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Title: Nanyin musical culture in southern Fujian, China : adaptation and continuity
Author: Lim, Sau-Ping Cloris
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 4888
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is a study of the musical genre nanyin, one of the oldest and most prestigious living folk traditions preserved in southern Fujian (Minnan), China. As an emblem of Minnan ethnic identity, nanyin is still actively practised in the Southeast Asian Fujianese diaspora as well. Based on ethnographic investigations in Jinjiang County, this research explores multifaceted nanyin activities in the society at large. The importance of the genre is manifested in its active role in political, socio-economic and cultural spheres, its adaptations to state cultural ideologies in the ebb and flow of different political periods, and its continuity despite changing transmission modes. This thesis consists of eight chapters. Chapter 1 offers an introduction to the genre and centres on an examination of published literature relevant to my approach and my fieldwork objectives. Chapter 2 gives an overview of nanyin and its pivotal role as musical source to other folk performing arts in southern Fujian. Chapter 3 focuses on the historical roots of nanyin, its musical identity, and prestige and gender shifts. Chapter 4 traces the processes of social and cultural transformation and illustrates their effects on shaping musical changes in nanyin in the 20th and 21st centuries. Chapter 5 investigates contemporary nanyin performance contexts in Jinjiang, including examination of how ritual practices are situated in the present state ideology. In Chapter 6, I draw on my field observations to discuss the methods of nanyin transmission in formal and informal contexts. With Westernization and urbanization since the late 19th century, institutionalization of folk music has become common, and nanyin is no exception. Chapter 7 looks at music as cultural capital and discusses diasporic support and government involvement as factors in the preservation of nanyin. Chapter 8 summarizes and reflects on my findings with reference to my research queries, and suggest how these findings supplement existing nanyin studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available