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What is Tai Chi Music?

Katriena Knights
Katriena Knights

Tai chi, or tai chi chuan, is a popular form of meditation-based exercise derived from Chinese martial arts. Using tai chi music helps keep the practice moving at an appropriate pace and helps keep groups coordinated during a class or demonstration. A tai chi instructor can add tai chi music to the class both to improve the ambiance and to help maintain a quiet, meditative mood as students move through the sequence of tai chi forms. With several varieties of tai chi music available, there is sure to be a type of music that will fit a specific class or demonstration.

Traditional tai chi music is specially composed to go along with the traditional tai chi moves, helping students perform them in the right rhythm and sequence as well as at a pace appropriate for competition. To find tai chi music specifically intended for serious practice, one should look for music keyed to the 88-posture Yang long form, the shorter 24-posture form or even for forms specific to sword tai chi or combined practices. Music can be found by searching with an online search engine or by looking for tai chi music at a major music retailer. The music generally is traditional Chinese music, and it can be soothing and pleasant to listen to for meditation, during massage or simply for stress relief as well as for tai chi.

Music may help keep Tai Chi groups coordinated.
Music may help keep Tai Chi groups coordinated.

The benefits of tai chi have led many people to learn the art for stress relief, fitness and overall good health. Using tai chi music in conjunction with regular practice can increase these benefits by deepening the meditative aspect of the practice. Traditional tai chi music is keyed to the forms and postures, so the music also can make it easier to remember tai chi basics and the specific moves that make up the various sequences.

Traditional tai chi music is keyed to different forms and postures.
Traditional tai chi music is keyed to different forms and postures.

In some cases, music marketed as tai chi workout music is simply slow, New Age-style music that helps the practitioner focus on the meditative aspects of the practice. Using music intended simply for relaxation or meditation can be helpful, but it is not as likely to help in remembering the forms. It is important to read the descriptions provided for tai chi music to determine what type of music it is and how it will help a class or individual practitioner. For those who desire music intended specifically for martial arts practice, tai chi music likely will not meet their needs.

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Discussion Comments


I have this tai chi video that offers basic instruction to the beginner. It has this song that plays over the credits that I have always loved but it doesn't say anywhere in the credits what it is called or who it is by. Don't you hate when that happens, you hear a song and love it but have no idea what it is?

Does anyone know of a place online that has free Tai Chi music downloads? I have a CD from my library that has tai chi meditation music on it but I have listened to it so many times that I am sick of it. If there was a place where I could get some new Tai Chi music free that would be great.

Lots of people think that you need to use traditional Asian music while doing tai chi. But I have been using my own ambient selections for a number of years and I find that it really enhances the experience to be using music that you connect with.

I would say play whatever you like but be sure to remember the spirit of tai chi. You probably don't want to be playing heavy metal music or anything. Make it peaceful and something which is not too distracting. After that, the sky is the limit.

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    • Music may help keep Tai Chi groups coordinated.
      By: EastWest Imaging
      Music may help keep Tai Chi groups coordinated.
    • Traditional tai chi music is keyed to different forms and postures.
      By: simonkr
      Traditional tai chi music is keyed to different forms and postures.