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Chinese Traditional with Qian Yi

Meet Qian Yi!

Qian Yi performs a wide range of Chinese music, but she is most closely associated with opera.

Step by Step

Sing “Mo Li Hua”

  • Listen to “Mo Li Hua,” Track 44.
  • Learn the words to “Mo Li Hua” with Track 45.
  • Sing the chorus to “Mo Li Hua” with Track 46.

Sing “Gong Xi, Gong Xi”

  • Listen to “Gong Xi, Gong Xi,” Track 49.
  • Learn the words to “Gong Xi, Gong Xi” using Track 50.
  • Sing the chorus using Track 51.

What is Chinese Traditional?

Chinese traditional music refers to an array of musical traditions performed primarily in rural areas and communities, growing out of the music of peasants during the Imperial Era. These traditions included styles of Chinese opera that were often unique from the operas performed for the emperors. Even when performed by folk troupes in rural towns, Chinese opera brings music together with dance, pantomime, acting, costuming, and staging. Both folk music and opera from China use pentatonic scales, and can include string, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Singers often perform solo or in unison with accompanying instruments. In vocal performance, musicians often place a strong emphasis on expression and melisma.

Qian Yi performs a wide range of Chinese music, but she is most closely associated with opera. She began her study of Kunqu, an aristocratic style of opera, at the Shanghai Chinese Opera School at age 10. She came to the US to perform the lead role in the 19-hour opera The Peony Pavilion almost 20 years ago, and has continued to bring her extensive knowledge of Chinese traditional music to American audiences as both a performer and educator ever since.

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