Copyright, Representation, and Chinese Folk Songs - Harris 31 (3): 381 - Modern China
This article discusses the controversy surrounding the feted twentieth-century Chinese composer and folk song collector Wang Luobin. Wangs relationship with the peoples and music of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region illuminates several aspects of Han-minority relations, in particular the consumption of Otherness and the contesting of identities. The controversy also illuminates problems surrounding the transformation of traditional or folk music intoa tangible commodity: problems of ownership and authenticity, in particular legal issues of copyright (who has the right to profit) and more emotive issues of moral authority (who has the right to represent). These issues have recently come to the fore in China as it undergoes its uneasy transformation into a socialist market economy, and they have special ramifications because of the states extensive and ongoing manipulation of folk music for political ends.
Key Words: minority nationalities Uyghur Xinjiang music appropriation representation
Source: Modern China Journal