Ancient Chinese Music History

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Chinese music is referred to as the art form of organized vocal and instrumental sounds that have been orchestrated in China. Chinese music is one of the oldest and most highly developed of all known musical systems in the entire world. Different forms of music have been recorded in ancient Chinese documents dating back to the earlier periods of Chinese civilization that have provided evidence of a well-developed and functioning musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty. These continued to develop into various forms of music through the dynasties that followed the Zhou Dynasty producing the very rich heritage of music that is present in the Chinese culture today. Chinese music continues to grow and evolve in the modern times, and more newfangled forms have also emerged. Archaeological research conducted indicates that music culture developed in China during a very early period of civilization. During disinterring efforts in Jiahu Village in Wuyang County, Henan found bone flutes dated back to 8,000 years ago. Clay music instruments called Xun, estimated to be 6,000 years old have also been discovered in the Hemudu sites in Zhejiang and Banpo in Xi'an. During the Zhou Dynasty, a formal system of court and ceremonial music that was later termed Yayue which means elegant music was established. The word music “Yue” in ancient China can also refer to dance as a form of music. Dance was considered an essential part of music during ancient times. Six Dynasty music held the most
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