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

The Digital Protection of the Qiang Nationality's Intangible Cultural Heritage
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1. INTRODUCTION

The Qiang nationality is a traditional branch of the ancient Qiang nationality. Nowadays, the Qiang people mainly live in Mao County, Songpan, Wenchuan and other counties in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and Beichuan Qiang Minority Autonomous County in Mianyang City. In the long river of history, Qiang culture has undergone large-scale migration and evolution. Since its development, a large number of rich and excellent cultures and arts have been produced. Among them, the seeds of Qiang music have been taking root since ancient times. Qiang flute, polyphonic folk songs and other intangible cultural heritage music are the crystallization of the wisdom of the Qiang people.

2. DEVELOPMENT STATUS OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE QIANG MUSIC

Intangible cultural heritage is the indelible wisdom of the Chinese nation for thousands of years. As an integral part of Chinese traditional culture, the intangible cultural heritage of music is the top priority worthy of excavation and protection. The Qiang nationality in China has a large number of rich cultural and artistic resources. In 2006, the State Council announced that Qiang flute performance and production techniques were included in the State-Level Non-Material Cultural Heritage List, and then a large number of Qiang intangible cultural heritage music emerged one after another.

2.1. Qiang National-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage Music

At present, the State Council has announced a total of five batches of national-level intangible cultural heritage representative projects. In terms of project batches, the first batch and the third batch each have one new project, and the second and third batch each have one expansion project. The fourth and fifth batches are all vacant, showing a downward trend.

In terms of the declared areas, Mao County, Songpan County, and Beichuan Qiang Minority Autonomous County in Sichuan each have one area, with an even distribution (Table 1).

2.2. Qiang Provincial-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage Music

Following the pace of the country, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued the “Opinions Concerning Further Strengthening the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage”. Sichuan Province has announced a total of five batches of provincial-level intangible cultural heritage representative projects. There are 2 projects in the first batch of intangible cultural heritage of Qiang music, 1 project in the fifth batch, and 4 remaining expansion projects.

Project Name Project Number Declared Area Batch Year Type
Qiang flute performance and production techniques Ⅱ-38 Mao County, Sichuan Province First 2006 New project
Polyphonic folk song (Qiang polyphonic folk song) Ⅱ-30 Songpan County, Sichuan Province Second 2008 Extension project
Mouth-harp music Ⅱ-136 Butuo County, Sichuan Province Second 2008 New project
Beichuan Qiang Minority Autonomous County, Sichuan Province Third 2011 Extension project
Table 1

Statistics of Qiang traditional intangible cultural heritage music projects in the State-Level Non-Material Cultural Heritage List. The data in this table are compiled from the five batches of non-material cultural heritage list published by the state, only representing the opinions of the research group.

Project Name Project Number Declared Area and Unit Batch Year
Polyphonic folk song (Qiang polyphonic folk song) Ⅱ-24 Mao County Culture and Sports Bureau First 2007
Qiang flute performance and production techniques Ⅱ-25 Mao County Culture and Sports Bureau First 2007
Beichuan Qiang Minority Autonomous County Cultural Center, Mianyang City Extension project 2009
Mouth harp (Qiang mouth harp) Ⅱ-28 Li County Culture and Sports Bureau of Aba Prefecture Extension project 2009
Wenchuan County Cultural Center of Aba Prefecture Extension project 2009
Mao County Cultural Center of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture Extension project 2014
Huaer Naji Ⅱ-72 Li County, Aba Prefecture, Sichuan Province Fifth 2018
Table 2

Statistics of Qiang traditional intangible cultural heritage music projects in the Provincial-Level Non-Material Cultural Heritage List. The data in this table are compiled from the provincial-level intangible cultural heritage list published on the official website of Sichuan intangible cultural heritage, only representing the opinions of the research group.

From Table 1 and Table 2, the following can be seen. Firstly, the subordinates include the superiors and the complementation is well developed. Provincial-level projects include state-level projects, proving that subordinates play a good supplement to superiors and are conducive to the development of Qiang culture. Secondly, due to the post-disaster reconstruction after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and the importance attached to the protection and rescue of Qiang culture by departments at all levels, the number of provincial-level project declarations has increased significantly. But then it shows a downward trend and the degree of emphasis has gradually weakened. Thirdly, there are few types of Qiang intangible cultural heritage music projects, including 4 types at state level and provincial level. The provincial-level new intangible cultural heritage of music is a breakthrough achieved in the declaration in recent years, but there are still many Qiang cultures worthy of exploration and protection, and the declaration efforts should be strengthened to increase the comprehensive coverage rate.

2.3. Representative Inheritors of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Qiang Music

The “living” inheritance of intangible cultural heritage requires people as the link of connection and there are few written records of intangible cultural heritage music. The art and culture of the Qiang people from generation to generation pays attention to oral teaching that inspires true understanding within, and the production skills require exquisite craftsmanship, so the protection of the inheritors is very important. To this end, the country encourages and supports the representative inheritors of intangible cultural heritage to carry out teaching and learning activities, and draws up and identifies lists of inheritors. Provinces (cities, districts) closely follow the pace of the country. In order to further improve the protection and inheritance system of intangible cultural heritage in Sichuan Province and improve the level of protection and inheritance of intangible cultural heritage, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage Law of the People's Republic of China” and “Sichuan Province Intangible Cultural Heritage Regulations”, the Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism completed the identification of the seventh batch of representative inheritors of provincial-level intangible cultural heritage in 2021 [1].

It can be seen from Table 3 that since the third batch, there have been vacancies for national-level inheritors. Judging from the age of the inheritor, the inheritor is seriously aging, facing the dilemma of no successor. According to the survey, there are father-son or brother relationships among the inheritors at all levels, proving that family inheritance is still the main way of inheritance. However, some inheritors say in public interviews that centralized training courses have been set up and an assessment mechanism has been set up to recruit apprentices with high quality and quantity. In addition to inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, the Qiang common people also actively participate in saving the endangered Qiang culture.

In addition, from Table 3 and Table 4 it can be seen that most of the inheritors are male, the number of women accounts for 16% of the total number of inheritors, and the male-female ratio is seriously imbalanced. On the one hand, it is influenced by the attributes or individual characteristics of the project itself, and on the other hand, it originates from the traditional teaching concept in the past. In recent years, this situation has turned and been improved to some extent (see Table 4).

Name Gender Year of Birth Project Number Declared Area Project Name Batch Year
Gong Dairen Male 1934 Ⅱ-38 Mao County Qiang flute performance and production techniques Second 2008
Lang Jiamu Male 1945 Ⅱ-30 Songpan County Polyphonic folk song (Qiang polyphonic folk song) Third 2009
Table 3

List of representative inheritors of the Qiang nationality in the state-level intangible cultural heritage music projects. The data in this table are compiled from the notification (including the list) of the representative inheritors of the five batches of national-level intangible cultural heritage projects announced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, only representing the opinions of the research group.

Name Gender Project Number Declared Area Project Name Batch
Chen Haiyuan Male Ⅱ-4 Mao County Qiang flute performance and production techniques First
He Wangquan Male
Wang Guoheng Male
He Kezhi Male Ⅱ-25 Mao County Second
Jian Cheya Male Ⅱ-24 Songpan County Qiang polyphonic folk song Second
He Tianfa Male Mao County Second
Ya Gangchu Male
You Dengliang Male
You Shengfu Male
You Yunjie Female
You Zhenchu Female
Zheng Xinglong Male
Geluo Zhaxi Male Songpan County Sixth
Zewang Renqing Male
Han Qinggua Female Ⅱ-28 Li County Mouth harp (Qiang mouth harp) Sixth
Yang Kaifu Male Ⅱ-72 Li County Huaer Naji Seventh
Table 4

List of representative inheritors of the Qiang nationality in the provincial-level intangible cultural heritage music projects. The data in this table are compiled according to the seven batches of the “List of Representative Inheritors of Provincial-Level Intangible Cultural Heritage Projects” published by Sichuan Province, only representing the opinions of the research group.

3. INVESTIGATION ON THE DIGITAL PROTECTION OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MUSIC OF THE QIANG NATIONALITY

Digital protection refers to the use of modern digital technology to make a true and comprehensive record of the object of protection into a digital form that can be used and reproduced. With the maturity of modern information technology, digital information technology is widely used in medical, education, business and other fields, and penetrates into the needs of human life, economy and even cultural development. The advantages of digital technology gradually appear and the scope of application is gradually expanding. Since the 1990s, the digital protection of intangible cultural heritage has been on the right track.

Digitization technology was originally used in the “AMMEN”. In 1992, UNESCO launched the “Memory of the World” project, which applied modern information technology to the protection of cultural heritage and promoted the process of digital protection of cultural heritage, and later, European countries followed suit and started a series of digital protection explorations [2]. In 2011, China's “Intangible Cultural Heritage Digital Protection Project” was officially launched with legal support.

3.1. Digital Protection Situation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Music of the Qiang Nationality

After the Wenchuan earthquake hit hard, how to rescue and protect the Qiang intangible cultural heritage has become the core task. Among the 24 projects of intangible cultural heritage digital space construction, the Qiang nationality occupies 7 projects. Mao County, Sichuan Province spends a lot of money to build an “Intangible Cultural Heritage Database”, which effectively includes more than 400 folk songs. The Sichuan Institute of Music and Dance establishes the “Qiang Nationality Cultural Heritage List Database”, which includes the work of the image database, the music and dance database, and the record database of the inheritors. The Sichuan Literature and Art Audio-Video Society establishes the “Qiang Nationality Digital Production Service Base” to be responsible for the production of Qiang cultural digital optical disks [3].

On July 3, 2008, the “Qiang Nationality Cultural Digital Museum” created and produced by China Intangible Cultural Heritage Network and China Intangible Cultural Heritage Digital Museum was released on the Internet, showing the unique culture of the Qiang people through a large number of pictures, texts and videos. The intangible cultural heritage music of the Qiang nationality was also included [4]. Canon (China) specially shot three image databases of “Qiang Nationality ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ Dynamic Image Database”, “Qiang Nationality ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ Static Image Database”, “Qiang Nationality ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ 3D Action Database” for digital archive protection, for rescuing the collection of Qiang music, traditional festivals, handicrafts and the Shibi culture. But unfortunately, the video failed to play [5]. There are also many Qiang people and cultural enthusiasts of major foreign nationalities spontaneously promoting Qiang culture in the form of shooting videos and live broadcasts.

3.2. Digital Protection Path and Dissemination of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Music of the Qiang Nationality

3.2.1. Realizing the Free Sharing of Intangible Cultural Heritage Data

Narrow audience, scattered materials, and difficulty in dissemination of intangible cultural heritage have always been the problems that plagued various departments. However, Mao County in Sichuan spent a lot of money and manpower to collect and organize the Qiang intangible cultural heritage database. In addition, Sichuan Province has established the Sichuan Intangible Heritage Network and the Sichuan Intangible Heritage Official Account, which presents various types of intangible cultural heritage as pictures, texts, videos, etc., providing people with digital platforms free retrieval and understanding of the cultural history of the Qiang nationality.

3.2.2. Making Use of Traditional Media Communication Channels

Television and newspaper are the traditional means of communication. On the one hand, major journals interviewed the inheritors of Qiang instrumental music to understand ancient techniques. On the other hand, Mao County TV Station opened the “Qiang Nationality Channel” to create specific programs, broadcast many intangible cultural heritage literary works, and integrate the Qiang nationality music and culture into the works.

3.2.3. Giving Full Play to the Superiority of New Media Platforms

The inheritors of intangible cultural heritage of ethnic minorities are inheritors and creators of intangible cultural heritage in ethnic minority areas, especially young groups should collide with traditional essence and trend to create different sparks [6]. Sichuan Intangible Heritage Network and new media have jointly created the “Sound of Nature — Audio-Visual Exhibition of Sichuan Intangible Cultural Heritage Sound Archives” on the Himalaya platform that young people love, and carried out 80 high-quality intangible cultural heritage projects with music culture as the main body. Sichuan Province also held a symposium on music creation for the intangible cultural heritage album of “Qiang Nationality Music and Painting” to develop towards digital music. Sichuan Province has also held the Tibetan-Qiang-Yi Original Music Festival and Music Creation Competition, reaching the public with the “intangible cultural heritage + popular” model and winning the public's attention.

3.3. Necessity of the Digital Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Music of the Qiang Nationality

Music has its own particularities, and music (especially sound) has no touchable form. Because of its subtle rhythm, traditional Chinese music has made oral teaching that inspires true understanding within the default way to spread music for a long time. The Qiang heritage has followed this way, ignoring words and emphasizing oral artistic expression, resulting in the diversification of versions of music in the heritage. However, the development of the times will inevitably affect the most authentic form of the original intangible cultural heritage music of the Qiang nationality. Traditional records are not comprehensive. Music culture is not a necessity of people's life and disappears much faster than other available items, so the digital protection of it is urgent.

Furthermore, most of the intangible cultural heritage music of the Qiang nationality is attached to spiritual beliefs, folk culture, traditional dances, etc. The intangible cultural heritage music of the Qiang nationality is not completely independent and some intangible cultural heritage music usually appears in special places such as special festival celebrations and religious sacrifices. The records of intangible cultural heritage of music should preserve its “self-style”, which is influenced by the history, region and belief of the nation, forming the unique musical aesthetic concept and musical color of the nation [7]. Under the rhythm of modern rapid development, traditional folk customs and religions have gradually disappeared from the public eye, and it has become more and more difficult to reproduce the “intangible cultural heritage”. Although there are records of Qiang folk songs and other documents, the text can't fully restore the musical characteristics.

4. THOUGHTS ON THE DIGITAL PROTECTION OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MUSIC OF THE QIANG NATIONALITY

In recent years, the Qiang nationality has gradually tried to use digital means to protect the intangible cultural heritage of music, and the advantages of data processing can't be ignored. However, some problems and deficiencies in the protection are also found in the process of transformation.

4.1. Use of Music Data Is in a Single Form

Museums have achieved innovation in the display, adding pictures, videos, audios and other forms. However, mostly, they are still dominated by material objects. Digital technology has not entered life. Most of the intangible cultural heritage of music maintains cooperation with the cultural tourism industry, focusing on traditional offline performances, with a single form, and the audience's memory is fleeting after watching them.

4.2. Field of Communication Needs To Be Expanded

The Qiang intangible cultural heritage music once shined in major documentaries, television program exhibition and performance and other platforms. However, with the alternation of the information age and technological innovation, most of the post-2000s generations are now unable to receive information from these platforms. The traditional way of watching TV has been replaced by other video platforms. The narrow channels of information dissemination prevent its achievements from entering the vision of most young people and become a state that no one cares about. And some rescuing shooting work still has problems such as poor professionalism, over one-sidedness, superficiality, etc. Even if there are digital archival recordings, they are not really used.

Looking at the content of intangible cultural heritage on various media platforms, it is obvious that the content of intangible cultural heritage is becoming more and more abundant. However, in the process of dissemination, exploring the most suitable context for the dissemination of intangible cultural heritage is a problem needs to be solved and considered.

4.3. Insufficient Inheritors

At present, the inheritance fault of intangible cultural heritage has become a common problem. Most of the inheritors are already old, most of the new generations of the family refuse to inherit because of bread-and-butter issues, and there is large population flow between urban and rural areas. Although various intangible cultural heritage teaching classes have been established, most people go to the classes because of their hobbies. Besides, the instrumental learning of the intangible cultural heritage music of the Qiang nationality is difficult, not very practical, and the number of learners is extremely reduced, so it is impossible to form an inheritance group, and the power to continue the inheritance of intangible cultural heritage is negligible.

5. COUNTERMEASURES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DIGITAL PROTECTION OF INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MUSIC OF THE QIANG NATIONALITY

5.1. Enriching the Application of Digital Technology

Museums can learn from the strengths of science and technology museums, make certain improvements to the exhibition environment, establish an immersive experience, and integrate sound and images into color art. They can also create three-dimensional virtual characters and bring them into the Qiang music to interact with the audience, or imitate Script Murder mode, allowing the audience to experience national characteristics, and use the Qiang songs and dances, sacrifices and other scenes as the basis for creation, so that the audience becomes interested in the music.

5.2. Improving the Initiative and Consciousness of Inheritance

The key to the living inheritance of intangible cultural heritage lies in the connection of inheritors, and the inheritance of intangible cultural heritage of music is more human-centered. The Qiang people who have inherited should establish national cultural self-confidence, actively learn and inherit the intangible cultural heritage of their own nation, and strive to explore innovative channels to drive public attention to the excellent culture of the Qiang nationality.

5.3. Foraying Into Innovations in Emerging Fields

The intangible cultural heritage of music has a dual nature, so multiple considerations should be taken in the digital protection of the intangible cultural heritage of music. Touchable intangible cultural heritage of music should continue to maintain the “Internet + intangible cultural heritage” model, and actively participate in online activities such as the Taobao Intangible Cultural Heritage Shopping Festival held by Sichuan Province. It is also necessary to use the live broadcast of major sales platforms to sell handicrafts based on Qiang musical instruments, etc., to drive production development and obtain double benefits. The inheritors of the intangible cultural heritage of music of the Qiang nationality can also take “intangible cultural heritage + live broadcast”, “intangible cultural heritage + video channel” and other methods to fully demonstrate the characteristics and skills of Qiang music.

For the Qiang intangible cultural heritage music, the field of launching should be broadened. Innovation of the times has greatly increased the frequency of use of mobile phones and traditional TV programs have to change and innovate to major hot software. For example, the filmed Qiang intangible cultural heritage music documentaries, videos, etc. can be put into the WeChat official account/video channel, Weibo, Tik Tok, Kuaishou or Bilibili and other young people's daily-use software, enriching the popularity at the age level. It is also desirable to make the original music of Tibet, Qiang and Yi into a QR code and cover it in the major daily necessities and living places of people, in order to realize the penetration in daily life. And it is practicable to cooperate with film, game, animation and other production companies to ingeniously integrate the Qiang intangible cultural heritage of music. The Qiang music can also be used as the prototype to create songs as soundtracks for movies, TV dramas, and games. For example, the game “Genshin Impact” stunned everyone with its Peking Opera clips sung by cute game characters, realizing a dual experience of viewing and listening, attracting re-posting and re-creation on various platforms, and becoming extremely popular.

6. CONCLUSION

In today's digital age, intangible cultural heritage is no longer limited to traditional paper-based dissemination and word of mouth. Rich and vivid images and videos and immersive media provide more opportunities for its communication. At the same time, the digital dissemination of intangible cultural heritage is a complex and diverse system [8]. Under the premise of following the authenticity and vitality of the intangible cultural heritage, according to the new technology development and the principles of communication, and based on the three dimensions of intangible cultural heritage digital communication media, communication objects, and communication display forms, exploring the mode of intangible cultural heritage digital protection of Qiang music is conducive to promoting China's excellent traditional culture and enhancing national cultural self-confidence. Fast and convenient are the labels of the era of touchscreen. The addition of new media can support cultural dissemination to a certain extent. However, over-development and over-commercialization should be avoided in any aspect, and the protection and dissemination of intangible cultural heritage itself should still be the main focus. Only by integrating intangible cultural heritage into life can the incense of inheritance last for a long time.

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Cite This Article

ris
TY  - CONF
AU  - Yuanyuan Chen
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/11/21
TI  - The Digital Protection of the Qiang Nationality's Intangible Cultural Heritage
BT  - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)
PB  - Athena Publishing
SP  - 141
EP  - 148
SN  - 2949-8937
UR  - https://doi.org/10.55060/s.atssh.221107.024
DO  - https://doi.org/10.55060/s.atssh.221107.024
ID  - Chen2022
ER  -
enw
bib