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Chinese Zheng and Identity Politics in Taiwan

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Title:Chinese Zheng and Identity Politics in Taiwan
Authors:Lai, Yi-Chieh
Contributors:Lau, Frederick (advisor)
Music (department)
Chinese zheng
show 1 moreTaiwan
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Date Issued:Dec 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This dissertation examines the ideologies and embodiments of identity politics of transplanted music by taking the Chinese zheng, also known as guzheng, in Taiwan as subject of study. Through examining state policy and Taiwanese zheng players’ musical behavior, I investigate Taiwanese musicians’ ambivalent identity constituted in zheng performance—from playing Chinese zheng music to creating Taiwanese zheng music—under the political tension between the Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
This dissertation examines the ways that Taiwanese musicians actively contribute to the body of zheng music. I demonstrate that cultural ideologies were instrumental during the musical transmission; additionally, I detail the individual approaches of executing these cultural practices. Given that the government policy was inseparable from the way Taiwanese zheng musicians played music, the zheng thus can be seen as a site of negotiating one’s position in the socio-political condition.
This dissertation engages theories on nationalism and identity to demonstrate not only how cultural policies affect music but also how musicians make music and interact with the nations. Rather than viewing Chinese/Taiwanese zheng music as merely a musical product, I examine zheng performance in Taiwan as a social behavior that allowed performers to participate in a modern China that led to the creation of a local Chinese practice in Taiwan. As a result, the zheng became the only Chinese musical instrument that signified both Chinese and Taiwanese cultural identities. This research illustrates how the zheng, as a cultural instrument, builds social connections and negotiates identities and conflicts in everyday life. The complex issues of zheng music in Taiwan will provide a new understanding of modern Chinese/Taiwanese history with a focus on identity politics that relates to the cross-strait relationship.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Pages/Duration:212 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Music

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