Ten best-known ancient Chinese melodies

The following are some of the most famous melodies from the Middle Kingdom. Each piece of the music has a story behind it, and thus forming a specific aesthetic and spiritual enjoyment. Begin this journey and immerse yourself in the unique charm of traditional Chinese music and instruments.

Please note that this list is not exclusive or academic, and the tunes are selected by its popularity.

Previous << Page 1 2 3


Hu Jia Shi Ba Pai

Hu Jia Shi Ba Pai means eighteen songs of a nomad reed pipe, which was composed on the basis of the poem with the same name. Hu Jia was a kind of reed pipe popular among the nomadic people in ancient North China, and was used in the army to boost the morale since it's very loud.

Hu Jia Shi Ba Pai tells the famous story of Cai Wenji's return to the Han kingdom. Social unrest forced Cai to marry a king of the nomadic Huns in the North at the end of the Han Dynasty, and she missed her hometown in the Central Plain every single day. Finally she got a chance to go back 12 years later, but by then she was already a mother of two. The ecstasy of being able to go back to the hometown was extinguished by the pain of having to leave her children. The music delicately expresses her mixed feelings at this moment.

Han Gong Qiu Yue

Erhu: Guzheng: Pipa:

Han Gong Qiu Yue means autumn moon of the palace in the Han Dynasty. There are respectively Guzheng, Erhu, and Pipa versions of this tune.

The music reveals the bitterness and grief of the young maids in the palace, stirring people's sympathy towards the misfortune and loneliness of the girls. The Guzheng tune applies many playing techniques and emits a classic beauty, and Erhu edition makes a number of intentional pauses and a number of complex skills are also used to intensify its artistic inspiration.

Yang Chun Bai Xue

Yang Chun Bai Xue, literally meaning spring snow, also denotes highbrow art and literature today. There is a story saying that in the Chu State when a singer was singing the song of the rustic poor, there are tens of thousands of followers in the state, but when the singer sand Yang Chun Bai Xue later, there were only a few people singing along. The word Yang Chun Bai Xue has had the meaning of highbrow art that very few people can understand it.

The music has been edited by celebrities throughout history, and its structure has been tighter and much easier to understand, suiting both refined and popular tastes.

Windows Media Player is required for playing all the music here.