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Cultural Revolution model works and the politics of modernization in China: An analysis of Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy

Identifieur interne : 001F51 ( Main/Exploration ); précédent : 001F50; suivant : 001F52

Cultural Revolution model works and the politics of modernization in China: An analysis of Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy

Auteurs : Barbara Mittler [Allemagne]

Source :

RBID : Francis:529-04-11834

Descripteurs français

English descriptors

Abstract

The so-called model works ("yangbanxi"), ten operas, four ballets, two symphonies and two piano pieces monopolized China's theatrical and musical stages for a decade. No matter whether one follows the now orthodox political interpretation contending that they were products of the ultra-leftist mind of Mao's wife Jiang Qing or whether one considers them worthy pieces of art, they are an element in Chinese cultural history that cannot be - but (for ideological reasons) often is - overlooked. Repercussions of the model works can be traced in China's recent rock music, in light popular music as well as in her serious music. Contrary to the common assumption that the model works were characteristic products of Cultural Revolution ideology, the A. contends that they were anything but the product of an iconoclastic and xenophobic era, as the Cultural Revolution is so often described. Instead, they are manifestations of a hybrid taste which calls for the transformation of Chinese tradition according to foreign standards, a taste which for more than a century has determined compositional practice in China. The A. takes one of the earliest and most well-known model works, the revolutionary Beijing opera "Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy", as an example. She examines the use of traditional Chinese as well as European musico-dramatic elements in this piece in order to illustrate that the particular forms musical modernization took during the Cultural Revolution were in no way the exception but more of the rule for compositional practice in modern China - except for the degree of semantic overdetermination to be found in the model works.


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Le document en format XML

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<div type="abstract" xml:lang="en">The so-called model works ("yangbanxi"), ten operas, four ballets, two symphonies and two piano pieces monopolized China's theatrical and musical stages for a decade. No matter whether one follows the now orthodox political interpretation contending that they were products of the ultra-leftist mind of Mao's wife Jiang Qing or whether one considers them worthy pieces of art, they are an element in Chinese cultural history that cannot be - but (for ideological reasons) often is - overlooked. Repercussions of the model works can be traced in China's recent rock music, in light popular music as well as in her serious music. Contrary to the common assumption that the model works were characteristic products of Cultural Revolution ideology, the A. contends that they were anything but the product of an iconoclastic and xenophobic era, as the Cultural Revolution is so often described. Instead, they are manifestations of a hybrid taste which calls for the transformation of Chinese tradition according to foreign standards, a taste which for more than a century has determined compositional practice in China. The A. takes one of the earliest and most well-known model works, the revolutionary Beijing opera "Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy", as an example. She examines the use of traditional Chinese as well as European musico-dramatic elements in this piece in order to illustrate that the particular forms musical modernization took during the Cultural Revolution were in no way the exception but more of the rule for compositional practice in modern China - except for the degree of semantic overdetermination to be found in the model works.</div>
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