Dance of Yi People played by Zhang Hong Yan, Chinese pipa master


Dance of Yi People played with Chinese Pipa played by Zhang Hong Yan of China. Dance of the Yi People (彝族舞曲) is one of the most popular solo compositions for the pipa, a four-stringed pear-shaped fretted lute used as one of the primary traditional musical instruments of China. Unlike the martial-sounding Ambushed From All Sides (十面埋伏), the other most widely performed solo pipa piece, Dance of the Yi People is predominantly lyrical in character.

Dance of the Yi People was composed in the 1960s by the Chinese composer Wang Huiran presumably based on traditional music of the Yi people of southern China. As with many Chinese compositions for traditional instruments, in the late 20th century Dance of the Yi People was also remade into a Chinese popular song entitled “999 Roses” (九百九十九朵玫瑰), sung by Samuel Tai (邰正宵; Tái Zhèngxiāo).

About the Artist

Zhang Hong Yan (章红艳)

Ms. Zhang was born in Chengzhou, Zhejiang Province. She started learning to play the pipa from her father, Zhang Shi Jun, when she was 7 years old. In 1978 Ms. Zhang entered the Central Conservatory of Music subsidiary elementary school and studied under Mr. Sun Wei Xi. In 1990, she graduated from the Conservatory with honor and was admitted to the master degree program and studied under the famous pipa master, Mr. Lin Shi Cheng. In 1992, she successfully defended her master’s thesis “Research and discussion of a pipa piece, Sai Shang Qu “and became the second recipient ever of a Master’s Degree of Pipa at the Central Conservatory of Music. Immediately after her graduation, she was invited to become a member of the faculty at the Conservatory.




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