Changing Tradition: Diversity of Performance in the Contemporary Music Culture of China and its Diaspora Community

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Changing Tradition: Diversity of Performance in the Contemporary Music Culture of China and its Diaspora Community
Stream: Music/Musicology
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Qifang Hu, Henan Provincial Institute of Culture and Arts, China (organizer, presenter, chair)
Jie Pang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (presenter)
Yanxiazi Gao, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States (presenter)
Xiao Gao, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom (presenter, discussant)

Abstract:

Due to the dynamic changes in the current social and political landscape, Asian music cultures is more clearly showing that it is at a crossroads. Music reflects as well as shapes the identities and values of different communities in Asian societies. With a focus on music in China and the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia, our panel explores the interlocking relationships between musical performance and strategies of cultural production in the context of social changes in Asia.
Using pipa performance in Shanghai, the contemporary crossover performance of guzheng, Xu Fengxia’s improvisational interpretation of traditional guzheng repertories, “Javanised” wayang potehi in the Chinese Indonesian community, our panel emphasizes how different perspectives of social change are reflected through various music performance practice, and examines how music shapes our understanding of specific issues in the social change of Asian societies at such crossroads.

Specific questions include: In what ways did the transformation of urban space in 19th century Shanghai lead to the beginning of modern pipa performances and influenced its music? How has the crossover music performance "Guzheng Crossover Spring Festival Gala" reflected the accelerated cultural globalization and created a new light in the performance of traditional musical instruments performance? Is Xu’s guzheng music a improvisation or fusion? And how has her music produce a distinctive sonic culture in her inter-cultural identity among Chinese avant-garde and diasporic musicians? How do Chinese, Javanese, and Western instruments are able to play together during the Jasen potehi performance by using a new notation method?