Mount Wutai Buddhist music


Mount Wutai Buddhist music refers to the traditional, haunting, Buddhist music that has been passed down the generations in the temples of Mount Wutai -- a sacred Buddhist place in North China's Shanxi province -- and includes vocal music and instrumental music.

The vocals of Mount Wutai Buddhist music is the singing of various scriptures in the ritual ceremonies. The instrumental music is either accompaniments or separate instrumental performances in the chanting of scriptures with several percussion instruments, wind instruments and Buddhist ritual implements employed. 

Over the course of the centuries, Mount Wutai Buddhist music has always followed the musical forms of Buddhism introduced to ancient China, as well as preserved popular folk songs and music since the Tang Dynasty (618-907) -- with music written down through a traditional Chinese notation system called gongche notation. 

The music has been passed down among generations of monks through word of mouth in the temples of Mount Wutai and features unique technical and tuning methods.

As a combination of music art and religion, Mount Wutai Buddhist music is a typical representative of northern Buddhist music, which has a great influence in North China.