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The Han Chinese, who make up some 92% of the population of China, play heterophonic music in which the musicians play versions of a single melody line. Percussion accompanies most music, dance and opera.

Instrumental pieces played on an erhu or dizi are popular, and are often available outside of China, but qin, pipa and zheng music, which is more traditional, are more popular in China itself. The qin is perhaps the national instrument of China, and its virtuosos are stars, these include Zha Fuxi, Wu Wen'guang, Lin Youren, Wu Jinglue, Wu Zhaoji, Guan Pinghu, Zhang Zijian, Li Xiangting, and Gong Yi. The zheng, a form of zither, is most popular in Henan, Chaozhou, Hakka, and Shandong. The pipa, a kind of lute, believing introduced from Arab areas during 6th century and improved, is most popular in Shanghai and surrounding areas.

Han folk music thrives at weddings and funerals and usually included a form of oboe called a suona and percussive ensembles called chuigushou. The music is diverse, sometimes jolly, sometimes sad, and often based on Western Pop music and TV theme songs.[1]


  1. ^ Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark; Trillo, Richard (2000). World Music: Latin and North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific. 2 (2 ed.). Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.