China is a geographical region in East Asia. With over one-fifth of the world's population, the majority of China exists today as a communist state, the People's Republic of China, but it also refers to a long-standing civilization comprising successive states and cultures dating back nearly 5,000 years.
Music in China appears to date back to the dawn of Chinese civilization, and documents and artifacts provide evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC).
The Imperial Music Bureau, first established in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), was greatly expanded under the Emperor Han Wu Di (140-87 BC) and charged with supervising court music and military music and determining what folk music would be officially recognized. In subsequent dynasties, the development of Chinese music was strongly influenced by foreign music, especially that of Central Asia.