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Naxi Ancient Music

Naxi Ancient Music (aka Dongba Ancient Music) was listed as one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. Known as a "living fossil," ancient Naxi music originated from Taoism music that dates back to the Tang dynasty (618-907), and three types of the original music have been handed down orally to the 280,000 Naxi people living in Lijiang today. Presently, Naxi people in the mountainous area still practice the custom of singing and dancing around a bonfire to mourn the dead, carrying on tradition.

 Naxi Ancient Music Naxi Ancient Music Naxi Ancient Music

The songs they sing on such occasions seem to have neither rhythm nor obbligato. Another well-preserved ancient form of music is a grand orchestra piece composed more than 700 years ago, 486 years before the symphonies of Joseph Haydn. It is an epic of the Naxi group that tells about wars between different tribes. Studies into the history of Chinese music have found that most of the pieces played by Naxi musicians as those performed more than 1,000 years ago, and ancient musical scores that have long been discarded in Central China are still being used by many Naxi musicians today.

The ancient music has gained a worldwide reputation in recent years, and it is on the top of the majority of tourists' agendas to attend a live concert in Lijiang. Experts have called for increased efforts to retain and develop the music, which is praised as "orthodox and unpolluted classical Chinese music." The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defined oral and intangible heritage as "the totality of traditionally based creations of cultural community, expressed by a group of individuals, and recognized as reflection the expectations of a community.


Travel to Lijiang,you can find some places to enjoy Naxi Ancient Music, such as the Black Dragon Pool Park,Dongba Palace, Naxi Concert Hall,Baisha Old Town (the band is set in a roadside shop nearby a famous restaurant-Baisha Impression, though this band is not so authentic and their performance is not formal, you can pay RMB 10yuan to request a song and take a picture with the band). Among,the Dongba Palace and Naxi Concert Hall are the most famous in Lijiang, where the bands not only play the pieces of music that composed in the Tang, Song and Ming dynasties,but also show the acient Chinese and Naxi music instruments. Some times, the bands may sing one or two interesting local folk songs. Both tickets are RMB 180yuan. 

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