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Haicai Qiang of the Yi Nationality
Publication time:2010-08-14  | Author:admin


The folk song, as a kind of important form of expressing emotion, self-education and entertainment, has impregnated into every aspect of Yi people's life. The original meaning of Haicai Qiang (Haicai Tune) is the singing on the "sea", and it is named after this for an aquatic herb in the local "Yilong Lake" which is called "haicai". As a special folk song of the Yi people in Yunnan Province with high reputation at home and abroad which is also called "dapanjiang" and "daobanjiang" with the popular name of "Shiping Qiang"(Shiping Tune), Haicai Qiang of the Yi nationality is mainly spreading in villages of nisuren of Yi nationality in Shiping County in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province. As a variant of Haicai Qiang, the Haicai Qiang of the Yi people in Shiping County, together with the other three variants of "Shayouqiang"(Shayou Tune), "Si Qiang" (Four Tune) and "Wushan Qiang"(Wushan Tune) are called "Four Major Tunes", and also called "Quzi (a kind of folk singing) by the Yi people. It is created by the Yi people in their long time of labor and life, and it is evolved from the mountain song sung by lovers within the mountain, in the field and on the lake.

Stemming from working and spreading in the common people, the folk song of Yi nationality has been handed down and developed for centuries of years. Haicai Qiang in each place has its intense regional characteristic. The singing of Haicai Qiang, with its uniqueness, is praised as a Bel Canto in the national art. It is a kind of antistrophic singing, which includes leading singing, vocal accompaniment and question-answers. Owing to the broad diapason and undulating and coherent rhythm, Haicai Qiang sounds gracefully melodious, just as clear and attractive as the waves of Yilong Lake.

Haicai Qiang starts with a section of colloquial language between the male and female singers, which is a good opportunity of displaying the singer's knowledge, talent and artistic level as well as a necessary process of mutual understanding in love affairs. It takes a basic form of solo singing accompanied with chorus by the crowd, but sometimes it is of antiphonal singing between the male and female. Haicai Qiang's main tune is of Seven-Character Quatrain, whose content can express the singer's emotion and wish. Though the words of song are in Chinese language, the tune remains the music style of Yi nationality and its rhythm is delicate and changeful while its melody is long-lasting. The predominant accompaniment instrument is tetrachord, and sometimes it is accompanied with leaf-blowing. However, generally speaking, there is no accompanying instrument. Owing to the exercise in the labor and walking, the singers can open their mouths to sing extemporaneously with clear pronunciation and mellow voice.

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