It is believed that Chinese music can date back to between 8,000 or 9,000 years ago. According to archaeological discoveries, Chinese music can still be traced back to more than 7,000 years ago. The Chinese nation has developed a rich and complex musical culture in the long history of thousands of years. With the renewal of traditional Chinese music, it is more and more popular domestically and even worldwide. It is obvious that there are so many music lovers that are dedicated Chinese music fans or just get interested in China songs. In this article, you can download 5 best traditional Chinese music and get several music platforms recommended coming with lots of high-quality and traditional Chinese music.

Part 1: What is Traditional Chinese Music?

Traditional Chinese music refers to the music created by the Chinese people with the traditional methods and forms of the Chinese people. It includes not only the ancient works produced in history and passed down to the present, but also the contemporary works, which is an extremely important part of Chinese folk music.


Traditional Chinese music has lasted for thousands of years and contains many aesthetic qualities. It concentratedly embodies the special nature of certain musical thoughts, which can be divided into four categories in the academic world, namely, ya yue, religious music, literati music and folk music. Yayue was the music of the imperial court and monasteries, which was played by orchestras with hundreds of musicians and used in rituals, ceremonial and military proceedings. Literati music refers to the traditional Chinese music created or participated in by the intellectuals who have certain cultural accomplishment in the past dynasties. It is usually performed by a single instrument or small ensembles, mainly including tonal patterns and rhyme schemes of ci poetry music and Gu qin music. Chinese folk music can be divided into four categories, including instrumental music, local opera, folk songs and dancing music.


The traditional Chinese musical instruments include plucked string instruments, percussion instruments, bowed instruments, and wind instruments. Among those instruments, guqin (plucked seven-string musical instrument of the zither family), pipa or Chinese lute (four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, belonging to the plucked category of instruments), erhu (two-stringed bowed musical instrument) and flute are the most famous ones.

Part 2: 5 Best Traditional Chinese Music

There are tons of traditional Chinese music pieces that are classic and ever popular, among which the most well-known are top 10 pieces of traditional Chinese music. They are High Mountains and Flowing Water, Plum Blossom Melodies, Guangling Melody, Flutes and Drums at Dusk, Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank, Ambush from All Sides, Dialogue between the Fisherman and the Woodcutter, Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute, Autumn Moon over Han Palace and White Snow in Early Spring. To learn more about these Traditional Chinese music, 5 world-famous traditional Chinese music are picked and recommended here.

1. High Mountains and Flowing Water (gao shan liu shui)

Listed as one of ten best ancient Chinese music pieces, High Mountains and Flowing Water is one of the most historically famous Chinese musical compositions. The tune was originally two separate compositions that are based on the legendary friendship between distinguished guqin master Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi, a rustic woodsman. Boya encountering Zhong Ziqi who understands his qin performance and breaking the strings of his qin and vowing never to play the qin again when Ziqi died. This impressive piece of music describes the virility, depth, decency and nobleness of the mountain, and the harmony between the flowing water and the high mountain.


2. Guangling Melody (guang ling san)

Guangling Melody, named guang ling san in Chinese, is a grand masterpiece played by the guqin in China. “Guangling” is the ancient name of Yangzhou, a famous city in Jiangsu province. Guangling Melody is created from the Qin (221-207 BC) and Han (206 BC-220 AD) dynasties and completed in Wei and Jing(220-420AD) dynasties. It had been lost for a time, but later it was tidied up and its score was composed by Guan Pinghu, a famous Chinese guqin player according to the melody recorded in Magical Music Score (1425), which made this wonderful guqin melody back to the world.


3. Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank (ping sha luo yan)

Wild Geese Descending on the Sandbank is also one of the top ten guqin pieces. It is the most widely performed guqin piece of the last three hundred years throughout China. Though there is no legend behind it like other master pieces, it is still so popular due to not only the smooth and relaxing melody, but also because of its unique expression and a clarity of easy understanding.


4. Plum Blossom Melodies (mei hua san nong)

Plum Blossom Melodies is the most widely spread classic Chinese instrumental music. It is more popular in the versions of flute music and guqin music, which sings of a person with noble moral integrity through depiction of the undaunted and indomitable character of plum blossoms that burst into bloom in defiance of the ferocious cold frost, chilling gales and drifting snowflakes. Elegant in style, it is mostly favored for its sharp musical images and special methods of representation.


5. Ambush from All Sides (shi mian mai fu)

Ambush from All Sides is famous Chinese classical pipa solo music, which was composed on the basis of the decisive battle in 202 BC between the two armies of Chu and Han. The music takes the historical facts of the battle and depicts the fierce battle scenes in the form of musical narrative, of the fierce, desolate, solemn and stirring scenes of the battle. The whole music is majestic and passionate, sharp in artistic image, exalting in melody, and extremely thrilling, which still remains one of the most popular pipa music pieces in all kinds of concerts in China.


Part 3: 3 Best Websites to Download Traditional Chinese Music

If you’re interested in the appealing Chinese music, you would like to listen to or download traditional Chinese music from a good music platform. There are 3 best websites you are looking forward to enjoying Chinese music online or offline.

1. QQ Music

QQ music, affiliated to Tencent Music, is one of the largest and most popular Chinese music streaming platforms. With a massive music library and high-quality and legal copyright content offered, QQ music has billions of registered members and active users. You can freely listen to most of the Chinese music online. Or if needed, you can also download Chinese music by installing its App or desktop application. Note that an account is in need when downloading and some music is paid.


2. Kugou

Kugou, also owned by Tencent music, claims 60 million of copyrighted music, which is one of the most popular music streaming service in China. It devotes to become the largest music streaming service in the world and offers songs all around the world. With its user-friendly interface and well-organized categories, you can find your favorite music from tons of Chinese music in fast and effective way. If you prefer to download traditional Chinese music, it is necessary to install its desktop software or App.


3. NetEase Music

Developed and owned by NetEase, Inc., NetEase Music is a very popular freemium music streaming service in China. It consists of 10 million songs and has hundreds of millions of active users. It is also a social music platform that allows its users to not only find excellent music here, but also leave comments, and interact with others. If you are intended to download Chinese music on NetEase, remember to install its App and desktop software in advance.


It is noting that most of the music you download from these three platforms are DRM-protected due to copyright protection. If you want to download DRM-free traditional Chinese music, you can resort to the third-party tools. Read on, and you can find the best way to remove the DRM protection.

Part 4: How to Download DRM-Free Traditional Chinese Music from Any Website?

Leawo Music Recorder is a powerful but easy-to-use music recording tool that enables you to record free music from online music streaming service, like QQ music, Kuguo music, NetEase music, YouTube, SoundCloud, Tidal, Spotify, etc. and then save in DRM-free MP3 or WAV format with lossless quality. Besides, it also records computer audio or any built-in input audio without any quality loss. It can work as free music downloader to download DRM-free traditional Chinese music from any website. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1. Download and install Leawo Music Recorder

Go to the official site to download the installation package of Leawo Music Recorder for free, and then install the program on your computer in minutes.

  • music-recorder
  • Leawo Music Recorder

    - Record any sound from computer stream audio and built-in input audio.
    - Record music from 1000+ music sites like YouTube, Facebook, Veoh, VEVO, etc.
    - Schedule music recording via the internal recording task scheduler.
    - Automatically/manually add and complete music tags like artist, album, cover, genre, etc.
    - Save recorded musicfiles into either WAV or MP3 format for wide uses.

Step 2. Launch the program and choose an audio source

Launch Leawo Music Recorder to enter the recording main interface, click the “Audio Source” icon to enter the function panel where you can choose “Record Computer Audio” option to record online music. It is noting that you can choose “Record Audio Input” option to record audio from built-in input audio like Mic.


Step 3. Set Output Format

Switch to the “Format” tab, then select “mp3 Audio(*.mp3)” or “ wav Audio(*.wav)” as the output format. Additionally, you can adjust the audio parameters in the “Audio Setting” box, including bit rate and sample rate if necessary.



    You can also switch to the “General” tab and then set an output directory to save output recordings in the “Output” box.

Step 4. Start to record traditional Chinese music you like

Click the red “Start” button, and then play the source traditional Chinese music you want to download. The music recording software starts recording and then save it in your selected output file folder. You can feel free to manage recorded music files.