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Title: Hmong music in northern Vietnam : identity, tradition and modernity
Author: O´ Briain, Lona´n
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 8115
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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While previous studies of Hmong music in Vietnam have focused solely on traditional music, this thesis aims to counteract those limited representations through an examination of multiple forms of music used by the Vietnamese-Hmong. My research shows that In contemporary Vietnam, the lives and musical activities of the Hmong are constantly changing, and their musical traditions are thoroughly integrated with and impacted by modernity. Presentational performances and high fidelity recordings are becoming more prominent in this cultural sphere, increasing numbers are turning to predominantly foreign- produced Hmong popular music, and elements of Hmong traditional music have been appropriated and reinvented as part of Vietnam's national musical heritage and tourism industry. Depending on the context, these musics can be used to either support the political ideologies of the Party or enable individuals to resist them. Access to an unprecedented diversity of musical styles has also led to an enhanced reverence for traditional music. While older musicians bemoan the changes to traditional practices, younger ones ensure the sustainability of the tradition by manipulating it in response to fluctuating contexts. Based on fifteen months of fieldwork with the Vietnamese-Hmong community, my descriptions and analyses of this musical culture illustrate how people use music to position themselves socially in contemporary Vietnam. This thesis demonstrates how identities and boundaries are negotiated through musical activities that principally serve to make Hmong notions about life articulate. Case studies of individuals and groups of musicians, contextualised by relevant social, political and economic data, illustrate the depth and breadth of Hmong musics in northern Vietnam. Part I of the thesis introduces the research and outlines the history of the Vietnamese-Hmong, part II focuses on female and male traditional music and ritual practices, and part III examines how the Hmong are engaging with the diverse musical world in which they live.
Supervisor: Killick, Andrew ; Stock, Jonathan P. J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available