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Resources > Research Materials Nanyin (Music of the South)

Nanyin (南音) is a style of Chinese classical music originating in the Fujian Province along China’s southeastern coast. With slow, elegant melodies, Nanyin is performed on a combination of distinctive instruments such as a bamboo flute (dongxiao), lute (pipa), as well as wind, string and percussion instruments. 

Traditionally, musical performances were not simply entertainment, but also carried strong associations with various broader social practices, such as rituals and ceremonies to the music god Minhu Longgun, or as a part of funeral processions. It is popular in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Over 2,000 years, Nanyin has retained a large number of ancient Chinese vocabulary and phonology. The existence of a rich repertoire of songs and scores help preserve ancient folk music and poems and has influenced opera, puppet theatre and other performing art traditions. 

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Nanyin 南音