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    2008-06-25 20:08:50     CRIENGLISH.com

 Singing in a vocal quartet is not an easy accomplishment; requiring perfect harmony from every member of the group. Male quartets usually include a first and second tenor, a baritone and a bass. Although vocal quartets are common throughout Western music, they are rare in the Chinese musical tradition. But in the year 2000, four enthusiastic male Chinese folk singers put together a vocal quartet to perform the music they love. They named the quartet "Lao Ni Che," which means "old muddy car." Let's join our reporter Ning Yan to listen to their brilliant music and wonderful harmony.

You are listening to folk music from Qinghai Province in Northwest China; the name of the song is Down to Sichuan. Sichuan Province is south of Qinghai and in the past businessman brought their wares from Qinghai to Sichuan by foot. The journey involved a difficult pass through the mountains and in order to relieve the solitude and boredom, these creative merchants wrote this tune to comfort themselves and to express their longings and love for their hometown. The Lao Ni Che vocal quartet expertly performs the harmonies without the help of instrumental accompaniment.

When the Lao Ni Che vocal quartet was first established, all the members faced many difficulties, such as cramped practice space and a decrepit piano. However they have overcomed all the difficulties one by one through years of hard work. The Lao Ni Chen vocal quartet has now performed in more than 200 concerts and has released several albums. This song is named San Shi Li Pu and is a folk tune from Shaanxi Province in Northwest China. In the song a girl breaks her feudal bonds by bravely showing her love for a young man. After falling in love, the young man was forced into the military. As the girl sees him off, she sings this song to show her love. The soothing melody tells the story of her strong emotions.

After hearing two of their songs I'm sure you are amazed by the perfect and flawless harmony and balance of the vocals. At the end of today's show, we will hear another selection from Hunan Province, in the lower reaches of the Chang Jiang River.

In the past, many boatmen worked the Chang Jiang River as fishermen or ferryboat men. During bad weather, they fought with the wind and sang this tune for strength and encouragement. The tune expressed the emotions of the brave and spirited boatmen.





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