The Making of a Musical Canon in Chinese Central Asia: The Uyghur Twelve Muqam  book cover
1st Edition

The Making of a Musical Canon in Chinese Central Asia: The Uyghur Twelve Muqam

ISBN 9780754663829
Published November 28, 2008 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Throughout the course of the twentieth century, as newly formed nations sought ways to develop and formalise their national identity and acquire a range of identifiable national assets, we find new musical canons springing up across the world. But these canons are not arbitrary collections of works imposed on the public by the authorities. Rather they acquire deep resonance and meaning, both as national symbols and as musical repertoires imbued with aesthetic value. This book traces the formation of one such musical canon: the Twelve Muqam, a set of musical suites linked to the Uyghurs, who are one of China's minority nationalities, and culturally Central Asian Muslims. The book draws on Uyghur and Chinese language publications; interviews with musicians and musicologists; field, archive and commercial recordings, and aims towards an understanding of the Twelve Muqam as musical repertoire, juxtaposed with an understanding of the Twelve Muqam as a field of discourse. The book brings together several years' work in this field, but its core arises from a research project under the auspices of the AHRC Centre for Music Performance and Dance.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; An overview of Uyghur music; A short history of the canon; Abdullah Mäjnun: muqam expert; Negotiating the canon; Situating the 12 muqam; The impact of canonisation; Endnote; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

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Dr Rachel Harris is Lecturer in Musicology in the Department of Music, SOAS, UK


’... thorough and scholarly... an excellent book and a real contribution to the literature. ... I recommend this book strongly to those interested in the Uyghurs and their musical culture, as well as the broader question of ethnic cultures, both in China and the wider world in general. I also strongly recommend the book and the CD to music lovers.’ The China Journal ’... researched extensively...’ Songlines ’This is a book of remarkable appeal to scholars of Central Asian music and anyone with theoretical interests in the formation of musical canons.’ Ethnomusicology '... a valuable contribution to the scholarship on this little-known Central Asian tradition.' Ethnomusicology Forum