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HAC laments passing of Hakka folk song master Hsu Mu-chen

  • Source:客家文化發展中心
  • Publication Date:2021/01/01
  • Last updated:2021/03/24
  • Count Views:588

Hakka folk song master Hsu Mu-chen (徐木珍) passed away in Hsinchu on Dec. 29 at the age of 76. Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Yiong Con-ziin paid tribute to the iconic musician on Dec. 30, saying that he will offer his assistance to the family members of the deceased. On Jan. 9, Minister Yiong attended the memorial concert for Hsu in Hsinchu’s Hukou Township, presenting the presidential citation on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to honor Hsu’s dedication to Hakka traditional music.


Born in Hsinchu in 1944, Hsu, possessing a God-given voice, worked very hard to sharpen his singing skills and musical sense despite his vision impairment caused by the measles infection when he was a child. Various tunes of Hakka folk songs were beautifully interpreted through the master’s sonorous voice. Hsu’s musical instrument proficiency was widely acclaimed, especially his amazing and unique erxian (二絃) performance. Hsu was also good at improvising the lyrics, which fully reflected the charm of the Hakka language and music. His diligence in learning various music masters’ techniques helped him create his own distinctive aesthetic style.


Regarded as the national treasure of Hakka folk songs, Hsu was awarded the sixth Global Chinese Culture & Arts Award in 1998, and the first Hakka Contribution Award in 2007. Later on, he was officially recognized by the Hsinchu County Government as a preserver of the intangible cultural assets in the field of the traditional performing arts in 2009.

Inspiring many contemporary Hakka musicians, Hsu’s motivational life story and performance legacy is a valuable testimony to traditional Hakka folk music in Taiwan.