Monday, December 1, 2014

Chinese Folk Music

The story of Chinese folk music goes back thousands of years – some say seven thousand years. 
Here are some interesting facts:

  •  Both form and artistic conception are considered to be of the utmost importance.
  • Chinese folk music is keenly based on the pentatonic scale.
  • There are a range of Chinese folk instruments and their use depends upon such factors as the geographic area and the occasion itself. For example, a traditional Han wedding or funeral might include the suona (a type of Oboe) and percussive gathering known as a chuigushou. This ensemble can potentially include a mouth organ (sheng), a shawm (suona), a flute (dizi), and a variety of percussion instruments (such as a yunlo gong).
  •   Xi’an drum music, in the Xi’an region, combines wind instruments with percussive instruments.
  •   Jiangnan Sizhu is a type of silk and bamboo music that you can still find today in small Shanghai coffee shops.
  •  Guangdong music (also known as Cantonese music) combines Cantonese opera music (also known as Yueju) with music created from the 1920s to the present day. It’s not entirely uncommon to find this type of music combined with Western sounds and influences.
  •  Perhaps the most famous Chinese folk song Western audiences are familiar with is “Mo Li Hua.” The history of the song dates back to the 18th century. There are an assortment of differing versions, depending on what part of the country you hear the song in. Many people remember it from the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
 Listen to this Chinese folk song. 

Want to know more about folk music?

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