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Ālĭ Shān Zhī Gē

(Song of Ali Mountain) for SATB chorus, a cappella

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Ālĭ Shān Zhī Gē (Song of Ali Mountain) is from a renowned location in Taiwan. A legend exists about the origin of Ali Mountain’s name. There was once a chief of a traditional tribe named Abali. He chased a white deer into a giant mountain that he had never seen before. He found there were large amounts of animals for hunting, so he decided to move his tribe next to the mountain. His people were able to live with great abundance every year because Abali had lead them to what they now considered a holy place. The tribe decided to commemorate Abali by naming the mountain after him, Ali Mountain. Ālĭ Shān Zhī Gē praises the beauty of the girls and the strength of the boys and compares them to the splendor and might of the mountain. Today, Ali Mountain is a symbol of traditional Taiwanese culture. This arrangement paints an idyllic pastoral scene by allowing the beautiful pentatonic melody to be easily heard through the texture of the simple yet lush harmonies. Each vocal line is conservative yet flows interestingly in a cantabile-like manner.

Chinese Mandarin Language
The Chinese learn Mandarin through a phonetic alphabet system called Pinyin. Pinyin is the transliteration of the Mandarin characters. Pinyin also includes diacritic markings that indicate the various tones (the rise and fall of the voice) which are so prevalent in Chinese speech. These markings have been included in the translation and pronunciation page. However, they are not included in the music score because the speaking tones will be absolved by the natural rise and fall of the singing voice. An IPA spelling of each word has been given along with an IPA guide for each sound. This should help with pronunciation of the text, but the equivalent sounds are only approximate. It is highly recommended to consult with a native speaker.

I am greatly indebted to my West Nottingham Academy students, Jia Kang Xie and, Jiyu Huang for their assistance with the text and melody. We hope your choir will enjoy singing this beautiful Chinese love song.


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