Ba Gua

Religious traditions like this are the sources of stimulation for contemporary composers, and the new piece ‘Ba gua’ was adapted by He Liping and Li Guoqun based on Naxi ritual music and fused with Taoist music sources from the Tang dynasty ‘Zi wei bagua wu’.

“Ba Gua” performed by the Youth Orchestra of Gucheng Youth Activity Center (Courtesy of Mu Cheng).

Naxi marriage lament

In the past, people in many places in China sang laments when their daughters married, and this still occurs in ethnic minority areas, such as among the Hani, Yi, or Naxi in Southwest China. Since daughters typically married out of the village, and since roads were formerly poor and so travel was difficult, the married daughter would only rarely be able to return to see her parents. As a result, the tunes of marriage songs were usually very sad. On fieldwork in Jinping in May 2018 with a Hani woman aged in her 50s, I was unable to make a recording of such a song, as the singer stopped several times as she couldn’t keep herself from crying.

Lijuan Qian 2019. ‘The Music of China’. On Music of the World. Class 12, 13, 14 and 15. Herndon, VA. Connect for Education, Inc. (

Naxi Marriage Song (Performed by He Yueyuan and other Naxi staff at the Creation Cultural Experience Centre, Lijiang city (Courtesy of Lijuan Qian)

Naxi musician He Yuanyue from Lijiang singing a local tune (Courtesy of Lijuan Qian)
Naxi musician from Lijiang playing hulusheng (Courtesy of Lijuan Qian)