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82086 - Feng Yang Flower Drum
Fengyang Flower Drum
Fengyang Flower Drum is a folk-song and dance piece popular in Anhui Province. In the old days, with heavy feudal exploitation and the continual flooding of the Huaiho River, the people living by the river were forced to flee from their homeland. Some people sang and danced in the streets for a living, Fengyang Flower Drum is a typical song and dance piece performed in the street. With the woman beating the drum and the man beating the gong, the performers sang and danced along the street. In a lyrical plaintive song they told of the sufferings of the refugees from the flooded areas by the Huaihe River.
Ten Sisters is a Flower Lantern song, a genre of folk-song and dance popular in Yunnan Province. It has the melodiousness of the Yunnan folk mountain-songs and makes use of a jubilant dance rhythm. The graceful and lyrical melody depicts the sight of a group of young girls plucking tea-leaves on the sloping hillside.
A Lady called Meng Jiang
The ancient Chinese legend of Meng Jiang is a sad one. It was said that, during the reign of Shi Huang Di (246-210 B.C.), the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.), Fan Qiliang, a young man, was forced by officials to work on building the Great Wall immediately after his wedding. With winter approaching, his wife Meng Jiang, underwent all kinds of hardship and difficulties, walking a long way to take her husband winter clothing. When she reached the Xushu Pass near Suzhou, her way was blocked by those guarding the pass. In a song, she told the guards about her misfortune, and this moved them finally to let her pass through. This legend appeared before the Tang Dynasty (618-907), while the song followed after the Song and Yuan Dynasties (960-1368). For hundreds of years, people have sung the song, spreading the legend, and showing their sympathy for Meng Jiang and their own resentment at the oppression they suffer. The melody is derived from folk tunes popular in Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
A Shoulder Pole
Also known as Going to Jiangzhou, A Shoulder Pole is a folk-song popular in Shanxi and North Shaanxi. The words to the song consist of only two lines: “A shoulder pole feels easy. With it I’ll carry the load on my shoulder to Jiangzhou.” With a lively melody, the song portrays the image of a porter.
In various tea producing provinces in South China, there have been folk-songs associated with workers plucking tea-leaves. The melodies of the songs popular in different regions differ from each other. The present Plucking Tea Leaves is based on a Flower Lantern melody popular in Yunnan. It reflects the tea-growers’ joy over the bumper harvest and their love of life.
Rippling Brook is a mountain-song popular in Midu, in Yunnan Province. It depicts an intelligent and beautiful young girl, by the moonlit brook, expressing her longing for her sweetheart in the mountains.
Harvest Celebration in Border Village
The Jingpo are an ethnic minority living in Dehong, in Yunnan Province. Numbering some hundred thousand, they make a living from farming. Based on Jingpo folk-tunes, Harvest Celebration in Border Village pictures the scene of the Jingpo people in a mountain village celebrating the successful harvest.
Based on Younger Brother Prulay, a folk-song popular in Inner Mongolia, and with a simple kind of melody, Lullaby expresses deep tender care and high hopes for the baby Prulay.
Arranged from a folk-tune popular in Rugao, in Jiangsu Province, Porters’ Song conveys with its cheerful melody, the peasants’ love of work and their pursuit of a happier life.
Arranged from a traditional folk-song popular in Suzhou, in Jiangsu Province, Elergy expresses a young widow’s grief at her husband’s death and her desire for a happy life.
Green Willows was originally a folk-tune widely popular in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, but the version popular in North Jiangsu and North Anhui is somewhat different in melody from that popular in South Jiangsu and Zhejiang, The present piece is arranged from the former.
Scences of Wuxi
Scenes of Wuxi was originally a folk-song popular in Wuxi, in Jiangsu Province. With a fine graceful melody, it vividly suggests to visitors the history of Wuxi, its scenery and local specialties, a demonstration of the love the people have for their own place.
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