Sounds of China

Endangered Music: Yunnan Culture

Jan. 25, 2006

Living in a remote, mountainous region of China’s “Land of Clouds” has buffered the Yunnan people from the outside influences of non-native cultures for centuries. With a wide range of voice techniques and instruments as unusual and diverse as the tree leaf, the moon guitar and the spirit drum, the musicians of the minority ethnic groups of the Yunnan province now perform their traditional songs and dances before world audiences, sharing their native arts and way of life.

In this first of a series on Chinese music designed for use in the K-12 classroom, Professor Lan Lan Wang discusses the art and culture of the Yunnan people and the pressures of globalization that threaten their ancient cultural expressions.

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