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Li Chan, "Folksong of Midu

Folksong of Midu

Li Chan

Born 1981, Weifang, Shandong, China

Composed: 2017

Duration: 6 minutes

Chinese composer Li Chan has written primarily for ensembles in her home country but gained worldwide recognition in 2017 when her Folksong of Midu was honored as a finalist for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) first-ever International Composition Contest.

The titular Midu is a county in southwest China, in a mountainous region near borders with Myanmar, India, and Tibet. Midu itself is a smaller component of the larger Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, in Yunnan Province, the traditional home of the Bai people since roughly the third century CE. Later, by the twelfth century CE, this area was a major exporter of gold bouillon and other minerals via the southwestern Silk Road, which traversed the region, though today it remains very rural and underdeveloped compared to other portions of China.

Folksong of Midu is an evocative statement of various stylistic, melodic, and harmonic counterparts of Chinese folk musics. Based on a very old tune from the region, one can imagine the melody weaving its way through lush green forests and steep mountain passes, ending in a vibrant and colorful community celebration.


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