DING Cheng-yun was born in March 1944 in Kaifeng, Henan province. His ancestral home was in Dengzhou, Henan province. He started to learn the qin and zheng from his elder sister DING Bo-ling when he was young. Later, he learned the qin from CHEN Zhong-si, CHEN Shu-san, HUANG Song-tao and the zheng from WANG Sheng-wu. He further studied the qin from the masters GU Mei-geng and ZHANG Zi-qian. In 1969, he graduated from the Traditional Instrumental Music Department of Hubei Academy of Arts. In 1972, he taught in the Art Academy of Henan University. Presently, he is the director of the Research Centre for Traditional Music of Yangzi river, Wuhan Conservatory. He is also the visiting professor of the China Conservatory and the Taiwan Southern-China University. He is outstanding in research of qin music, remanufacturing of ancient musical instruments, Chinese musical theory and the art of zheng in Henan School. He has transcribed (dapu) many ancient qin musics for performance and has written many articles on his research in Chinese music.