This site spotlights musicians exploring new directions in World Music: Brazilian rhumba combined with Chinese folk melodies and Tuvan throat singing. Check out the World Instrument Gallery for its cogent explanations and pictures of traditional Chinese instruments.
Chinese Music: Encarta
Get an overview of Chinese music. From ancient beliefs to music theory to the historical development, this site provides a straightforward account of the vocal and instrumental music composed and played by the Chinese people. The text is concise and easy-to-follow. Note the Further Reading link at the end of the article.
Featuring clear explanations and numerous color photos, this site offers an excellent introduction to traditional Chinese music. The hot button links are terrific for providing further background and depth to this concise summary.
Chinese Music Multimedia
Discover the numerous musical traditions of China. This provides a large and varied selection of audio clips, from traditional to modern to popular to ceremonial (mostly .au format), plus links to other related sites.
Chinese Music Society of North America
Excerpts from the publication of the Chinese Music Society of North America introduce you to such topics as "About Chinese Musical Instruments" and "Historical Trends in Preferences for Musical Instruments." Although written primarily for a more advanced audience, these texts are a useful entry into this 8000-year-old musical tradition.
Clarion Music Center
Drawing on the traditional Chinese instrument classification system (Ba yin), this site lets you select from skin, bamboo, wood, silk, metal, stone, gourd, or earth/clay to see pictures of the Chinese instruments which are made from these materials. The
accompanying text provides some background for each instrument, plus general playing instructions.
Music of China
With descriptions of traditional instruments, Chinese musical history, biographies of modern and current masters of Chinese music, a music database, and listings of CDs and books, this site is a major resource. Though currently limited to 11 "top Chinese music pieces," the database includes a description and background for each piece, in addition to audio clips.
North American Guqin Association
Guqin, a seven-stringed zither, is China's oldest stringed instrument, dating back 3000 years. Learn about this and other ancient Chinese instruments. This site provides pictures, brief descriptions, and ordering information.
Traditional Chinese Instruments
The bowed strings, the plucked strings, the winds, and the percussion: this site introduces you the components of the classic Chinese orchestra and provides audio clips of the erhu, the pipa, and the di'tz. RealPlayer required.