Zeitgenössische Chinesische Folkmusik

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“Contemporary Chinese Folkmusic” is a predominantly urban style of music. On the one hand, Folkmusic gets its influences from Chinese rock music, which emerged in the early 1990s; on the other hand it draws from folkloristic traditions of rural China. Another assumption puts this Folkmusic within the traditions of the Root-Seeking Movement, a primarily literary movement in the 1980s, in which a distinct Chinese identity was sought after. However, due to the incident in 1989, the movement was brought to a halt and the goal could not be achieved. Therefore, the second assumption in this thesis is, that contemporary Folkmusic is with respect to content both a continuation and a remake of the Root-Seeking Movement. These hypotheses are scrutinized by means of qualitative content analysis of song lyrics and musical means of expression.

Approximately 40 song lyrics by Chinese folk musicians are translated, analyzed and interpreted. Besides this core part of the thesis, the results of the conducted field research in China – interviews and concerts, another important primary source – are analyzed and viewed in light of the research project. A glance at the musicians themselves as well as the musical code of practice sheds more light on the Folkmusic scene and the so-called “Folk Mythology.” The conclusion, drawn by application of the aforementioned methods on the basis of theories from the field of cultural studies, has led to a verification of the introduced hypotheses. Folkmusic tries to satisfy the need, to actively and consciously know and live one’s own culture, although the concept of “own culture” is considered very liberal by the participating individuals. Furthermore, urban folk music is clearly within the creative tension between rock music and traditional, folkloristic music; at least the musicians try to position themselves within it. The question of authenticity arises, and puts Folkmusic in a global context, in which it becomes continuously harder to answer the question of “culture” itself.

General information

Author Lukas Kirschner
English title Zeitgenössische Chinesische Folkmusik
Publication University of Vienna
Date of publication 2010 exactly on 2010/12/01
Original URL The original article was posted on http://www.music-china.org/wiki/images/2010-11-15_0402802.pdf

Entities mentioned

In this article, especially the following entities (bands, artists, cities, articles, etc.) are being called out:

Wild Children, Su Yang, Zhou Yunpeng, Wan Xiaoli

Keywords & Genre

The following keywords / genres apply for this article:

Thesis, Folk

General Information

Supervisors: o.Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik

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