It is not uncommon to associate classical music exclusively with the West. Indeed, it has its roots in Western culture and defines the Western musical tradition. However, culture is not static, nor is music. 

We may be spoiled by the modern age. It is hard to imagine how people exchanged ideas across the globe without the internet. But cultural exchange among the East and the West did exist. 

The documentation of such cultural communication goes beyond “The Travels of Marco Polo.” It can be seen in classical music too. 

Let’s take a look at a few Western classical music pieces that were influenced by Chinese culture.



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Mingsi Ma