Ancient Music Applies for World Intangible Heritage

Nanyin, a kind of Chinese music which has existed for more than 1,000 years, is being applied for an honor as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

In June and July this year, Xiamen and Quanzhou cities in southeastern China's Fujian Province respectively made application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Nanyin, which means Southern Music, is a long-established ancient Chinese music popular in Fujian and Taiwan provinces and among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and Europe, according to experts.

It originated in Quanzhou, one major port in ancient China, andhad closely ties with the imperial music, Buddhist music, poetic rhythm and drama tune beginning the seventh century.

So far, only Kunqu, one Chinese opera style, is on the list of the "masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity",which was proclaimed by the UNESCO on May 18, 2001. Kunqu is about 800 years old, according to experts.

There are two professional Nanyin musical bands in Xiamen and Quanzhou, and hundreds of folk musical groups. China's Taiwan Province has over 70 Nanyin musical bodies with most members coming from Quanzhou.

(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2002)