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Naxi Ancient Music

Naxi Ancient Music is the traditional Naxi classical music, which is regarded as a “living fossil of Chinese music”. Naxi Ancient Music is one of the most important cultures of the Naxi minority ethnic group in Lijiang, and also the oldest music in Yunnan Province dating back to the 14th century. It was archaic, simple, and elegant in style, exquisite, euphonious, and energetic in character.


Beautiful Naxi music

Naxi Ancient Music is the oldest music in Yunnan. It was affected by Confucian and Taoism culture, which also combined the literary lyrics, poetic writing and musical tones of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) together. There are three characteristics of the Naxi Ancient Music, including ancient melodies, ancient instruments, and aged musicians. Naxi people seem to be born with artistic abilities and poetic minds. Their great talents in poetry, calligraphy, painting, and music all come from Naxi’s rich and captivating culture.

Naxi Ancient Music is composed of Baisha Orchestral Music, Dongjing Music, and Huangjing Music (had been lost).


Baisha Fine Music is one of China's few large-scale, classical orchestral forms of music. According to the legend, it was from the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, Kublai Khan. When Kublai Khan was on his expedition to Dali, he met danger while crossing the Jinsha River. Luckily, the leader of the Naxi people, Aliang, helped him. Kublai Khan left half of his band and many musical scores as the gift before his leaving, to show his great appreciation to Naxi people.


Dongjing Music is a type of Taoist music, which was introduced to Yunnan from the central Plains during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Dongjing Music was also widely spread among Naxi people, thus it became the most well-preserved musical form in China.


Besides its intrinsic stateliness, purity, and elegance, Dongjing Music also included Naxi people’s musical elements, styles, and the skills used in performances, which creates a feeling of transcendental artistic conception and charming folk flavor.

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