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Title: The revival and restoration of Ryukyuan court music, Uzagaku : classification and performance techniques, language usage, and transmission
Author: Yeh, Chia-Ying
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 8262
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The research analyses the revival of uzagaku, Ryukyuan court music, in Okinawa. In this thesis, literature on yayue in East Asia and on music revivals is discussed and differences are proposed between music revivals in the West and in East Asia. The study uses interviews, a questionnaire and participant-observation to examine uzagaku music’s ornamental variation techniques and language use. Also, it explores the education in and transmission of uzagaku in Okinawa and the promotional efforts of the Ryukyu Uzagaku Enso Kenkyukai 琉球御座楽演奏研究会 (Uzagaku Kenkyukai), an uzagaku performing group. In addition, this research addresses questions surrounding uzagaku’s past, present and potential future cultural identity. Uzagaku survived in historical contexts due to its attachment to imperial authority; today, it has been revived and restored in the past two decades and its practitioners are trying to find a way for it to survive in a new age with quite contrasting cultural and social identities in Okinawa. Chapter 1 represents uzagaku’s background knowledge and related literature, and describes the research methods used in this research. Meanwhile, in Chapter 2, there is a general introduction to uzagaku’s instruments and scores; there is also a specific demonstration of the three kinds of performing occasion found in modern society. In Chapter 3, the historical Chinese yayue-yanyue system is utilised to divide uzagaku’s repertories into those of ritual and of banqueting functions respectively. Analysis shows how different ornamented variations (jiahua) are used according to each function. In Chapter 4, the discussion focuses on the possibilities for singing in both Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien dialect, as may have occurred historically under the yayue-yanyue system. The banqueting song Shidaikei is used as the primary example, being newly reworked with Hokkien pronunciation. Then, Chapter 5 explains the situations uzagaku is faced with in the present day when Uzagaku Kenkyukai makes promotions and engages in transmission activities, even though not many young people are interested in this genre. The final chapter draws together the various observations reached to make an integrated conclusion. Keywords: uzagaku, Uzagaku Kenkyukai, court music, Okinawa, Ryukyu, Japan, Fujian, Taiwanese Hokkien dialect, transmission.
Supervisor: Keegan-Phipps, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available