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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Liangshan Yi folk song Zhou, Li


This thesis examines the relationship between the folk songs of the Liangshan Yi of China and other aspects of their culture. Special attention is given to the social function of these folk songs. On the basis of musical analyses, the author believes that three important features can be identified. These are syncopation of rhythm as influenced by lyrics, simple single-phrase structure with plain melodic contour and subdued emotive musical expression. These characteristics are deeply rooted in Yi culture, since most Liangshan Yi folk songs are performed to serve specific social functions, especially in religious and ceremonial communication. In addition, the songs as emotional expression reflect the influence of traditional ideology and the general temperament of the people.

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