Chinese New Year Music: The Best Instrumental Songs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Looking for the best Chinese New Year music to help get you in the celebratory mood? Check out our top picks for the best instrumental songs to set the tone for a prosperous and joyous Year of the Ox!

Chinese New Year Music Basics

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday that falls on the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar. The Lunar calendar is different from the solar calendar that most countries in the world use, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 12th.

Chinese New Year is celebrated with a lot of fanfare all over China, and in Chinese communities all over the world. One of the most important aspects of the celebration is music. Music is used to set the mood for festivities, and traditionally, instrumental songs are played to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

What is the Chinese New Year zodiac?

The Chinese New Year zodiac is a system that assigns an animal to each year in a twelve-year cycle. The animals in the Chinese zodiac are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each animal has certain personality traits that are said to be represented in people born under that sign.

What are the Chinese New Year traditions?

During the Chinese New Year, people celebrate with a variety of traditions. One of the most important traditions is the music. The music played during this holiday is special because it is instrumental. This helps to create a festive and celebratory mood.

The Chinese New Year music is often slow and relaxing. This is because the holiday is a time for people to rest and recharge after a busy year. The music helps to create a calm and pleasant atmosphere. It is also traditional for the music to be performed by a small group of people. This helps to create a more intimate setting.

The Best Chinese New Year Songs

Chinese New Year is a time for family, friends, and of course, music! There are many traditional and modern songs that are popular during Chinese New Year. In this article, we will recommend some of the best instrumental Chinese New Year songs that you can listen to.

“The Spring Festival Overture” by Liu Tianhua

One of the most popular and well-known pieces of Chinese New Year music is “The Spring Festival Overture” by Liu Tianhua. This festive and upbeat song is often played during traditional Chinese New Year celebrations and is a favorite among many people.

“The Spring Festival Overture” was composed in 1933 and is based on the folk melody of “Jasmine Flower.” The piece was originally written for the Peking opera but has since been adapted for a variety of different instruments and ensembles. It is a popular choice for performances during the Chinese New Year season.

If you are looking for a festive and classical piece of music to help ring in the new year, “The Spring Festival Overture” is a great choice.

“Dragon Dance” by Zhao Jiping

“Dragon Dance” by Zhao Jiping is a delightful piece of music that perfectly captures the spirit of Chinese New Year. The plaintive flute melody is accompanied by traditional instruments such as the erhu, pipa, and zheng, creating a warm and inviting soundscape. The song builds to a lively climax, making it the perfect choice for celebrating the Year of the Dragon!

“Horse Racing” by Zhu Xiao-Mei

“Horse Racing” by Zhu Xiao-Mei is a traditional Chinese song that is often played during the Chinese New Year. The song is about a horse race that takes place during the New Year celebrations.

“New Year’s Eve” by Tan Dun

This ear-catching and upbeat instrumental piece is by Chinese-American composer Tan Dun, who won an Academy Award for his work on the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The song was originally written for a television documentary about the Chinese New Year, and it perfectly captures the festive spirit of the holiday.

The Best Chinese New Year Instrumental Songs

“The Spring Festival Overture” by Liu Tianhua

Liu Tianhua’s “The Spring Festival Overture” is a must-have for any playlist of the best Chinese New Year instrumental songs. The fast-paced, upbeat tune is perfect for getting people in the mood to celebrate. And, with its folk instrumentation, it gives a nod to China’s traditional music roots.

Other great Chinese New Year instrumental songs include “Happy Chinese New Year” by Gao Xiaosong, “New Year’s Eve in Beijing” by Tan Dun, and “Spring Festival Suite” by Zhao Jiping.

“Dragon Dance” by Zhao Jiping

One of the most popular and recognizable pieces of Chinese New Year music is “Dragon Dance” by Zhao Jiping. This traditional instrumental piece is often played during celebrations and dragon dances, and its lively melody is sure to get everyone in the festive spirit.

“Horse Racing” by Zhu Xiao-Mei

This piece by Zhu Xiao-Mei is one of the most popular instrumental songs during Chinese New Year. It is said to bring good luck and fortune to those who listen to it.

“New Year’s Eve” by Tan Dun

One of the most popular traditional Chinese musical pieces, “New Year’s Eve” was composed by Tan Dun and first performed in 1999. The song reflects the joy and happiness of the Chinese New Year celebration, and its upbeat tempo is perfect for getting people in the mood for a party.

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