Mudong folk songs are songs sung by people in Mudong Town of Banan District in Chongqing, and they are listed as one of the “Excellent Folk Art Forms”. These folk songs can be traced back to “Bayu (the ancient name of Chongqing) songs and dances” in ancient times, which then shifted to “simple and crude folk songs” in the Warring States Period, to “Bazi odes” in the Han Dynasty and “Zhuzhi” in the Tang Dynasty, before they finally evolved into what we know today as the Mudong folk songs in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The repertoire of Mudong folk songs contains thousands of tunes, among which Helai, a kind of song people sing when they are pulling out seedlings in the paddy field, predominates. Other important forms include Luo’er tunes, work songs, folk custom songs, and performance songs. Helai, as a rare kind of Chinese folk song and a regional form of art, contains various categories of tunes, such as high-pitched Helai, low-pitched Helai, flat-pitched Helai, Hua Helai, and Connecting-eight-lines Helai. And each of these categories can be further divided into various subcategories.
In May 2006, the State Council of the P.R.C. approved listing Mudong folk songs among the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage.
National-level representative inheritors: Pan Zhongmin & Yu Lianghua
Municipal-level representative inheritors: Xu Daoquan, Li Fumei, Yu Chunliang, Gao Qilan, Dai Zhengmei & Zhou Shifen