The Music of Xinjiang: The Twelve Muqam of Uyghur Music
Mao Jizeng (Central University for Nationalities, Beijing) discusses the music of Northwest China
Thursday, March 25, 2004
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
B544 Schoenberg Music Building
Tuesday - March 25 - 5:00 pm - 544 Schoenberg Music Building, UCLA
MAO JIZENG (Central University for Nationalities, Beijing)
Mao Jizen, a professor at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, is a leading expert on the music of China's ethnic minorities. He is perhaps best known for his writings on Tibetan music based on his fieldwork of the 1950s and 1990s, and in particular for a set of six CDs of traditional Tibetan music which he recorded and compiled. Critics have praised it as "the most comprehensive collection of traditional Tibetan music." He has also conducted extensive research on the music of the Uyghurs of northwest China. Professor Mao has been described as "an obsessed treasure-seeker, traveling patiently and tirelessly to almost every corner of China, delving into colorful Chinese folk life everywhere, searching avidly for uncared-for musical heritage, which is disappearing every hour. Through several decades of hard fieldwork, he has become one of the most important scholars in the field of ethnic music research."
The twelve Muqam include 170 songs and dances tunes plus 72 instrumental pieces. The entire work takes over 24 hours to perfom from beginning to end. The muqam combines sung poetry, popular tales of famous lovers, and dance rhythms. Listening to the Muqam can be an act of religious meditation, but listeners can also get up and dance to the rhythms of the drums.
Professor Mao will speak in Chinese. His remarks will be translated by graduate student Chuen-Fung Wong.
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