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Ritual and Music of North China: Volume 2: Shaanbei

Ritual and Music of North China: Volume 2: Shaanbei

Gives an impression of music-making in daily life in the poor mountainous region of Shaanbei, northwest China. This book and DVD, gives the background to the area and music-making in society. It also discusses the lives of bards and shawm bands respectively, describing modificati... read full description below.

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ISBN 9780754665908
Barcode 9780754665908
Published 1 March 2009 by Taylor & Francis Ltd
Format Hardback, New edition, Contains 1 Book and 1 CD-Audio
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Jones, Stephen
Series edited by Howard, Professor Keith
Series SOAS Studies in Music Series
Availability In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780754665908
ISBN-10 0754665909
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Taylor & Francis Ltd
Imprint Ashgate Publishing Limited
Publication Date 1 March 2009
International Publication Date 28 February 2009
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback, New edition, Contains 1 Book and 1 CD-Audio
Contains Contains 1 Book and 1 CD-Audio
Edition New edition
Author(s) By Jones, Stephen
Series edited by Howard, Professor Keith
Series SOAS Studies in Music Series
Category Folk Music
Number of Pages 272
Dimensions Width: 159mm
Height: 235mm
Weight 678g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Library of Congress Shanxi Sheng (China) - Social life and customs, Music - Social aspects - China - Shanxi Sheng, Music - China - Shanxi Sheng - Religious aspects, Bands (Music) - China - Shanxi Sheng, Musicians - China - Shanxi Sheng
NBS Text Music & Dance
ONIX Text College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Dewey Code 781.6295105117
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

This book, with its accompanying DVD, gives an impression of music-making in daily life in the poor mountainous region of Shaanbei, northwest China. It conveys some of the diverse musical activities there around 2000, from the barrage of pop music blaring from speakers in the bustling county-towns to the life-cycle and calendrical ceremonies of poor mountain villages. Based on the practice of grass-roots music-making in daily life, not merely on official images, the main theme is the painful maintenance of ritual and its music under Maoism, its revival with the market reforms of the 1980s, and its modification under the assaults of TV, pop music, and migration since the 1990s.The text is in four parts. Part One gives background to the area and music-making in society. Parts Two and Three discuss the lives of bards and shawm bands respectively, describing modifications in their ceremonial activities through the twentieth century. Part Four acclimatizes us to the modern world with glimpses of various types of musical life in Yulin city, the regional capital, illustrating the contrast with the surrounding countryside.The DVD is intended both to illuminate the text and stand on its own. It shows bards performing at a temple fair and to bless a family in distress, and shawn bands performing at a wedding, at funerals, and a shop opening - including their pop repertory with the 'big band'. Also featuring as part of these events are opera troupes, geomancers, and performing beggars; by contrast, the film shows a glimpse of the official image of Shaanbei culture as presented by a state ensemble in the regional capital.The publication will appeal to ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, and all those interested in modern Chinese history and society.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review '... (a) fascinating book ...breaks new ground by bringing us the real lives of real musicians' John Gittings, Songlines (5 star rating) 'This volume is another major contribution from Jones to our understanding of the ritual and expressive culture of northern China ... strong points include Jones's careful attention to local dialectal usages and terminology; the presence in the index of Chinese characters for almost all names and terms in the text; the detailed description of ritual actions; in-depth discussion of financial aspects of the bards' and shawm bands' activities; serious consideration of cassette culture ; and the liberal use of direct quotes from interviews. One gets a real sense of what the musicians think and how they express their views, as well as of individual life stories. This is a unique introduction to the ritual and music of a part of China we would never otherwise encounter, and provides invaluable comparative material.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 'It portrays the manipulation of Shaanbei music in two distinct waves: the propaganda of the 1940s and 50s, and the commercialization of the 1980s. With a familiarity that few others could approach, Jones shows how the actual performers viewed these as attempts by outsiders to expropriate their traditions. ... The book eschews simple answers and ideal types, but instead shows the performers, their histories and decisions, in all their human complexity. ... The DVD is beautifully produced and narrated ... The DVD makes the book especially useful for undergraduate teaching, where it would make a fine accompaniment to films such as Yellow Earth, or to more theoretical but less empirically rich works on the interaction getween state and culture in modern China.' The China Journal

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Author's Bio

Dr Stephen Jones has carried out fieldwork on local traditions of Chinese music since 1986. He is author of Folk Music of China: Living Instrumental Traditions (1995/1998) and Plucking the Winds: Lives of Village Musicians in Old and New China (2004). His book Ritual and Music of North China: Shawm Bands in Shanxi (2007) is published by Ashgate. A Research Associate in the Department of Music at SOAS, University of London, Stephen Jones is also a violinist in London early music ensembles.

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