HOHHOT, Dec. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Mongolian long-tune folk songs have been
approved of as representative of human oral and non-material heritage by both
China and Mongolia.
Alxa Mongolian folk songs are more than 300 years old, according to Gerel,
secretary of the Alxa Association of Folk Songs in the Alxa League, based in
north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
"Since September 2003 when the association was reconvened, we have covered
almost every corner of Alxa and visited hundreds of seniors," he said. "We have
now a collection of 1,100 rare folk songs."
Alxa folk songs are sung by herdsmen. About two thirds of them express
homesickness, love and friendship, or are odes to horses.
The lyrics are mostly philosophical and rendered in couplets. Alxa tunes
are in the ancient pentatonic style.
Gerel noted that Alxa folk songs are characterized by few lyrics and long
tunes so that they are fit for arias. This allows the singer almost unrestrained
Alxa folk songs are a record of the geography, history and culture of the
"However, these traditional folk songs are disappearing," said Gerel,
adding that at present Alxa folk song singers number less than 200, most of whom
Fortunately, most of the lost Alxa folk songs have now been retrieved and
are under good preservation. The collected songs have just been compiled and
will come out soon. Enditem