with BaiSha village music ensemble
with NaXi children, Xuan BaoLian, and Zhou QiuHong
I am Ziyue Yang, a high school student passionated in ethnomusicology from Massachusetts. In the past few years during summer, I have visited LiJiang, Nakhi, and worked with musicians in Qing Xi village, Bai Sha village, and Dayan village.
When I first arrived in Nakhi, I was touched by Nakhi musician's special bond to their instruments and intrigued by their unique interpretation of Nakhi typical DongJing music and Bai Sha Xi music pieces. I watched them playing Sugudu, and three-string, and old craftsman's process of making instruments. I also listened to indigenous Nakhi musicians' touching stories: how Xuan Ke was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, but still persisted to inherit and founded the Dayan Nakhi ancient music ensemble once he was released from the jail; how He XiuQiong, the female musician was scolded by her husband and parents when she sneaked out and studied music while she was supposed to be at home doing housework like all the other girls...
After interviewing and documenting the daily life of the founder of the Dayan Nakhi music ensemble Xuan Ke, his daughter Xuan BaoLian, one of the four instrument craftsmen He Xiu Qiong, three female musicians including Yang ChuanJuan, Zhou QiuHong, and He XiuQiong, I learned how modernization and the Cultural Revolution in 1968 had accelerated the lost of Nakhi minority's music, and how much pressure female musicians had in the past and how they were being excluded from the music ensembles.
As a female ethnomusicologist, I am eager to take some role in the preservation and inheritance of Nakhi music, no matter how nuance of change. In the past few years, I set up our ethnomusicology documentary team with five film school graduates and filmed two documentaries (Chinese Living Fossil: Nakhi ancient music, Female Musicians in Nakhi Ancient Music). We have also digitalized and transcribed handwritten GongChe notated Nakhi music pieces written by He ZhaoLin, and set up GongChe notation(the traditional music notation which is essential for Nakhi music but no longer being taught) classes for Nakhi children. To help Nakhi female musicians, we have also set up Nakhi instrumental and vocal music classes taught by female musicians for Nakhi girls and provided them the opportunity to perform with Dayan Naxi ancient music ensemble.
We and Nakhi musicians all believe that it is important to retain the originality of the music and create a platform for both male and female Nakhi children to learn music.
GongChe notation class
with Nakhi children and ZhaoLin He
Nakhi music class for Nakhi children, especially female girls