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Two Chinese Folk Songs

for piano duet

Year:  1988   ·  Duration:  5m 30s
Instrumentation:  two pianos

Year:  1988
Duration:  5m 30s
Instrumentation  two pianos

Diana Blom

Composer:   Diana Blom


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Little Cabbage is a folk song from Hebei, North China. It tells the sad story of a little girl who has lost her mother and worries about her father marrying a stepmother. It is quite common for Chinese folk songs to have several different melodies, or for the same tune to have different variants. The melody for 'Little Cabbage', in this piano duet, is different from the version Bright Shen uses in his Three Folk Songs for pipa and violoncello (1999), and from the version Tan Dun refers to in the third movement of his work for string quartet and pipa, Ghost Opera (1994).

'The Fisherman's Joy' describes the fisherman in his boat fishing, then at the end of the day, he sells his catch, buys some wine and enjoys his evening drinking and singing.

The two piano duets revel in the richness of the pentatonic scale with the four hands of the pianists exploring the full range of the keyboard then interlocking closely together (sometimes with crossed hands) within one register.

Thanks to Chong Kwong Mei Eddy for some of the information above.

Contents note

I - Little Cabbage
II - Fisherman's Joy