book starts to wear down.
There is a Chinese Wiki page for this song:韦编三绝 which says it dates from the early Qing dynasty
Video 16.
"The book binding broke three times" uploaded by guqincn
. Source.
Lit: fish timber question answer.
On Baidu Baike:渔樵问答/336905
The dialog is also known as allegory for an incredibly deep philosophical discussion between an idealized wise woodcutter and a fisherman, e.g. mentioned at:
This song is just too slow for Ciro Santilli to make much out of it.
Figure 11.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter Chinese traditional painting by Xie Shichen
Video 17. . Source.
Video 18.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter performed by Wu Jinglüe
. Source. Accompagnied by di flute to reinforce the idea of two voices. This one has TODO year. gives an origin:
Li Sao was composed by Cheng Kangshi in late Tang dynasty based on the poem Li Sao, authored by Qu Yuan (340-278 BC) in the Warring States period of ancient China.
The entry: does not mention this however.
Video 19.
Li sao performed by Guan Pinghu
. Source. Track from Master Of Traditional Chinese Music: guqin
Video 20.
Lisao performed by NiniGuqin (2020)
. Source.
Figure 12. Source.

Guzheng piece

words: 80 articles: 2
A Jackdaw is a type of crow:
Considered one of the 10 famous Chaozhou music pieces TODO list.
Was also adapted by Liu Baoshan (1937-1997) as a pipa song. Ciro Santilli prefers the pipa version.
Video 21.
Jackdaw Playing With Water performed by Xu Lingzi on the guzheng at the Wiener Musikverein
. Source.
Video 22.
Jackdaw Playing With Water performed by Lin Shicheng on the pipa
. Source.
A Baidu Baike page:層層水瀾/12386243 mentions that the score was published in 1970 by Tao Yimo (陶一陌) in a eponymous score book.
Video 23.
Ripples by ripples performed by Wu Li on the guzheng
. Source. Peformer's Chinese name: 吳莉.

Pipa (four string plucked, 琵琶)

words: 170 articles: 8
Figure 13. Source.

Pipa piece (琵琶曲)

words: 170 articles: 4
TODO identify better:
Video 24.
Posing As a Wind Instrument Player In an Ensemble by Li Xuan
. Source. Part of "Chinese Ancient Music - Vol 2, High Mountains And Flowing Water", e.g. as seen at:
Video 25.
Ambush from ten sides performed by Jiaju Shen (2017)
. Source.
Video 26. . Source. The sound quality is not great, but you do get to see the master. TODO location and date.
God this song.
Lit. "sunny spring white snow".
Video 27. . Source. From the 1996 album: "A Collection of Chinese Music Masterpieces: Pipa": TODO recording date.
Video 28.
White snow in sunny spring performed by Wu Man in 2020 at The Kennedy Center
. Source.
Composed by Wang Huiran in 1960.
The Yi people are one of the officially recognized 55 Chinese ethnic minorities.
Video 29. . Source. From the album Chinese Plucked Instruments: Vol. 2 - Fishermen’s Song At South Sea: (2004)
Video 30.
Dance of the Yi People performed by Wu Man (2021)
. Source. Presented by the Aga Khan Music Program.
This piece is a reference to Dragon boats from the Dragon Boat Festival.
The explosive moments presumably represent the intense rowing action of a dragon boat race competition.
TODO date composed.
Video 31.
Dragon boat performed by Yuanchun Yu (2021)
. Source.

Pipa player

articles: 2

Suona (唢呐)

words: 33 articles: 2
One of the most flashy chinese musical instrument!
It is very similar to the Indian shehnai.
Figure 14. Source.
Video 32.
Wang Jin beats Gao Qiu theme music from The Water Margin
. Source.

Suona piece

words: 14 articles: 1
Video 33.
A Hundred Birds Pay Homage to the Phoenix with suona solo performed by Li Guangcai
. Source.
Figure 15. Source.
Video 34.
Song of Chu xun solo
. Source. TODO performer

Chinese traditional music label

words: 48 articles: 1
The most important publisher, AKA "CRC Jianian". TODO meaning of Jianian?
Chinese government owned unfortunately.
Their website takes forever to load:, and features mostly Communist shit, and I can't find the decent traditional music listed there.
One thing to try is an Amazon advanced search by label "China Record Co":

Chinese traditional music album

words: 1 articles: 2


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