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At-A-Glance

Length: c. 5 minutes

About this Piece

In 1951, Liu Tieshan – a teacher at the Central Conservatory in Beijing – and several of his students traveled to southern China to study and collect folk music. Liu gathered several of the melodies they heard into a piece called Long Drum Dance of the Yao People, which his colleague Mao Yuan orchestrated in 1952 as Dance of the Yao Tribe, a multi-sectional medley of contrasting elements, beginning in haunted yearning song and ending in high energy dance. It has since been arranged in many versions, and inspired several pop songs around the world and was used in the soundtrack to the ’80s video game The Way of the Exploding Fist

— John Henken