Yazhou folk song

Print Updated: 2019-05-17

The Yazhou folk song was inscribed in the first National List of Intangible Cultural Heritages of China in 2006. Originated from the work and life of the people, the Yazhou folk song covers a wide range of subjects. Its content is rich, the lyrics are lively and interesting and the melody is melodious and smooth. The Yazhou folk song contains a lot of information about local social conditions, economic life, literature and art. It is a living fossil for studying the economic and social historical development of ancient Yazhou and the "password" to study Qiongya culture.

The Han people migrated and settled in the coastal area along the coast of ancient Yazhou in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. They sang or adapted folk songs with the Yazhou dialect. The Yazhou folk song is recorded and sung with the help of manuscripts. The lyrics are lively and rhyming and the tunes are harmonious and smooth. Therefore, the song became very popular and today remains so in the urban and rural areas of Ledong Li Autonomous County in Sanya City.

The Yazhou folk song has various forms and rich content. It covers stories such as the achievements of ancient kings, the legends of talented scholars and beautiful ladies, the deeds of sages and filial piety, the stories of folk loyalty, the feelings of work, the love of marriage and entertainment, the birth of children, and local folk customs and social life changes.

The song use seven words and four sentences in one paragraph, or eight sentences in one song. The lyrics use exposition, comparisons and affective images and other techniques of artistic expression. The song’s rhetoric is based on the Yazhou dialect "Ke language." The words are popular, humorous, appropriate and intriguing. The song’s metaphors describe vivid images in amazing transformations. In modern times, new sentence structures such as "three-seven sentences" and "long-sentences" have been adopted. New musical instruments have also helped diversify the singing content, melodies and form to adapt to current trends and attract more listeners.

The Yazhou folk song has distinct regional characteristics. The musical expression of its tunes is neutral and the emotions are natural. They go very well with different contents and lyrics, creating different musical emotional atmospheres and making the aesthetic connotation of music more abundant. The Yazhou folk song leads to association and resonance with its audiences.

The Yazhou folk song, as a national-level intangible cultural heritage, has made encouraging achievements in terms of protection, inheritance and innovation. For example, the activities of protection and inheritance carried out in Yazhou district in Sanya, Huangliu Town and Liguo Town in Ledong have received the enthusiastic attention of the government, local people, folk song masters, fans and primary school students. The future of the inheritance of Yazhou folk song is very promising.

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