As one of the largest countries in the world, China has a variety of musical traditions and instruments that have developed over the years. Different ethnic groups used the materials at hand to create their own brand of music, and much of it has spread throughout the country. While some instrumentation has been imported from cultures outside the country, there is still a surprising variety of them that were originally developed in different areas of China that have become a part of the larger culture.
Wind instruments are popular throughout the world, and using reeds to vibrate in different tones has been a development that can be seen all over the world. In China, the Sheng is a traditional reed instrument that has become an important part of many mainstream musical traditions. It has a long history of development, and it has gone through many changes and upgrades throughout the centuries. One of the related instruments is the Lu Sheng which is larger, and that has been in use for more than three millennia.
Stringed instruments are part of many cultures, and China boasts the Pipa as part of their long history. More than two thousand years old, it has once again become an important part of the country’s music. It is named for the way the musician strikes the strings forward for pi and backward for pa. While few of the original musical scores written for it now exist, those that do have become popular in modern society.
These are just a few of the traditional instruments developed in China, and there are many more to explore and enjoy. Modern Chinese musicians have begun to hold concerts where they combine traditional instruments with modern ones, but there are also concerts where only the traditional instruments are used to create the music of the past.