12 Pretty Chinese Piano Solos

12 Pretty Chinese Piano Solos

Asian music was based on the pentatonic scale.

This was true for Chinese music, at least.

I spent hours copying characters in Chinese school, and although the same pen strokes require more effort now, I can look back to that time of utter dedication for filling the square boxes with unending characters. It was like drilling music.

On Chinese New Years’ Eve, I’d booked a string of meetings by mistake and my family waited waited for me, to start dinner at 10pm. Which was kind of sweet, because the family doesn’t believe in “wasting time.”

Here are 12 pretty Chinese piano solos– composed by Chinese musicians, or best interpreted by Chinese performers.

 

Sunflowers by Wang

Sheet Music

Played by Yundi Li. This piece sounds more advanced than it really is, I think.

 

Piano Battle from The Secret

Sheet Music

This is my favourite piano movie, ever. The battle always strikes me how there’s always something new to add to your music. Also, it’s an advanced mashup of a Variation on Chopin’s Black Key Etude Op. 10 No. 5 and a Variation on Chopin’s Waltz, not your traditional chinese movie piece.

 

Secret by Jay Chou (周杰倫)

Sheet Music

A modern piece composed in Bach’s style for the above movie, Secret. The composer also directed the movie, so it fits perfectly.

 

Can’t Let Go by Huang An (黃安)

Sheet Music

This song will always be about butterflies to me, as the lyrics suggest.

 

Beautiful Fresh Flower arr. Percy Grainger

Sheet Music

I have a hunch that the title was misinterpreted, but it’s based on a traditional Chinese melody called the Jasmine Flower (茉莉花). The playing in the video could be improved (is there a mute filter for the left hand?) but the arrangement speaks for itself.

 

Longing for Spring Breeze

I can’t find the sheet music for piano, for this traditional taiwanese melody. Lang Lang has a recording and Tyzen Hsiao has an arrangement for piano and violin.

 

Yellow River Piano Concerto

Sheet Music

Not a solo, but a classic– there are probably solo transcriptions out there.

 

 

Eight Memories in Watercolour by Tan Dun

Sheet Music

 

Girl’s Lament arr. Joseph Johnson

Sheet Music

There are 24 pieces in this collection and all of them are short and oriental-sounding.

 

Sad Rainy Day arr. Joseph Johnson

Sheet Music

Another piece from the Chinese Folk Song Collection, above.

 

Butterfly Lovers (梁祝)

Sheet Music

One of the more modern Chinese pieces, but you can still hear the pentatonics. (This is based on a violin concerto; although I’ve found a piano arrangement, I haven’t seen the sheet music and can’t comment on the edition. There’s also a duet piano arrangement for four hands.)

 

Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake (平湖秋月) by Lü Wencheng

Sheet Music

Composed in the 1930s on a visit to the West Lake. How do I know this? There’s a Wikipedia page for this piece.

 

Here are 16 Beautiful Contemporary Piano Solos.

What’s your favourite piece of piano music, these days? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!

5 Comments

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5 Comments

  • Reply Larissa March 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Love the Huang An piece :)

    • Reply Grace Miles March 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      It’s one of my mom’s favourites! She likes the version with the singer and listens to it all the time. ;)

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  • Reply Kevin Zhu December 12, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I have all the piano solo sheet music of all the music listed above. If anyone is struggling to find these music please email me on kelaz123@gmail.com

  • Reply Bessy Wong April 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    So happy to see that you would be willing to share the solo sheet music. i would love to have the “Butterfly Lovers (梁祝)” if you don’t mind.

    Bessy

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