Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)

Investigation and Research on the Inheritance and Development of Kangding Liuliu Tune
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Through the retrieval of CNKI in China, there are a total of 8 articles with Kangding Liuliu Tune as the key word. It is mainly distributed in three aspects: The first is the research on the lining words of Liuliu Tune, Huang Tao's “‘Liuliu Tune’ from the lining words of the Sichuan folk song ‘Kangding Love Song’”. The second is the research on the relationship between the creation of “Kangding Love Song” and Kangding Liuliu Tune, Wang Guangrui's “How is Kangding Love Song Possible - The Original Ecology and Derivative Form of Kangding Love Song”; Shi Yong's “From ‘Liuliu Tune’ to ‘Kangding Liuliu City’ — On the Popular Creation and Dissemination of Sichuan Folk Song ‘Kangding Love Song’”; Meng Yuan's “From ‘Liuliu Tune’ to ‘Kangding Love Song’”; Guo Changping and Chen Dongmei's “WU Wenji and His Kangding Love Song: From a Profound Discussion Between GUO Changping in Ganzi and CHEN Dongmei in Quanzhou”. The third is the research on the successor Mao Yungang. There is Li Guiping's “Liuliu Tune Successor Mao Yungang Teaches the Stars to Sing Peasants of the Kangding Love Song”. The development and inheritance of Kangding Liuliu Tune is a part that needs further study.

Kangding folks call a type of Han folk songs that contain the lining word “liuliu” as “Liuliu Tune” [1]. “Liuliu” means “zhai liuliu (narrow)”, which originates from the geographical environment of Kangding. Because Kangding is sandwiched between two mountains and the flat area is small, it is called “yiliuliu” (meaning a long and narrow area) by the locals. Kangding Liuliu Tune is mainly distributed in Lucheng Town, Yala Township, Yulin Township, Yutong Township, Jintang District and other areas in Kangding. Due to the wide variety of local Tibetan languages, Khampa, Jiarong, Ersu etc., every place has its own language, and it is also an area with the most “local dialects”. Different regions have different languages for singing Liuliu Tune. However, there are many people of this Han nationality and other nationalities living together in this area, among which the Han nationality has the largest proportion of the area. So it is greatly influenced by the Han nationality. When singing “Liuliu Tune”, it is often expressed in Chinese. Another reason is that Liuliu Tune is a folk song spread to Kangding from the Han region.

According to the field investigation, the most primitive Kangding Liuliu Tune is the form of “long tune” accompanied by “Liuliu Tune”, and “long tune” followed by “Liuliu Tune” and the combination of these two melodies is the most original singing method of Kangding Liuliu Tune. Nowadays, the long tune has been gradually lost. When people sing the Kangding Liuliu Tune, they have forgotten to add the form of “long tune” before and sing “Liuliu Tune” directly. There are various singing forms of “Liuliu Tune”, mainly divided into single male and female duet, solo, several duet forms, etc. The singing methods have their own characteristics, and people communicate emotionally through such methods.


2.1. Folk Tales About Kangding Liuliu Tune

In the 34th year of Guangxu's reign (1908), the arrow furnace hall was changed to Kangding mansion, and the name of Kangding began from then on [2]. During the investigation, Mao Yungang recounted: Before that, there was Liuliu Tune, but it was after 1908 when it was really called Kangding Liuliu Tune. At that time, there were eight famous stockades in Kangding Lucheng Town. At that time, everyone liked to sing Liuliu Tune whether they were working in the fields, carrying goods in the mountains, or celebrating happy events. At that time, the Liuliu Tune was divided into long tune and short tune. The long tune was melodious and moving, and the short tune was catchy. Kangding Liuliu Tune Lyrics: “跑马山上青松岭,这方有我心上人。天上又下罩子雨,这个姻缘天促成。跑马山上一朵云,端端照在康定城。李家大姐一枝花,张家大哥看上她。李家大姐一枝花,张家大哥看上她。郎才女貌都双全,跑马情歌代代传。(My love is on the Pine Ridge of Riding Mountain. It is raining again and this marriage is destined. There is a piece of cloud above the Riding Mountain, and it is covering the Kangding City. Miss Li is very beautiful and Mr. Zhang admires her. It is because that Miss Li is nice and she is capable to manage household affairs. They are a perfect match. The Riding love song passes on generation by generation.)” In the lyrics, the characters of folk tales are presented.

There are two main legends about the Liuliu Tune in Kangding. The first legend is: in the late Qing Dynasty, a man named Zhang Zicai in Yingjing County came to Kangding to do business with his father who was a caravan. One day, he met Li Guiying, an 18-year-old beautiful woman. Li Guiying is from Beichuan. When she was very young, she came to Kangding with her father to sell jelly, which is now Li jelly in Kangding. By the bank of Zheduo River, the handsome and strong Mr. Zhang and the gentle and affectionate Miss. Li often sing Liuliu Tune and date, resounding in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Another legend is that as early as more than 500 years ago, there was a tailor Zhang (called: Brother Zhang) and a Han girl (called: Sister Li) who sold jelly. The two loved each other, but were opposed by their parents, so could not be married. Their love story touched a local folk artist, who wrote their love story into a love song (that is, Kangding Liuliu Tune) combined with the singing of local folk songs, in order to express people's desire for freedom, happiness and love. Later, it was sung by local people, and gradually derived a variety of singing forms.

2.2. Inheritor of Kangding Liuliu Tune

Mao Yungang, born in 1948, is a native of Nanwu Village, Kangding Lucheng Town. He makes a living by farming and selling vegetables. He liked to sing folk songs since he was a child, and has been singing along with his ancestors for decades. In 2008, he became the first batch of inheritors of the provincial intangible cultural heritage “Kangding Liuliu Tune”. He can sing more than a thousand Kangding folk songs, and when he sings, he sees things, sings things, sees people, sings people, and sees scenes, sings scenes. He can sing casually, and is respected as a “love song man” by the neighbors and villagers.

According to Mao Yungang's dictation, the grandfather of Mao Yungang's great ancestor was the person who sang Liuliu Tune the best among the eight stockades in Kangding during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. Liuliu Tune is passed down orally in their families and passed down from generation to generation, and it is said that Mao Yungang's generation is the sixth generation. In the 1960s, he originally had a formal job in Kangding City, but because he was too obsessed with singing, and Liuliu Tune was regarded as an extravagant voice, he lost his secure job. But he did not regret it. After returning to the countryside, he worked and sang folk songs. In 1982, in a singing competition in Kangding, he sang Liuliu Tune. Although they were two improvised songs, they were a blockbuster and soon became widely known. In the following 40 years, Mao Yungang insisted on singing Kangding Liuliu Tune.


3.1. Living Inheritance Is the Most Representative Inheritance Method of Kangding Liuliu Tune

In the process of investigation, the inheritance state presented, family-style oral and heart-to-heart teaching, mainly to the immediate family members, is still the most common way of inheritance of intangible cultural heritage. By 2022, the inheritor of Liuliu Tune will be 74 years old. In recent years, the number of people who can sing Kangding Liuliu Tune has not increased, and many of the older generation who can sing have passed away. Now, there are very few people who can sing Liuliu Tune, and the inheritors themselves are worried about the inheritance of Liuliu Tune. At the same time, the inheritors of Liuliu Tune are pure farming personnel. Even if they have a strong will to inherit, the inheritance method is single, the power of inheritance is weak, the opportunity for live inheritance is insufficient, and the frequency of singing is low. These are the status quo of Kangding Liuliu Tune inheritance. Even if Mao Yungang participated in the resource recording of the digital electronic platform of song and dance music in Ganzi Prefecture organized by the government, he has recorded audio and video materials many times due to factors such as recording and retention. The form of an intangible cultural heritage museum is not yet the most ideal way of inheritance, and living inheritance is still one of the most effective ways to pass on Kangding Liuliu Tune.

3.2. Influence of Government Agencies and Local Cultural Environment on the Inheritance of Liuliu Tune

The financial support of the local government and cultural departments, and the formulation of activity plans have a leading role in the inheritance of Liuliu Tune. The funds of the inheritors, the preservation of the materials of the cultural department, the education department to organize intangible cultural heritage activities into the campus, the “Kangding Love Song Festival” held regularly by the cultural tourism festival and other traditional festivals provide space for the inheritance of Kangding Liuliu Tune. In 2006, the Kangding County Cultural Bureau declared Kangding's “Liuliu Tune” as “the first batch of intangible cultural heritage in Sichuan Province”, and at the same time promoted Mao Yungang as the provincial inheritor of Kangding's Liuliu Tune, which provided favorable conditions for the protection and inheritance of “Liuliu Tune”. Support the inheritors to set up Liuliu Tune singing courses in local primary schools, participate in the intangible cultural heritage music weeks held by local colleges and universities, teach and sing Kangding Liuliu Tune to college students, and open up new fields for the inheritance of Kangding Liuliu Tune, and no longer limit the inheritance to family-style oral and heart teaching, which expands the path of Kangding's Liuliu Tune inheritance. Today, Yala Valley, Yala Township, Kangding County is the “Hometown of Liuliu Tune”, and a few people can improvise “Liuliu Tune”, and love songs, folk songs and labor songs with “liuliu” as skeleton can be blurted out at any time. The support of the Kangding Municipal Government has allowed more people to hear Liuliu Tune, and it has also given Kangding Liuliu Tune a better soil for inheritance.

Although Kangding is a Tibetan place, it is also a place where Tibetans and Han people live together. The Han culture has a very deep-rooted influence. It is not a purely Tibetan settlement. It is a place where many ethnic groups meet, and except for Tibetans, it mainly includes Yi and Han nationalities. According to Mao Yungang, his family was also Han in the previous generations, and it is obvious that he was a Han who migrated to Tibet from the mainland. The melody of Kangding Liuliu Tune was spread from the Han region to the Tibetan area. Even if there is a saying, it is believed that the Kangding Liuliu Tune was sung from the Yala Township of Kangding. The tea-horse market, the mixed living of ethnic groups, the common prosperity of the ethnic groups, and the blending of ethnic cultures have formed the cultural tolerance of Kangding, so in this place, Liuliu can be passed on. When people heard Kangding Liuliu Tune, the tune still used Chinese. The cultural inclusiveness of the Tibetan area in Kangding has provided the soil for the inheritance of Kangding Liuliu Tune.

3.3. Kangding Liuliu Tune Adheres to the Protection Principles of “Primitiveness” and “Authenticity”

When interviewing and singing with inheritors, the intangible cultural heritage Kangding Liuliu Tune has always adhered to the protection principles of “original” and “authentic”, and sang it down in an “original” way. From the time when the inheritor faces the star on TV singing Liuliu Tune and gets excited without accurate singing, People can clearly see the inheritance requirements of the inheritor for authenticity. This requirement sometimes arises spontaneously from a sense of responsibility for yo-yo inheritance. This inheritance of authenticity is a spontaneous behavior, and it just conforms to the important principle of intangible cultural inheritance.


Through Kangding Liuliu Tune, folk songs, national musicals, stage plays, etc. are gradually derived, all of which can play a positive role in the spread of Kangding Liuliu Tune.

4.1. Songwriting Works Derived From Kangding Liuliu Tune

4.1.1. Songs Adapted From Kangding Liuliu Tune

There are many songs adapted from Kangding Yoyo tune. The most famous one is Kangding Love song. Yo yo tune and Kangding Love songs are similar in lyrics and rhythm, but they are quite different in some decorative sounds and singing effects [3]. Being more melodious, gentle and affectionate has become a key difference between Youliu tune and Kangding Love songs, that is, the most important difference between Kangding Love songs and their original folk songs. This is a sentence in the introduction to Kangding Liuliu Tune by the database system of China's Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory. In this introduction, “more melodious and sentimental” has become a key point of difference between Liuliu Tune and Kangding love songs, that is, the main difference between Kangding love songs and their original ecological folk songs. From this, the characteristics of Kangding Liuliu Tune can be summarized as: melodious, tactful and passionate. Of course, “Kangding Love Song” also inherits these characteristics, but the Kangding Liuliu Tune is more melodious and affectionate.

Mao Yungang introduced that there is a circulating version about the creation of “Kangding Love Song”: In 1941, Wu Wenji, a music teacher, came to Kangding City. In the spring of 1945, when he was walking along the Zheduo River in Lucheng Town, he overheard a groom humming “Liuliu Tune”, and the melodious melody immediately attracted Wu Wenji's attention. Wu Wenji hurriedly stopped the man to write it down. After finishing and processing, it was written as “Kangding Love Song”. Wu Wenji originally named this song “On the Horse Hill”. About “Kangding Love Song”, the textual research conclusion is: There are four stanzas in the lyrics. The first three stanzas were composed and sung by the local people in Kangding. However, in the mountains, it is impossible to sing boldly: I love you, what I love you first, and what I love you second. Therefore, it should be after the May 4th Movement and the New Culture Movement, when the people's minds have been greatly liberated. Free love, when the ethos of men chasing women and women chasing men gradually began, it was possible to produce this song, and it was only possible if this ethos could spread to remote places. There is also a saying: Wu Wenji added in his creation, “The Liuliu women in the world are free to love you, and the Liuliu men of the world are free to beg you”. Another saying is that he used a sentence from a poet (the famous Sichuan poet Wu Fangji's “Wan Rong Ci”), “I love the women in the world, and the men in the world are for you” to make the song better.

4.1.2. Singing of Kangding Liuliu Tune and the Compilation and Creation of the Love Song “Kangding Love Song”

The inheritor, Mao Yungang, did not limit the “stage” to his hometown. Whenever he had the opportunity, he would go out and sing Liuliu Tune on a bigger stage, so that Kangding Liuliu Tune would have more opportunities to sing. In the summer of 1988, Mao Yungang sang on Paoma Mountain with Tibetan singer Yadong. Known as the “King of Plateau Singers”, Yadong learned Liuliu Tune from the intangible cultural heritage inheritor Mao Yungang. Singer Tan Weiwei made a special trip from Chengdu to Kangding to learn the Kangding Liuliu Tune from Mao Yungang to experience the taste of the original ecology. On the evening of December 25, 2015, the “Kangding Liuliu Tune” intangible cultural heritage project entered Beijing Satellite TV's large-scale cultural heritage program “The Inheritor”. In the program, Mao Yungang, representing the only inheritor of Sichuan Kangding Yoyo, sang the original Kangding Liuliu Tune together with the famous singer Gong Linna. However, it is also difficult to sing the Kangding Liuliu Tune. First, because of the change of lifestyle, many young people have a lack of identification with the Liuliu Tune and feel very dirty. Second, it is difficult to learn, especially the long tune.

On the grasslands of Zhonggu Township, Kangding, Mao Yungang sang with his daughter as soon as he finished talking about Liuliu Tune. He sang a solo Kangding Liuliu Tune, and sang a duet with his daughter Mao Yu. When he sings, he often uses Liuliu and Yueer as lining words. He explained: “The dialects in Kangding are roughly the same, and there are words such as duanduan, talented talent, master of the house, and yueer wanwan.” The “liuliu” in the first paragraph of the last sentence “跑马溜溜的山上(on the Riding Mountain)” seems to express the appearance of the Riding Mountain, and the “liuliu” in “一朵溜溜的 (a piece of cloud)” seems to represent the scene of clouds flowing in the sky. The “liuliu” in the next sentence “端端溜溜的照在康定溜溜的城 (The cloud is covering on the sky of Kangding City)” seems to have the meaning of “just right” and “fun and playful”. The “liuliu” in the second lyric “李家溜溜的大姐人材溜溜的好,张家溜溜的大哥看上溜溜的她 (Miss Li is very nice, and Mr. Zhang likes her)” seems to have the meaning of “smart and lovely” and “handsome and capable”. In the third verse of the lyrics, “一来溜溜的看上人材溜溜的好,二来溜溜的看上会当溜溜的家 (First, Miss Li is very nice, and second, she is good at managing household affairs)”, the “liuliu” in the lyrics has the meanings of “one-hearted”, “very”, and “exceedingly diligent”. The “liuliu” in the fourth lyric “世间溜溜的女子任我溜溜的爱,世间溜溜的男子任你溜溜的求 (I can love anyone of women in this world, and you can choose anyone of the men in this world)” seems to mean “beautiful girl”, “handsome man” and “darling”. In the second and third paragraphs, the word “talent” in “good talent” repeatedly emphasized in the second and third paragraphs, in “the Han people in the mainland used to call it ‘beautiful’, and the Tibetan language said ‘Dasha’ (that is, beautiful). Only in Kangding and other places where the Tibetan and Chinese are combined, people used to call girls' beautiful as' talents' [4]. Although “Liu Liu” in the lyrics of the fourth paragraph has no clear meaning, it is not a function word without real meaning, but a flexible meaning, which activates and deepens the theme and connotation of the song everywhere, and makes the scenery, things, people and feelings of Kangding more vivid and vivid before our eyes [5].

After singing the song, Mao Yungang sighed: “Nowadays, the ‘Kangding Love Song’ adapted from Kangding Liuliu Tune has been adapted into many versions, rock, rap... Few have retained the original flavor, it sounds weird, and the singing won't last long!” It can be seen that the adapted singing of Kangding Liuliu Tune makes the inheritor Mao Yungang worried, and he hopes to inherit the original Kangding Liuliu Tune.

The “Kangding Love Song” adapted from the Kangding Liuliu Tune has become one of the top ten love songs in the world, and was selected as one of the 100 Chinese songs of the United Nations' world folk songs. With the singing of “Kangding Love Song”, its influence in China and foreign countries gradually increased. At that time, the United States wanted to launch artificial satellites to the sky to find the voice of the universe, and recorded 10 world folk songs, including all kinds of human voices, languages, and going aliens to find alien voices. Only 1 of the 10 world folk songs is Chinese, that is, “Kangding Love Song”, so it was later said that Kangding Love Song is a cosmic song. People can say that Kangding Love Song is the real No. 1 love song in China. However, this “Kangding Love Song” evolved from the ancient Liuliu Tune of Ganzi Prefecture. It is this Liuliu Tune from a Han village in Yala Township, Kangding that became the main melody of “Kangding Love Song”.

About the story of “Kangding Love Song”:

Wu Zhengqian, Wu Wenji's vocal teacher, premiered “Kangding Love Song” at the concert. Before the performance, the name was still “On the Riding Mountain”. Before the performance, he invited Jiang Dingxian to arrange the numbered musical notation as an accompaniment. Jiang Dingxian changed the song title to “Kangding Love Song” when composing it.

Therefore, the standard record in the 1940s was called “Kangding Love Song”. Of course, and there were also parentheses below it, “On the Mountains Running Horses”, and then “Xikang Folk Songs, composed by Jiang Dingxian”. This is the very standard version of “Kangding Love Song”. Wu Zhengqian's “Kangding Love Song” in the concert did not cause uproar. Jiang Dingxian later invited his classmate Yu Yixuan to sing. The coloratura soprano sang “Kangding Love Song” at her solo concert in Nanjing, which became a repertoire in her singing career. At the beginning of liberation, UNESCO appointed Yu Yixuan as the special envoy of vocal music investigation, and sent her to Europe to study music, and held solo concerts in various places. Yu Yixuan sang “Kangding Love Song” to foreign countries and regions and held concerts in Italy, Germany and other places. This Sichuan folk song, which was finally named “Kangding Love Song”, was pushed to the music stage of China and the world. In the 1970s, “Kangding Love Song” was launched with the spacecraft (“Voyager 2” in the United States), and in the 1990s, it was listed by UNESCO as one of the ten most influential folk songs in the world [6].

The people of Kangding respect these literati who have had a great influence on the spread of Kangding love songs. Wu Wenji and Yu Yixuan have become honorary citizens of Kangding. Kangding love songs are sung all over the world. Such a big impact is inseparable from the other three honorary citizens of Kangding City, the world's three famous tenor singers: Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras. “Domingo once sang ‘Kangding Love Song’ in the Great Hall of the People.” This is to acknowledge their contribution to the spread of “Kangding Love Song”.

4.2. National Musicals, National Operas and Other Creative Works

In January 2017, the large-scale national musical “Kangding Love Song” produced by the Ganzi National Song and Dance Troupe was officially staged at the Southwest Theater in Chengdu, funded by the National Art Fund. In March 2022, another national art fund project, the national opera “Kangding Love Song”, will be directed by Liao Changyong, president of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and composed by Prof. Zhou Xianglin of the Department of Composer and Conducting and Prof. Ding Ying of the High School Affiliated. The creation and performance of national musicals and national operas are giving Kangding Liuliu Tune a new life. Against the background of the new era, Kangding Liuliu Tune is able to keep pace with the times and achieve the role of dissemination.


As a traditional folk song, Kangding Liuliu Tune is also a provincial intangible cultural heritage inheritance project. It not only inherits the traditional music and cultural connotation of Liuliu Tune, but also presents the life status and historical changes of Kangding people. In the process of inheritance and dissemination of Kangding Liuliu Tune, the creation and innovation of works, and the diversification of inheritance and dissemination methods are also the era imprint of the Kangding Liuliu Tune. The fact that Han folk songs circulated in Tibetan areas can be inherited and sung, and can go to the world, shows the inclusiveness of all ethnic groups in China and the characteristics of the diversified development of music culture. However, as an intangible cultural heritage, the “original nature” and “authenticity” of the inheritance of Kangding Liuliu Tune are the most important principles of inheritance. The creation of art works and the support of the national fund are all the support from the outside world for dissemination of Kangding Liuliu Tune, so that the representative folk songs such as Kangding Liuliu Tune can be inherited and developed, which is inseparable from the joint efforts of government departments, schools, inheritors and performance groups.


Educational reform project of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (19070) — Research on the reform of characteristic teaching materials for music and dance major from the perspective of application-orientated universities for nationalities: Taking Sichuan Minzu College as an example.


Huang Tao. Having a Limited View of Liuliu Tune from Sichuan Folk Song – Kang Ding Love Song [J]. Explorations in Music, 2009(02). (in Chinese)
Yong Tao. Kangding's Historical Position in the Ancient Tea Horse Road and Its Revival in the New Era [J]. Jounal of Sichuan Minzu College, 2016(10). (in Chinese)
Changping Guo, Dongmei Chen. WU Wenji and His Kangding Love Song: From a Profound Discussion Between GUO Changping in Ganzi and CHEN Dongmei in Quanzhou [J]. China Literature and Art Criticism, 2019(08). (in Chinese)
Yaohua Wang. Chinese Folk Music [M]. People's Music Publishing House, Shanghai Music Publishing House, 2008: 184. (in Chinese)
Yong Shi. From “Liuliu Tune” to “Kangding Liuliu City” – On the Popular Creation and Dissemination of Sichuan Folk Song “Kangding Love Song” [J]. Music Communication, 2017(02). (in Chinese)
Aizhou Duan. Artistic Embodiment of National Music in Music Aesthetics [J]. National Music, 2021(04). (in Chinese)

Cite This Article

AU  - Min Qiu
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/11/21
TI  - Investigation and Research on the Inheritance and Development of Kangding Liuliu Tune
BT  - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)
PB  - Athena Publishing
SP  - 171
EP  - 176
SN  - 2949-8937
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Qiu2022
ER  -