The Hakka Chinese, who immigrated to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland, came at various times over the centuries. As a result, they are primarily divide into two groups: the Southern Hakka and the Northern Hakka of Taiwan.
Most Southern Hakka immigrated to Taiwan from the Meixian, Jiaoling, Dapu, and Wuhua areas of Guangdong Province on the chinese mainland. They settled in various rural and urban townships in Pingtung and Kaohsiung counties, and were cellectively called the Liu-tui. The folk songs sung by Taiwan's Southern Hakka mainly consist of mountain songs and children's songs. There are differences in the melodies of mountain songs because of differences in pronunciation between the various groups of Hakka speakers, based on their origin on the mainland, hence the distinction between Mei-nung and Hsia-nan mountain songs and between Yao-lan and Pan-shan children's songs. Their mountain songs generally consist of simple melodies and rhythmic freedom and rubato.
Most Northern Hakka immigrated to Taiwan not only from the Meixian, Jiaoling, Dapu, and Wuhua areas of Guangdong Province on the mainland, but also from the Haifeng, Lufeng, Raoping, and Xingning areas. They settled in Miaoli, Hsinchu, and Taoyuan county/city areas of Taiwan, arriving a bit later than their southern counterparts.
Some of Taiwan's Hakka inhabitants later settled in Tung-shih Urban Township of Taichung County, Kuo-hsing Rural Township of Nantou County, Taitung County, Hualien County, and Taipei County/City. The Old Mountain Song preserves the appearance of the folk songs, while the Nine Tunes and 18 Melodies consitute the highlights of traditional Hakka San-chiao Cha-hsi Music Theater.
Listen to Old Mountain Song
theu song tai lit mok khia tsa ngai ko iu song mok lien ka it fu nan tsong liong iong tsiu it su nan khoi liong iong faMeaning:
It is from a girl to her lover. She hopes that her lover only loves her, not any other girls.
Listen to Mountain Tune
sam chiak liong shion chion chhiong san fui chion loi hi khon thoi vanMeaning:
Listen to Level Beat
hien tsii mang ki mang ti in vun shiui mang ko mang ti chhin sin mai phun theu nan tset shiui sin lien ko tsii nan tset simMeaning:
This is from a girl to her lover. She wonders if her lover really loves her.
Listen to Relaxing Song
tho fa khoi loi khiuk fa vong a ko siong moi shin shiong liong sam hong jit loi oi moi ien iong chim ngi loi oi moi siong nga tshong moi chiang moi sam loi oi moi kiu miang fungMeaning:
This song is from a girl to her lover. She thinks that she is important to her lover, and wishes her lover to love her as if she is his medicine.