Folk Music Of China, Vol. 7 - Folk Songs Of The Yi

Album cover art for upc 636943709429
Catalog: NXW76094-2

Liu, Chunqing; Gou, Yonglin; Wang, Anlian; Bai, Yongyue; Liu, Dehuan; Yang, Hua; Li, Li; Yi tribe members from Nanjian Yi Autonomous County, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province; Li, Cuiping; Chen, Zhaoying; Suo, Jimei; Wang, Qin; Wang, Ju; Zhang, Rong; Liang, Rong; Shang, Meta; Luo, Wenbai

This album features songs from the Qiang and the Yi tribes, who both mainly live in the mountainous regions of southwestern China, specifically in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. Many of the Yi folk songs make reference to the mountains in this region, especially in love songs and group dance songs, as heard in tracks 19 and 23. The music of both of these two minority groups includes lively short dance songs in duple metre and long melodious labor or love songs that employ a free rhythm. At first, you may not be able to distinguish between the music of these two minority groups; in fact, the two tribes are closely related and the Yi are thought to be descendants of ancient Qiang tribes. The languages of the Qiang and Yi both belong to the Sino-Tibetan language phylum. Yet the music of each tribe has its own distinct characteristics. Although both of them often prefer high pitches, the songs of the Yi tribe use a broader vocal range. The dance songs of the Qiang have lively rhythms and are structured with repetitions of a few musical phrases. The dance songs of the Yi incorporate more melodic and rhythmic variations and long, resounding cries. The cries also appear in other types of Yi songs, for example, the middle of track 23, and the beginning and end of track 24. It is noteworthy that the songs featured here have distinct local characteristics, which may differentiate them from the songs of the Qiang and Yi minority groups living in other parts of China. The Qiang songs in this album come from Xin Beichuan County, the only Qiang autonomous county in China.

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