Uyghur music research articles abstracts (1)
Reggae on the Silk Road: The Globalization of Uyghur Pop
China Quarterly, Cambridge Journals, Cambridge University Press.
In this article I take examples of popular music recordings released in
the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region during the 1990s and first few years
of the 21st century, in order to illustrate the global flows of sounds and
meanings which influence Uyghur pop. The disseminatory power of "micro
media" (cheap cassettes, VCDs) facilitates the global movement of both
musical sounds and political ideas. I argue, using examples of Uyghur
reggae and Uyghur belly dancing, that these sounds and meanings are
radically adapted and re-signified in the construction of Uyghur identity
and cultural politics, in a complex interplay between the global, national
and local, and between tradition and modernity. I discuss the gendered
expression of Uyghur nationalism in popular song through the iconic figure
of the weeping mother, demonstrating the ability of expressive culture
(here music) to reveal underlying or underpinning political trends.
Harris , Rachel (2005) 'Reggae on the Silk Road: the Globalisation of Uyghur Pop.' The China Quarterly, 183 (1). pp. 627-43. © The China Quarterly. Published by Cambridge University Press
Read the whole article as PDF format (publisher's version)
© The China Quarterly. Published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Journals.
Mazar festivals of the Uyghurs: music,
Islam and the Chinese State
Rachel Harris and Rähile Dawut
British Journal of Ethnomusicology. Volume 11/1 (2002): Special Issue: "Red Ritual."
Mazar in Central Asia are the tombs of Islamic saints, mythical or real, whose
protection the Uyghurs (Turkic Muslims of China’s northwestern Xinjiang
Autonomous Region) invoke against drought, for a good harvest, for the birth
of a son, and so on. Several hundred of these tombs are scattered around the
deserts and oases of Xinjiang, mapping out a sacred landscape whose paths
Uyghur peasants follow yearly on their pilgrimage journeys around the tombs.
Some mazar, like the tomb of the eleventh-century Sultan Bughra Khan who
fought a holy war to bring Islam to the region, are the sites of annual festivals
which may be attended by thousands. The performance of music – the “classical”
Muqam tradition, dastan (story-telling), drum-and-shawm dance music,
Sufi zikr rituals – is an essential component of these festivals, used both
for entertainment and with ritual meaning. The Uyghur mazar festivals are
increasingly caught in the struggle between the Chinese State and rising
Islamic fundamentalism in the region. This paper discusses the role of music in
popular Islam in Central Asia, and Chinese Communist Party strategies of
control and manipulation of popular religion, in terms of contesting the
symbolic landscape and soundscape.