Taoist music is the music used by Taoists when they hold the Fasting and Jiao ceremonies, celebrate the birthdays of gods, pray for good fortune, subdue and get rid of Old Nicks, release souls from purgatory and other religious activities. Taoist music is the indispensable part during the process of Taoist Fasting and Jiao ceremonies, for it can foil and romance religious atmosphere, strengthen the believers' admiration for holy land and respect for gods and Psyche.
Taoist music, as one of ancient religion music, contains the basic religion belief and aesthetic theory both in music pattern and rhyme, forming their own special characteristics.
The aesthetic theory of Taoist music reflects Taoist desire for long life and quietness and inactiveness. The rhyme is solemn and peaceful, to show the majestic vigor of collecting and ordering gods and generals, the force and determination to subdue and get rid of the evils, the happiness and buoyancy of praying for fortune and holding a celebration, the beauty and peace of praising the gods, the magic illusion of praying and cultivation. With the foiling and romancing of music, Taoist religion activities become more solemn, more divine, and more mysterious. All kinds of gods' image will be lively shown in the music, which takes humans' sensibility into mysterious immortal world.
Taoist music is made up of two parts, vocality and instrumental music, with many kinds of performances, such as solo, chorus, and so on. The vocality is the main part of Taoist music for religion service, whose melody is very concrete, expressing the hope and prayer of the man who attend the service, such as asking for help from gods, praising gods. The harmonious unification of melody and lyric, the reasonable cooperation of all kinds of music patterns, make up the whole religion activity.
The instruments of Taoist music almost include all the instruments of Han nationality, such as clock, drum, pan, bell, wood-fish, pipe, flute, violin and the like.