Xim Xom is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras.
The Ncas is a major musical instrument, and is widely used in many genres of folk music and the modern Chinese orchestra. Traditionally, the ncas has also been popular among the common people and it is simple to make and easy to carry.
The qeej is a musical instrument with multiple bamboo pipes, each fitted with a free reed, which are fitted into a long blowing tube made of hardwood. It most often has five or six pipes of different pitches, and is thus a polyphonic instrument. It comes in sizes ranging from very small to several meters in length.
DrumsEditThe drum dance is the drum and folk dance from the ancient home of the Miao people of Hunan Province. The drum dance is in the blood of the Miao people whose festivals come alive with the rhythm of drumbeats and dance. When they gather to celebrate feast days, there are bound to be endless sounds of the drumbeat.
There are more than ten kinds of Miao Minority drum dances. The most familiar ones are the flower-drum dance, the monkey drum dance, the single-female drum dance, the single male drum dance and the reunion drum dance. Drums accompany the dancers who jump around and use their feet and hands to beat at the ground. Different dances have different levels of physical exertion. The monkey dance is flexible, the flower dance is gentle, charming and feminine, the male dance is bold and unconstrained, the female dance is gentle and the reunion dance is magnificent and lively.
The Xiangxi Miao Minority drum dance has a long history and started in theHan Dynasty(206BC-220). In the process of combating the foreign armies and fighting against the feudal court, the drums of Miao Minority played a positive role in rallying the Miao people and thus it became the holy symbol of the Xiangxi Miao Minority, who refer to it as a 'tool for reaching the gods' or 'a drum that reaches to heaven'. The drum dance is so closely associated with Miao culture that it is not only famous in China, but also on the international stage. Because the drum dance is so intrinsic to Miao culture, it serves as an important tool in preserving and studying their history, wars, religion, migration, production and customs.
Sung poetry and story cloths were the way the Hmong people would share their cultural hertiage from generation to generation. While older songs are often memorized, singers often add to them. Nowadays, Hmong songs are poems that the singer makes up using rhyme and clever word play. Very skilled singers gain great renown among the Hmong people. There are ritual songs, courting songs, and teaching songs. Even thought Hmong may have left china, their songs still connect with the life they had there.