Top 10 Best Chinese Erhu Music

Erhu is a traditional Chinese musical instrument. Its history can be dated back to Tang Dyansty, 1,000 years ago.
Erhu, literally means “two-string barbarian instrument” is widely known in the West as “Chinese violin”. Erhu has evolved into a form of solo art for nearly a century in China. We can find many Chinese Erhu pieces, and here we share you with the list of the 10 most popular Erhu music.

a bing

A Bing – a blind Chinese musician specializing in the Erhu

1. Erquan Yingyue (The Moon Reflected on the Second Spring) 二泉映月

Erquan Yingyue is the most famous piece of erhu music in China. It was composed by the Wuxi folk erhu artist Hua Yanjun(nickname: A Bing) in the mid-20th century. The music not only leads people to imagine the scene of quiet home at midnight with cold moon in the sky, but also seems to have seen the blind artist is pouring out his grief of rough life. The song has profound mood and is full of strong national flavor and artistic appeal.

2. Liang Xiao (Beautiful Night) 良宵

This Chinese Erhu  musical piece was composed by musician Liu Tianhua in 1928. It was instantly created during a get-together with his students and friends on the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Through light rhythm and soft melody, it vividly depicts his pleasant mood during the party. The joy and passion expressed in the music reach its the extremes that the instrument can do, making it a classic piece of Erhu music.

3. Ting Song (Listening to the Soughing Wind in the Pine Forest) 听松

The piece Ting Song was also composed by Erhu artist Hua Yanjun (A Bing). According to legend, during the Song Dynasty, the Jin state general Jin Wushu was defeated by Song state general Yue Fei and fled to the foot of Wuxi Huiquan Mountain, he lied on a stone and was jumpy when listening to the sound made by horses and soldiers of the Song state. The composer uses the music to pay a tribute to the national hero Yue Fei and pours his own outspoken personality and assertive will. It has vigorous melody, many ups and downs and is full of intense emotion, Ting Song is a rare masterpiece of Erhu music.

4. Kong Shan Niao Yu (Birds Singing in the Empty Mountain) 空山鸟语

The piece is a Erhu solo created by famous Erhu musician Liu Tianhua from 1918-1928. The song describes the vibrant scene of birds singing in the deep mountain valleys. The music imitates the chirping of birds and the composer’s emotions are also reflected in the music. This Erhu piece is known for its unique playing techniques created by Mr. Liu Tianhua.

5. Han Chun Feng Qu (Cold Wind in Spring) 寒春风曲

The music is created by composer Hua Yanjun. Part of the melody and playing techniques is similar like his most famous Erhu piece Erquan Yingyue, but with brighter mood and lively and smooth melody, making the listener feel that the sunny spring is coming.

6. Yue Ye (Moon Night) 月夜

The Erhu piece Moon Night was composed by Liu Tianhua when he cooled himself in a moon night in 1918. The whole piece displays a imagery of bright moon with soft wind, and expresses a touch of melancholy. The music reminds people of the Tang Dynasty poet Liu Fangping’s poem “Moonlit Night”: “In the deep of the night, the moon lights up half the room, The Plough and southern stars and beginning to descend. This night I feel the coming of spring from the warm breeze, Insects are newly calling through the window’s drapes”

7. Liu Bo Qu  流波曲

Liu Bo Qu is a Erhu solo composed by blind musician Sun Wenming in 1952 winter. The music theme is the composer’s “hardships of life far from home in the past”, The music has a deep emotion, steady rhythm and slight speed change, it sounds as if the composer is telling a sad story.

8. Bing Zhong Yin (Recitation in Sickness) 病中吟

Bing Zhong Yin is the first Erhu music by composer Liu Tianhua and can also be said to be the first Erhu solo of Modern China. It was created under the “double whammy” when Liu lost his job and his father died, the music implied that he wanted to get rid of the difficulties and struggled to make some change, and expressed his depressed mood, the song doesn’t mean he was moaning in serious illness.

9. San Bao Fo (Three Precious Buddhas) 三宝佛

San Bao Fo was an ancient Erhu music and was recomposed by Liu Tianhua to an Erhu solo. Its bright melody displays that “the Buddhist temple has endless stream of pilgrims and glory of the Buddha shines in the blue sky.”

10. Guang Ming Xing (Towards Brightness) 光明行

Guang Ming Xing is a Erhu solo created by Liu Tianhua in 1931. The music is known for its exhilarated, passionate and vigorous melody. It is a Chinese style march music during the May Fourth era. Liu Tianhua commented that: “Because foreigners say that our music is malaise, I created this song to prove they are wrong.”

What do you think of the above Chinese Erhu music? do you know other famous Erhu music pieces, share it by leaving your comments below.

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