Collections, Representations and Transcriptions of Hubei Folk Music

The outbreak of Covid-19 stirs giant misunderstanding and racism towards the world Asian Community, and Hubei, the province where Wuhan is the capital city of, suffered extreme verbal attacks. As someone whose hometown is Hubei, I was deeply shocked. This drove me towards this project.

Hubei Folk Music

Hubei Province locates in the middle of China, however, its own district culture, especially music cultures has been ignored and lack of development/adaptation for modern use. Folk music collection has been a way to broaden the realm of compositional materials since Bartok, but I hope more this project will raise awareness of world’s people to Hubei’s folk music scenes, and I have merged the elements of SaYeErHuo, South Tune of Chang Yang, Weeding Gong & Drum in my future work.

For the project, through exhausted search, I purchase rare score materials at my own cost, consulted local people regarding the folk music styles, I also develop one piano improvisation (Improvisation III) and one San Xian Variations based on the SaYeErHuo Tunes. The goal for the project is for computational analysis (pitch histogram/chord/scale…etc.), generation (structure) and digital representation (electronic music version).



撒叶儿嗬:A Style of Dance Music originates and develops within the Tujia Area of Changyang County, Hubei Province. This Style of Music is used to paying tribute to the death.

Examples of Scores, Lyrics were below: if you are interested in the full package, please do email

South Tune of Chang Yang

长阳南曲: Chang Yang South Tune is a style folk Qu-Yi music. Using SanXian 三弦 as main accompanying instrument.

Selected score from the materials published in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Weeding Gong & Drum 薅草锣鼓

A form of Labor Chant. Lyrics, Rhythm, Tone


A Variation based on SaYeErHuo Scale

performed via San Xian Instrument.

For symbolic representation of the melody, MIDI/Piano Roll format can be adopted. For audio and aesthetic input, I will record the folk music in San Xian, more to present.

For the analysis of lyrics – which is important because Qiang (musical-linguistic), dialect…


Music21 is the tool for symbolic music analysis.