Questions of Chineseness: A study of China Wind Pop Music and the Post-1990s Generation in the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the UK



LIN, Chen-Yu
(2018) Questions of Chineseness: A study of China Wind Pop Music and the Post-1990s Generation in the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the UK. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

This thesis examines how ‘Chineseness’ is constructed in China Wind pop music, and how this practice is perceived by a post-1990s audience across Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the United Kingdom. It will also investigate how China Wind pop music is presented and performed on various stages, such as the music reality TV show The Voice of China. Three main research methods are employed in the thesis: ethnography on music audiences and music industry workers; analysis of songs; and the production and screening of an ethnographic documentary. China Wind music has been popular since 2000, and was first popularised by Taiwanese Mandopop singers, gradually developing into a specific ‘sound’ distinguishable from other pop songs. Traditional Chinese music elements are employed to create a historically ‘authentic’ sonic product, while the lyrical content often involves praising traditional culture or the presentation of a sense of ‘Chinese pride’ in China Wind songs. This thesis focuses on two iconic songs, Wang Leehom’s ‘Heroes of the Earth’ (2005) and Jay Chou’s ‘Blue and White Porcelain’ (2007) to investigate the musical and textual devices employed, as well as their visual representation in music videos. Through four case studies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the UK, this thesis suggests that for different individuals and in various contexts, the construction and perception of Chineseness in popular music requires a multidimensional understanding since Chineseness can function like a chameleon-like resource for identity construction. The production and consumption of China Wind pop music is also an arena for numerous forms of nationalistic sentiment and aspiration, including official and popular nationalism. Chineseness in China Wind pop music is de-centred in its production location and can vary in its place of consumption. However, it may become increasingly re-centred as the growth of the PRC market enforces a particular presentation of Chinese culture. Uncovering micro-histories of those audience and industry workers engaged with China Wind pop music can help to conceptualise, challenge, deconstruct, and perhaps subvert the notion of Chineseness as a singular and unified conception.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Fac of Humanities & Social Sci > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 13:45
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 20:09
DOI: 10.17638/03022813
Supervisors:
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3022813