The classic Chinese tune of Molihua, (Jasmine Flower), played on ancient metal bells and modern jade chimes, has been chosen as the theme score for the Olympic medal ceremonies, composer Tan Dun, who adapted the piece for the Games, said Tuesday.
"Molihua is such an iconic piece it is almost a cultural symbol of China, so everybody thought it was a great choice," the 50-year-old Oscar and Grammy award winner, said at a press conference in Beijing to announce the chosen music.
A four-part composition, co-written by Tan and Wang Hesheng, a composer with the Army orchestra, will be played before, during and after each of the 302 medal ceremonies.
The main melody, which Tan described as "glorious, heartwarming and full of respect", was recorded using the digital recording of a 2,450-year-old bell set excavated from a site in Hubei.
Zhao Dongming, head of BOCOG's culture and ceremonies department, said: "This piece of music reminds you of the gold medals for the Beijing Olympics, which are made of gold and jade."
Tan, whose opera Tea recently made its Chinese debut in Beijing, said he is looking forward to his music being a key for the world to understand Chinese philosophy.