- The main piece: Chinese Folksong
Chinese Folksong- Unknown Title (attached)
- Background information about the performance from the informant: why do they know or like this piece? Where/who did they learn it from? What does it mean to them? Etc.
“Oh! When I was little, my grandma always made me sing this song about chickens! Or, it’s not about chickens. It’s about waking up in the morning and going to work. Okay, so when I was a kid, my mom was in med school, and my dad was in residency, and so I spent a lot of time w my grandparents and that’s probably why I know more about these traditions than my sister, because my parents had more time w her. I don’t know, I spent a lot of time with my grandpa and he taught me lots of songs and stuff.”
- The context of the performance
“No one else knows this song. My grandpa just pulled this out of nowhere. He’s the only one in my family from the countryside in China. My grandma and my other grandparents are from more urban places.”
- Finally, your thoughts about the piece
The fact that no one else knows this song, according to the informant at least, shows that this piece of folklore is inherent to a specific family or small group of people. It is a piece of roots music because learning the song from her grandfather allowed the informant to learn about where specifically he was from, and how he grew up—none of her other grandparents would be able to share this song because they were not rooted in the countryside like the informant’s grandfather.
- Informant Details
The informant is an 18-year old Chinese-American female. While she grew up in the southern California area, she spent more time with her grandparents than her parents growing up, and felt that learning their Chinese traditions and language was the main way she bonded with them, while her younger sister never had that experience because her parents were out of school by then.