I really cannot believe no one has ever posted this.
April 13, 2010 4:49 PM   Subscribe

The Great Empire of China has a fantastic archive of traditional, classical and even modern Chinese music excerpts and several full musical suites, including some pieces from Chinese opera. National Geographic has a short breakdown on regional variations in traditional music in China. Chinese opera is very different than Western opera. Here are some great pictures of singers.

But classic stories from traditional Chinese opera are continually being reinvented - Damon Albarn in conjunction with Chen Shi-Zheng, the director of Dark Matter, created their own version of Journey to the West.

I want to particularly draw attention to the pdf which contains all 100 chapters of the original books in English. Dear Monkey!
posted by winna (7 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. One of the really nice side effects, maybe, of either the Chinese government's disregard for enforcing IPR rights, or the mainland tradition of copying books out by hand and circulating them under the radar: nowadays regular people scan (or in this case, type) books, and then give them away for free. Searchable, complete (1,406-page!) version of one of the world's greatest books? Don't mind if I do.

To keep the love going, here is a site that has translations of some older literature: the Book of Odes, the Analects, the Doctrine of the Mean, 300 Tang poems, and more.
posted by Valet at 6:14 PM on April 13, 2010

The Chinese are known the world over for their soaring and romantic melodies, and what with your guarantee that there won’t be sex, I don’t see how I could say no.
posted by thesmophoron at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

The 4 to 1 ratio of favorites to comments for this post now does point to fact that, "What can you say?" So much to listen to. My Chinese friend who's hanging out while I'm sampling the songs, has immediately recognized and started singing along with every one so far.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:38 PM on April 13, 2010

To add to the list of things to listen to, although it's not free, one of my favorite surveys of instrumental Chinese classical music is the Hugo Masters compilation.

My favorite is Moonlit Night of Stone Forest, off the plucked strings volume.
posted by winna at 9:47 PM on April 13, 2010

Very interesting! I always thought that the term "Chinese music" was way too vague for what forms of music where being created there.
posted by Catholicgauze at 4:27 AM on April 14, 2010

Very interesting indeed.
posted by jlind0 at 8:00 AM on April 14, 2010

Thanks for the post, winna.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:27 AM on April 14, 2010

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