Pipa Chinese

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Ancient Chinese Musical Instruments?

so ive done a little research and have so far only found a pipa to be an ancient Chinese instrument, what else are some? and are there any Chinese songs with no words and just beautiful sound? What songs or Bands/Names should i look up?

Here is a great website for learning some of the basics on Chinese instruments: http://www.melodyofchina.com/06instruments/introduction.html

It lists many common (and not so common) ones. If you click on each instrument it will give a short article and a sound clip.

The pipa (chinese lute) is certainly old, but not the oldest, and not even native Chinese. It was adapted a long time ago from Central Asia due to trade and cultural exchange along the Silk Road (as was the yangqin, a kind of dulcimer). A ruan is another kind of Chinese lute with an even longer history in China than the pipa, but it is mostly used in Chinese orchestras and not so much as a solo instrument. Pipas seem to be more popular.

Plucked string instruments have a very long history in China, 2000 years plus. Check out information on the guzheng and guqin (2 types of Chinese zithers). The guzheng was also adapted (a long time ago) by many other East Asian countries, becoming the koto in Japan. Korea and Vietnam have variants of the guzheng as well, but I forget their names.

Bamboo flutes, such as the dizi and xiao also have a long history, as well as the erhu, a kind of 2 stringed fiddle adopted from nomadic tribes.

As far as finding traditional Chinese music, I would suggest looking on Amazon or on Chinasprout.com. Amazon has just about any CD you could ever want and even has sample clips. Giving names of specific songs could be a little confusing, since the names are originally in Chinese and they don't necessarily have a standard translation in English (I assume you don't know Chinese).

China has a very rich and ancient musical culture. I wish you luck in your study of it.

Hope this helps!

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