Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources
After researching background information, I learned about using keywords to help find information on Google Scholar. The main keywords that I used to search up information were: Bai Minority Music, Bai Minority, Bai Minority Culture.
In Phase 1, I googled and searched for articles that would help me develop some background information. I know that this information is accurate because valid websites end in with .edu/.gov/.org. A citation and the author of the page will also be viewed. You can find the author by clicking "Credits" or "About Author."
To get more detailed information, I have decided to contact some experts on Bai Minority Music. I have emailed:
Dr. Rees from UCLA- email@example.com
Dr. Chi from UCLAfirstname.lastname@example.org
All of these experts are from UCLA and have done extensive fieldwork in Yunnan. Dr. Rees is currently the head of the ethnomusicology department. Their feedback will help me greatly and guide me.
Here is a sample email that I sent to experts on Bai Minority Music.
Dear Dr. Rees,
I am a middle school student from Shanghai American School. I am currently involved in a program called Microcampus. I have chosen to study Ethnic Bai Music. I will be in Xizhou, Yunnan soon. I saw that you are the chair of the ethnomusicology department at UCLA, and your biography on the UCLA website stated that you have done extensive fieldwork on Yunnan music. I would appreciate it if you took some time to take a look at my project on the Microcampus website, and provide some feedback. I have made a list of ten important questions that I want to be able to answer at the end of the trip. I would like to know about the history of folk songs, structure of music, and pieces only played during festivals or funerals.
Here is a link to the main website: http://sasmicrocampus.org
Here is a link to my Inquiry Project page: http://sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/568/students
After emailing experts on my topic, it was time to start finding out who the experts were in the village. 3-5s are conversions with 3-5 people for 3-5 minutes about a local who is an expert on my topic. I had conversations with Mr. T, Fay, and Xiao Tang.
I decided to talk to Mr. T first because he has already been on many Microcampus trips and would know the area better. He also has friends who are locals in the village and I think that he can give me information on who to talk to.
My next 3-5 was Fay. I decided to talk to her because she is a local and would know a lot of information. I think that Fay would tell me about local musicians and performers. Fay told me that most people in the village play music as a hobby, or after retirement. She said that she would get in contact with a few colleagues before getting back to me.
My third 3-5 was Ms. Mai. Ms. Mai has also been on many Microcampus trips and I thought that she would also be able to give me information. She informed me about the many instrument shops in Dali Old Town, and about the Donjing Music Band.
My fourth 3-5 was with Mr. Zhao. Mr. T told me that Mr. Zhao, the guard of YZR, has a passion for music. I believe that Mr. Zhao can help me find other locals who have a passion for music and help me figure out how much of an impact music has on their lives.
My fifth 3-5 was Ms. Yang, who works in the kitchen at YZR. Ms. Mai told me that she has a lovely singing voice and I believe that she could tell me about people who know a lot of singing and local folk songs.
After talking with five people, I have made a list of possible people that I could talk to about my topic.
Ms. Duan- Ms. Duan owns a local yarn shop, but also has a passion for singing and music. She performs with the Dongjing Music Band and sometimes performs at the Linden Centre. She has also experienced the changes that music has gone through because of tourism and the movie, the Five Golden Flowers.
Donjing Music Band- Ms. Duan and her husband, Mr. Zhao, are both part of the Dongjing Music Band. This band plays a mix of traditional and "modern" Bai Minority Music. I think that it would be really nice if I could talk to some of the band members about their musical past.
Ms. Zhang- Ms. Zhang is a cook at the Linden Centre and has directed some singing and dance performances.
Mr. Dong- A local who has an extensive music collection.
Mr. Yang- A man whose dream was to become a musician, but only started playing music when he was around 60. I think that he can help me understand the difficulties of being a musician decades ago.
Traditional Music Groups- Near the foot of the mountains are music groups who still practice traditional music, not the music that has been modified for tourists. I want to talk to them to be able to compare the modified music and the old music.
Mr. Yang- Mr. Yang is the owner of a restaurant in Si Fan Jie. He is also passionate about music. I think that he can help me understand what is so beautiful about Bai Minority Music.
I also went to Linden Centre (a nearby hotel that has a library and good resources) to find some books on my topic. I was unsuccessful but am still looking. I am looking for books on Music in Yunnan and Xizhou, instrument craft, instruments in Yunnan, and Bai Folk songs. I have looked at Ying Yang's Phase 2 and will try to check out the book that he got. I will also look for CDs on Bai and Donjing music.
Click here to go to the Linden Centre's Website. The Linden Centre is an amazing place to relax, see performances, and a good resource.
I think that this phase helped me gain a lot of knowledge about who to talk to Bai Minority music. Now that I have finished finding resources and am ready to start gathering primary sources. I am looking forward to Phase 3, where I get to go explore and discover new things about my topic.
Click here to see my Phase 3 page where my discoveries will be posted!