History of the Naxi Music. A book of He Yunfeng


This thesis is the product of the author's many years of fieldwork, specialized research and collection of material. It incorporates a wide range of the latest research and methodologies within the fields of music, history, ethnology, folk customs, archeology, linguistics, etc. It consists of 7 sections with a total of 44 chapters.

Section One: From pre-historic times to middle Tang. Describes the magnificent ancient musical culture developed during the periods of nomadic hunting, migration, and intermingling by the Naxi's predecessors. This is the first systemic, detailed analysis and description of the development of Naxi music from antiquity to the early Tang period.

Section Two: The Nanzhao Period. Analyses the development of the musical culture in Naxi areas under Nanzhao rule. Examines the history of cultural exchange between the "Moxizhao" (one of the six "zhao" tribes living around Erhai lake in the early Tang dynasty) and Nanzhao, Tang dynasty and Tufan (nomadic people from the Qing-Tibetan plateau). Moreover it provides a succinct description of the process and factors contributing to development of a coherent multivariate musical structure by the Naxi during this time.

Section Three: Warring Chieftains Period. Describes the historical musical development amongst the Naxi living under the rule of Naxi chieftains in Dali. This era was characterized by periods of relative freedom and war. Provides a detailed description of musical forms closely related to the origins of the Naxi and humanity, tribal warfare, rituals to avert disaster and ill fortune, shamanism, divination, nature worship and spirit worship.

Section Four: The Mushi Period. Describes the course of development in Naxi music during the 500 year rule of the Mushi. As a result of the influences of the Mongolian armies during the Yuan dynasty and the full scale introduction of Han and Tibetan cultures, traditional Naxi musical forms underwent dramatic changes. New forms were developed including Boshixili, Confucian religious music, Dongjing music, etc.

Section Five: Land Reform Period. Describes the historical developments during the period of land reform. Focuses in the popularity of Dongjing music in Naxi areas following the dissemination of Han music, the creation and development of "Major scale" music, changes in funeral music, etc, and other major historical facts.

Section Six: Democratic Revolution Period. Describes the decline of traditional Naxi ritual music, the development of new musical forms and their popularization.

Section Seven: Socialist Period. Systematically describes the complete process of development of music in Naxi areas following the establishment of the PRC.

(From the author Abstract included in the book)

He Yunfeng.- Naxi zu yinyue shi (History of the music of the Naxi nationality) (Including a CD) Central Academy of Music Press. Beijing. 2004. 394 pp

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