Traditional Asian Dance Music  

Music has been a part of many traditions all over the world, including Asia. Known for its many countries, home for different cuisines, trades and goods, Asia also has its own contribution when it comes to traditional dances and music.

Tribe Dance Music

China for one is the most influential country in Asia. It is known for its rich culture and has influenced a lot of neighboring countries because of their early ways of trading. As they travel they brought with them their traditions and so is their music.

Yangge is one of the oldest forms of dance from China. It is believed to have originated from rice planting and farming. The songs played during the dance have evolved from eulogy songs sung during sacrifices to the god of the farm to songs played during traditional operas. It is usually danced in a line or a circle formation and the bodies sway according to the rhythm of the music.

Korea also is rich in cultures and traditions which most of them they were able to preserve. One of their captivating traditional dance music is the Seungmu, which involves movement of the body with the heart. It is considered as the sacred dance of Korea and is also a form of meditation. It is said to be formerly known to be a ritual dance performed by Buddhist monks, thus the serenity of the movements and the music, but later on developed to a folk dance.

The dancer wore a robe with long sleeves that cover that entire arms and a conical hood that ensembles of a traditional monks clothes.  The dance is also dependent on the rhythm of the music – it usually changes depending on the eight rhythmic cycle yeombul, dodeuri, taryeong, jajin taryeong, gutgeori, dwit gutgeori, gujeong nori and saesanjo.

The Angama dance from Japan which is usually performed during the Bon Festival is danced with the Nenbutsu music. Nenbutsu or nianfo means “mindfulness of the Buddha” or the repetitive chanting of the name Amitabha Buddha. It is usually performs by group of people forming a circle with the center playing instruments such as the drums, flutes and gongs and “chonjon Nenbutsu” or “Koko Nenbutsu” are primarily sung and the dancers clap to the beat.

The Himalayas, a vast Asian territory also has its own dance music that depicts its rich heritage. The Cham Dance or the Masked Ritual from Tibet is a form of recreational dance which is primarily danced during Buddhist festival. It is usually performed wearing colorful clothing and a mask making it seemingly attractive and entertaining for the audience.

The monks, using traditional Tibetan musical instruments, accompany the dance during the festival.  The dance often includes spinning and hopping slowly, with just one leg and the other extended. Its history is as interesting as its costumes, it is said that the dance is first performed by an Indian saint Padmasambhava when banishing evil spirits. He drew a line that the spirit cannot cross and started dancing using different body positions and at the same time calling down the gods.