Since Chinese is a tonal language, I'm wondering how this affects Chinese singing. Specifically wondering about the modern Chinese version of modern American pop music, which has relatively simple structure and chords. But if Chinese lyrics require tone changes, it seems that somehow this must be incorporated into the music and yet distinguished from simple tonal changes in the music itself. So wondering how this is handled.

For example, if the music tones go up, but the word is going up too, not sure what happens. That sort of stuff. Maybe it is easy to tell from the context, I am not sure which is the reason for the question.

4 Answers 4


Short answer: Simply speaking, remove all the original tones of each character and follow the tune of the music. Yes it is hard to recognize if you never read the lyrics before, even for native speakers.


You just sing as if there's no such thing as tones. This leads to ambiguous lyrics often.

However, a good composer such as 李宗盛(Jonathan Lee) can combine the melody and tones of lyrics so well that singing and speaking are bound tightly.


Pitch in the melody will simply over-write all the tones and length of syllables. Notice that this is not the same as Intonation, which occurs in any languages and added up onto tones in Chinese.


簡單來講中文與及英文都是一樣的 調音部分一樣會影響唱歌的時候的大小聲音以及 唱歌的時候的美感與及聲帶的發音位置也會影響 所以調音是一樣的哦

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