In the process of moving out of:
Video 1.
High Mountain and Flowing Water performed on the guzheng by Xiang SiHua (2000)
. Source.
Video 2.
Suwu herding sheep performed on the erhu by Song Fei (2017)
. Source.
Video 3.
Ambush from ten sides performed on the pipa by Jiaju Shen (2017)
. Source.
Video 6.
Wang Jin beats Gao Qiu theme music from The Water Margin featuring a suona solo
. Source.
This is a good place to start your journey, though it misses a lot, and some songs are not as memorable as others, there is huge variability in that list.
Video 1.
The Ten Most Famous Melodies in Ancient China
. Source. A single video with a collage of all ten songs.
The main four instruments are undoubtedly:but there is also amazing content on others which must not be missed, including:
Figure 1.
A blind erhu street performer playing in Jingzhou, Hubei (2006)
. Source. Playing the erhu is a traditional occupation for blind people in China, a notable example being Abing.
Video 2.
The 12 Most Famous Erhu Melodies in China (2021)
. Source. TODO transcribe list.
Composed by Abing in 1949[ref] contains an amazing orchestral version for di flute TODO identify! When attempting to upload to YouTube, it identifies as "Su Wu Tending the Sheep" and give a name "Chen Tao", but no further information. Chen Tao is presumably this dude: | 陈涛苏武牧羊/5532#11_2 mentions that it comes from an erhu concerto composed by Peng Xiuwen
The sadness of the erhu perfectly fits the role and mood of the story! Brilliant!
Once Ciro Santilli played Suwu herding sheep while his mother in law was around, and she quickly pointed out:
Suwu by Abing!
He's very popular!
And also a composer, e.g. he composed Reflections of the Moon on Erquan.
Figure 3.
Stringless guqin fan painting by Feng Chaoran (1943)
. Stolen traight from on
Wind in the pines and a babbling brook are nature's melody. A qin was brought along, but there is no need to play it
The The Gateless Barrier vibe and Chinese naturalism is just awesome.
Bo Ya was good at playing the qin. Zhong Ziqi was good at listening to the qin. When Bo Ya's will was towards high mountains in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, "How towering like Mount Tai!" When Bo Ya's will was towards flowing water in his playing, Zhong Ziqi would say, "How vast are the rivers and oceans!" Whatever Bo Ya thought of Ziqi would never fail to understand. Bo Ya said, "Amazing! Your heart and mine are the same!" After Zhong Ziqi died, Bo Ya broke his Guqin because he thought that no one else can understand his music.
John Thompson's Guqin website.
Holy crap amazing list of Guqin pieces by the guy for MP3 download!
Download all mp3:
wget -r -np -l 1 -A mp3
Ciro Santilli Contacted John by email in 2019 telling him to put his stuff on YouTube and offering help, and he replied, but nothing came of it unfrotunately. Edit: he uploaded a bunch of videos of him playing live in 2020!
John focuses on playing the tunes in a "historically informed performance", in particular using silk strings rather than metal ones which are used by most modern artists:
Video 1.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter performed by John Thompson (2020)
. Source.
Composed by Bo Ya for the guqin.
But there is an awesome guzheng adapatation which is perhaps better known in modern times, partly because it is not as long/slow. TODO origin.
Video 1.
High Mountain and Flowing Water performed on the guzheng by Xiang SiHua (2000)
. Source. Performer Chinese name: 項斯華
韦编三绝 is a chengyu that means "to study diligently", i.e. to read so much to the point that your book starts to wear down.
There is a Chinese Wiki page for this song:韦编三绝 which says it dates from the early Qing dynasty
Video 1.
"The book binding broke three times" uploaded by guqincn
. Source.
Lit: fish timber question answer.
The dialog is also known as allegory for an incredibly deep philosophical discussion between an idealized wise woodcutter and a fisherman, e.g. mentioned at:
This song is just too slow for Ciro Santilli to make much out of it.
Figure 1.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter Chinese traditional painting by Xie Shichen
Video 2.
Dialog between Fisherman and Woodcutter performed by Wu Jinglüe
. Source. Accompagnied by di flute to reinforce the idea of two voices. This one has TODO year. gives an origin:
Li Sao was composed by Cheng Kangshi in late Tang dynasty based on the poem Li Sao, authored by Qu Yuan (340-278 BC) in the Warring States period of ancient China.
The entry: does not mention this however.
Video 2.
Lisao performed by NiniGuqin (2020)
. Source.
A Jackdaw is a type of crow:
Considered one of the 10 famous Chaozhou music pieces TODO list.
Was also adapted by Liu Baoshan (1937-1997) as a pipa song. Ciro Santilli prefers the pipa version.
Video 1.
Jackdaw Playing With Water performed by Xu Lingzi on the guzheng at the Wiener Musikverein
. Source.
Video 2.
Jackdaw Playing With Water performed by Lin Shicheng on the pipa
. Source.
A Baidu Baike page:層層水瀾/12386243 mentions that the score was published in 1970 by Tao Yimo (陶一陌) in a eponymous score book.
Video 1.
Ripples by ripples performed by Wu Li on the guzheng
. Source. Peformer's Chinese name: 吳莉.
TODO identify better:
Video 1.
Posing As a Wind Instrument Player In an Ensemble by Li Xuan
. Source. Part of "Chinese Ancient Music - Vol 2, High Mountains And Flowing Water", e.g. as seen at:
Video 1.
Ambush from ten sides performed by Jiaju Shen (2017)
. Source.
Video 2. . Source. The sound quality is not great, but you do get to see the master. TODO location and date.
God this song.
Lit. "sunny spring white snow".
Video 1. . Source. From the 1996 album: "A Collection of Chinese Music Masterpieces: Pipa": TODO recording date.
Video 2.
White snow in sunny spring performed by Wu Man in 2020 at The Kennedy Center
. Source.
Composed by Wang Huiran in 1960.
The Yi people are one of the officially recognized 55 Chinese ethnic minorities.
Video 1. . Source. From the album Chinese Plucked Instruments: Vol. 2 - Fishermen’s Song At South Sea: (2004)
Video 2.
Dance of the Yi People performed by Wu Man (2021)
. Source. Presented by the Aga Khan Music Program.
This piece is a reference to Dragon boats from the Dragon Boat Festival.
The explosive moments presumably represent the intense rowing action of a dragon boat race competition.
TODO date composed.
Video 1.
Dragon boat performed by Yuanchun Yu (2021)
. Source.
One of the most flashy chinese musical instrument!
It is very similar to the Indian shehnai.
Video 1.
A Hundred Birds Pay Homage to the Phoenix with suona solo performed by Li Guangcai
. Source.
Video 1.
Song of Chu xun solo
. Source. TODO performer
The most important publisher, AKA "CRC Jianian". TODO meaning of Jianian?
Chinese government owned unfortunately.
Their website takes forever to load:, and features mostly Communist shit, and I can't find the decent traditional music listed there.

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