Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

Chinese Instruments

The origins of Chinese music can be dated back to distant antiquity. Chinese instruments include the erhu, a 4,000-year-old instrument with a soulful quality.

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A beautiful and pure tone of voice. A Shen Yun concert isn’t complete without performances by top Chinese classical singers.

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Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra blends the spirit of Chinese music with the power of a Western orchestra. All-original compositions draw upon five millennia of culture and legends. Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass accentuate the sound of ancient Chinese instruments—like the two-stringed erhu and the plucked pipa. Never before have the exquisite beauty of Chinese melodies and the grandeur of a Western symphony been so seamlessly combined.

Music of Shen Yun

The Music of Shen Yun

  • Introduction to Shen Yun
  • Deeply Rooted in a Grand Culture
  • Distinct Arrangement Methods
  • Pure Energy
  • A Divine Realm

Shen Yun’s all-original compositions feature the perfect harmony of classical music of East and West. How is this done?

First, the Western orchestra serves as a foundation, accentuating the distinct sound of Chinese instruments. Second, the bedrock of soul-stirring melodies from the ancient Middle Kingdom is fully brought to life by a Western symphony. This is what makes Shen Yun’s music unique and is a new frontier in classical music.

Traditional Chinese music emphasizes the expression of inner feelings—the ancients always used musical instruments to relate their states of mind. Western music, meanwhile, focuses on the overall effect of the musical ensemble—and to achieve that, arrangement and harmony are of utmost importance. Shen Yun’s music combines these approaches to capture the essence of both East and West.

Sample Shen Yun Music

These audio clip samples are from Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 performance.

  • Snow-Capped Celebration, by Jing Xian, is a tribute to resilience and good cheer that takes its inspiration from Tibetan culture.
  • “A Song from the Ancestors,” text and music by D.F., is performed by soprano Haolan Geng.
  • Capturing Arrows with Boats of Straw, by Jing Xian, brings to life a well-loved episode from the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
  • Zigeunerweisen, by Pablo de Sarasate, is a masterpiece of lyricism, performed here by soloist Fiona Zheng.
  • Chinese Instruments

    The origins of Chinese music can be dated back to distant antiquity. Ancient Chinese instruments share a deep connection with Heaven and Earth. The delicate notes of the plucked pipa evoke a sense of celestial realms. The enchanting sound of the 4,000-year-old erhu mimics the human voice. Leading the melody amidst a full Western orchestra, they create a profound musical experience that resonates deep in the heart.

    Our Vocal Music:
    A Lost Technique Revived

    Ancient Chinese theater and early European opera shared the same singing technique, believed to produce the most beautiful and pure tone of voice.

    Today, however, the true bel canto technique for singing in the upper register has been lost in Europe. In China as well, it is now impossible to find a singer who has truly mastered this ancient method.

    Only Shen Yun’s singers are now again using this traditional and ancient technique on the modern stage. Their ability to perform bel canto while retaining perfect Chinese diction is likewise unparalleled.

    All their song texts were specially written for Shen Yun performances. Brimming with deep reflection about life, these songs transcend the boundaries of nation, race, and culture, resonating with audiences the world over and inspiring hope in people’s hearts.

    Program & Schedule


    • “The music they’ve created is such an excellent combination of traditional melodies.”
      —Dr. Richard Webb, organist, musicologist, and professor, Southern University
    • “Delightful... they blend the Chinese instruments so very well with the Western instruments.”
      —Per Brevig, conductor and professor, The Juilliard School
    • “Magnificent! The singing is always impressive.”
      —Micaele Sparacino, founder of Opera Bel Canto
    • “Really wonderful! I’d be interested in playing some of this music or trying some of it myself.”
      —Charles Castleman, virtuoso violinist and professor, Eastman School of Music