Real story about the music life of Chinese people

Real story about the music life of Chinese people

Is there a song that inspires or calms you or reminds you of memorable moments?

Is there an instrument that accompanies you like a loyal friend in happy or sad times?

Is there a melody that can be recalled no matter how far from home you are?

As Bryce Anderson said, "I've found that no matter what life throws at me, music softens the blow.”

Music has always been with me from China to the UK, Dubai, and back to China. It's been like a friend since childhood.

This time, I hope to write a post showing how music plays a role in Chinese people’s lives. And I will start with myself.


I tried learning the first instrument when I was in kindergarten. It was a violin, but soon the learning stopped due to the vacancy of my teacher. Later on, I tried many other instruments like Erhu (二胡), Clarinet, and Guzheng (古筝)

At 17, I finally picked the ONE instrument for my life - Guqin (古琴). Despite being abroad and away from home, I have been practising Guqin for ten years. 

While some people choose Guqin, others may have selected different instruments to perform the music.

After returning home, I went to my teacher's music school, trying to understand the current situation of musical education among the younger generation of China.

What surprised me is that more adults are learning instruments than children nowadays; the ratio is roughly 60% to 40%, which is the opposite of the number I knew when I grew up.

It’s a good change because the younger generation in China is more focused on developing their artistic life. I even interviewed some of them, asking why they started learning instruments.

Leaving my teacher’s school, I visited a famous park in Chengdu, and it’s called People’s Park. In this park, you can find people chatting at the tea house, rowing boats in the lake, using water and mop brush, practising calligraphy, listing dating and marriage information, and playing sports.

What attracted me here was the chorus for older people. There are around 3-4 different choruses in the park. Their instruments may not be sophisticated, and their voices may not be the prettiest. But they have the highest spirits among all the chorus I’ve ever seen. They are enjoying the company of the music, just like their audience.

Music is borderless. It’s a language that does not need to be spoken. Chinese people like music just as all the other nations in the world, if not more. Whether it’s violin or Erhu, Guqin or cello, the musical instrument is the specific friend we’ve found in the musical world. Whether it’s Bach or Liushui (流水), Mozart or Liangzhu (梁祝), we are touched by the emotions delivered through the combination of silence and sound.

Music has almost accompanied me for 27 years of my life. I still remember how it helped me endure many weekends and make new friends in Dubai. And I know it will continue to be a loyal company in my lifetime. We will all pass away one day, but the music will stay and pass down our emotions and memories to the next generation, just like it did to the previous.

I hope you have already or will find your music.

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