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The Ballad of Hequ

Updated: 2012-03-01

Time: 2006

Sort: Folk Music

Area:Shanxi Province

Serial No.: Ⅱ-2

Declarer: Hequ County, Shanxi Province

Lying in the northwestern part of Shanxi province, Hequ is as sterile as any other place of the Loess Plateau. Because theYellow Riverthat runs through Hequ floods regularly, people of Hequ could only live a migratory life. For three of the four seasons, Hequ men had to go to either theInner Mongoliaor the Hetao region (literally meaning the 'River Wrap region) for short-term work, leaving their children and wives at home. Therefore, created no later than theMing Dynasty(1368-1644 AD), the Ballad of Hequ is mainly about the sorrow of separation, and the bitterness of missing loved ones.

The structure of the ballad is unique: It is in couplets; with the first sentences generally give a hint of the views and scenery, the following ones will surely display the mood of the characters. This year, the Ballad of Hequ, with over 1,500 versions and using 150 tones, is applying for the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity from China.

 

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