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Ancient Chinese music at Beijing Olympics opening
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The following are some ancient Chinese musical instruments and musicals that appeared in the performances of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony on Friday night.

Fou formation

Fou is the most ancient Chinese percussion instrument made of clay or bronze. Performance of "Playing the Fou and Singing" was prevalent in the Xia and Shang dynasties in the remote periods of Chinese history.

The Fou Formation at Friday's Beijing Olympics opening ceremony consisted of 2,008 members.


Guqin -- an ancient stringed instrument -- made more than 1,000 years ago was on display during the performances.

With more than 3,000 years of history, Guqin is one of the oldest plucked string instruments in the world, making sounds mainly with the strings and wooden resonator. It is also the representative of traditional Chinese music and culture.

Peking opear and Kunqu

The Beijing Games opening also featured the percussion performance of the traditional Peking Opera and the singing of Kunqu, an ancient tune and opera that has been included in the world intangible cultural heritage list.

As the country has a vast territory with numerous dialects, hundreds of traditional local operas have been evolved.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2008)

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