Comparison of Traditional and Contemporary—the Music in China

Topics: Erhu, Folk music, Music Pages: 2 (616 words) Published: May 7, 2011
Traditional Chinese music, generally speaking, is Chinese folk music. China is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation and music plays a significant role in the revolution of Chinese culture. The traditional music, passing through thousands of years of development, still maintains it's unique characters and brought about a series of massive effects on contemporary music as well. In this day and age, music in China, mixed various elements which including classical and modern, from western and traditional music that has enriched the contemporary music, making it more colourful and charming. Therefore, the comparison between traditional and contemporary music has always been a popular topic. This essay will demonstrate and compare the differences and similarities between them from a general point of view.

Initially, both traditional and contemporary Chinese music share a common root which is originally form folk music. Apparently, the majority of contemporary Chinese style music is based on folk music which is the same as the tradition music and we can still find the shadow of the folk tunes in both of them. Music is cathartic and has been seen as a way in which to release human emotion, similarly whether from the past or present, the original idea of producing music all concentrates on expressing the emotions of individuals. Moreover, while playing a piece of music, both in contemporary or traditional ways, more than two different kinds of instruments are tended to be used , which often consists of orchestral instruments and percussion.

Apart from these similarities mentioned above, there are a myriad of differences between traditional and contemporary music. One of the main ways in which they differ is in the expression of music. Traditional music uses traditional instruments, such as the erhu, the pipa, the Chinese zither and the sona. Conversely, contemporary Chinese music makes more use of the guitar, drums and keyboard, which belong to the typical...
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