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Speaking with Music

Community Room Combined
Saturday, May 21, 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Join Neng Now - a HMong musical linguistics scholar - to learn about the one-of-a-kind musical ability of the Hmong language.  

HMong music is the last surviving musical language in the world—it is able to mimic HMong
speech by using musical intervals, ornamentation, and chords to mimic linguistic tones,
consonants, and vowels—allowing musicians to literally speak with music.

However, there have not been many opportunities for this unique trait of HMong music to
shine. HMong American refugees first arrived to the United States in 1975, after having
supported American CIA forces in Laos during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Wisconsin
curriculum does not teach this part of American history, underrepresenting the more than
50,000 HMong Americans who currently call Wisconsin Home.

Speaking with Music spotlights the diversity within Wisconsin, the beauty of other cultures, and gives the HMong
American community an opportunity to realize that we are indeed special, and our culture is
worthy of being shared, taught, and preserved.