Abstract

Since the early twenty- first century, a craze for “original ecology folksongs” has overtaken China. Performed by village- born singers in local dialect and obviously traditional style, these songs and the related discourse stress ties to place, cultural authenticity, and the interrelationship of physical environment with human culture. Their aesthetic stands in stark contrast to the twentieth- century preference for European- inspired modernization and standardization of Chinese traditional music. Reflecting widespread Chinese angst over rapid culture loss and major environmental degradation, this song phenomenon and the discussion it provokes resonate productively with Western scholarship in musical sustainability, intangible cultural heritage protection, and ecomusicology.

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