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Folk musicians tell vivid stories in their own words

Updated: 2023-08-26 16:06 ( China Daily )
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Winners of a competition featuring singing in dialects receive awards at a concert on Monday.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Folk tunes and lyrics in his regional dialect are what make singer-songwriter Zhang Gasong's music stand out. Yet for Zhang himself, they also serve as a constant reminder of where he comes from.

He was talking about his experience and understanding of his musical style, gained from more than a decade's practice, on Monday, shortly before attending a lawn concert at Beijing's Yuanmingyuan Park, or the Old Summer Palace, which featured songs sung in various regional dialects.

Born in the countryside of Jingyuan county, Baiyin city, Northwest China's Gansu province, Zhang, 34, rose to fame for his songs that are deeply rooted in his homeland.

Some short videos of him singing, dressed in customary local garb, while playing traditional musical instruments like the sanxian (a three-stringed plucked instrument), and particularly against the backdrop of his village, have gone viral on various social media platforms over the past few years.

One such video is about, and dedicated to, his aunt, one of the numerous doctors from across the country who headed for Wuhan in Central China's Hubei province, to combat the initial outbreak of COVID-19 during the Spring Festival holiday of 2020. The simple melody and earnest lyrics touched people's hearts.

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