A Chinese friend of mine played The Dance of the Yao People on the guzheng (Chinese zither) for me in 2005, and I was instantly smitten with the piece. When years later Professor Ken Narducci asked me to write a piece for percussion ensemble for a Directed Study in Composition I took from him, I decided to treat this classical Chinese composition to a funky jazz arrangement.

Arranged by August Champlin

For Jazz Percussion Ensemble

Based on Liu Teishan and Mao Yuan's

The Dance of the Yao People

Performed with the Vienna Symphonic Library

Finale 2010 & Sonar 8.5

Video made with Corel VideoStudio Pro6 and Music Animation Machine


You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –


  • Very colorful sound, August. Luminous, and yet percussive. The visual you provided was an interesting representation of the notes, a kind of alternative notation. I think you might bring up the percussion somewhat, it was too much in the background, or so I thought. You of course may totally disagree. I've never heard a piece that combined Chinese sound with Jazz, although I'm sure there must be many examples. I just don't get around much. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Thanks for the tip and the appreciation, Michael.

This reply was deleted.