Luo Lang

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Luo Lang. [Morningpost.com.cn]

Luo Lang罗浪), whose original name was Luo Nanchuan, is a musician, conductor and the composer of an extremely famous piece of music played at nearly all Chinese funerals.

Luo was the very first leader of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Military Band. He also served as the band's conductor when it played the national anthem at the grand ceremony announcing the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949.

Born on July 28, 1920 in Fujian Province, Luo attended Lu Xun Academy of Arts to study music under the famous composer Xian Xinghai. As one of principal figures in the development of China's military music, Luo composed, adapted and arranged many pieces of military and revolutionary music. "Mourning Music," Luo's most influential and best-known work, was adapted from a folk tune from northern China.

The music was first played in 1945 to mourn the military martyrs who died in battle at Zhangjiakou. It was also played at the cornerstone laying ceremony for the Monument to the People's Heroes at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, where the central government declared it the official national mourning music. "Mourning Music" was later played at the funerals of Chinese leaders such as Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou En'lai and Deng Xiaoping.

All through the decades, this score has been played at funerals for both officials and common people all over China.

Luo offered the piece of music for free, saying he will not charge anyone for copyrights and licensing because he created this music with the goal of serving the people.

Luo died on July 12, 2015 at age 95. His memorial service and funeral was held five days later.