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Collection of Chinese Folk Songs


Ritual Songs

Ritual songs are sung on the occasions of folk rituals such as "wedding tune" in weddings, "funeral tune" in funerals, "sacrificial tune" in sacrifices, "dragonboat tune" indragon boat race, "wine tune" in drinking, "congratulation tune" in meeting and seeing off friends and relatives, most of which have fixed repertoires and singing procedures.

There are rich varieties of ritual songs of minorities in China, and they have many fixed song rituals such as song-competition, antiphonal singing, of which the famous ones are "ge'wei" (a song gathering) on the third day of the third lunar month of Zhuang ethnic group inGuangxiProvince, "Torchlight Festival" on the 24th day of the sixth lunar month in the border of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, each of which are full of excited people and songs. In addition, there are ritual songs for other occasions such weddings, birthdays, grown-up ceremonies, funerals, dragon boat races, for example, "wedding song" and "birthday song" of Kazak ethnic group, and "grown-up ceremony song" of Gaoshan ethnic group.

Children's Songs

Children's songs are about children's life, one of which is children game songs characterized by the short and simple structure, and simple and lively melody such as "catching dragon-flies", "fire-bugs"; another is lullaby such as "cradle song", "child swaying song" characterized by calm and peaceful tunes and relation with rocking the cradle or swaying the child; the other kind is songs about children's miserable life or instructive antiphonal songs such as "xiao bai cat" and "little cowherd" of Hebei Province.

Vendor's Cries

Vendor's cries are tones of the peddling, calling, crying of peddlers or vendors and chanting tones of ancient poetry. Their rhythms, forms and structures are closely connected to dialects, and they are the original sources of the genre of folk song, for some of them are the embryonic form of folk songs.

Love Songs


There are diverse love songs in the minority regions. People sing love songs on many love occasions such as making friends, falling in love, happiness, sadness, for example, "youfang song" of Miao ethnic group. There are love songs for each love stage such as looking for a lover, first dating, sounding out, reunion, long yearning, marrying, crossed, reluctantly parting. For example, "taleken" of Tajik ethnic group, "hanhai" (lament) of Dai ethnic group.

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