Reinventing the Central Asian Rawap in Modern China: Musical Stereotypes, Minority Modernity, and Uyghur Instrumental Music

03_Wong_034-063_AM-43-1.indd

Wong, C. “Reinventing the Central Asian Rawap in Modern China: Musical Stereotypes, Minority Modernity, and Uyghur Instrumental Music.” Asian Music, vol. 43 no. 1, 2012, pp. 34-63. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/amu.2012.0007   [Link] [PDF]

Abstract

This article concerns the centrality of musical stereotypes in minority representation in modern China, with examples from the post-1950s concert tradition of therawap, a Central Asian long-necked plucked lute used extensively today in traditional and modern music of the Uyghur, Turkic Muslims in northwest China. An icon of the official version of minority modernity, the rawap has been recreated to constitute a stereotypical portrayal of minorities as joyful merrymakers while also to embody the discourses of progress and enlightenment. Minority musicians have selectively co-opted certain stereotyped representations as aesthetic resources for subaltern performances.

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