Polyphonies Vocales des Aborigenes de Taiwan

Various Artists

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Polyphonies Vocales des Aborigenes de Taiwan Review

by Bruno Deschênes

Taiwan was colonized by China in the 17th century. From the previous peoples that lived on the island before the take over, 10 ethnic minorities living in the mountains in the East were able to maintain their cultures and traditions. The people from the lowland were assimilated to the Han culture. One of the particularities of the music of some of these ethnic minorities is their use of some forms of polyphony, something not found among the Chinese culture itself and also not found in the rest Asia, at least to this extent. Quite possibly the main reason for this is that these people are of austronesian and malayo-polynesian origins where vocal polyphony is much more common. On this CD, we hear the songs of three people, the Ami, the Bunun, and the Païwan and Rukaï (these two being of the same cultural roots). We can feel the Polynesian roots of these songs, yet being original. A discovery!

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