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Music of Central Asia: Performing Nationalism, Colonialism, and Identity

Symposium and performance workshop

Friday, April 1, 2011
12:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Choral Room
1325 Schoenberg Hall
Los Angeles, CA

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Central Asia is a region marked by centuries of migration, conquest, and colonialism, and in recent years also by many countries' strong sense of nationalism and national identity. This half-day symposium, sponsored by the Program on Central Asia of UCLA's Asia Institute, brings together specialists in the performing arts of Turkic-,  Persian-, and Mongolian-speaking peoples from the borders of Turkey and Iran through post-Soviet Central Asian republics and on to  Mongolia and northwest China. Speakers will address how different  aspects of nationalism, colonialism, and ethnic/national identity are  expressed through musical repertoires, instruments, performance  contexts, and discourse about music. Following an afternoon of  papers, there will be an early evening performance workshop demonstrating some of the genres and instruments discussed earlier in the day.

12:30 – 4:45

12:30-4:45 Panel I: Music as Constructions of Institutional and Group Identity
Megan Rancier, Ph.D., UCLA Ethnomusicology
Pre-Soviet Longings and Post-Soviet Realities of Neo-Traditional Music in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tanya H. Merchant, Ethnomusicology, UCSC
Concertizing the Ichkari: Uzbek Women’s Dutor Ensembles as Modern Representations of Tradition and History

Chuen-Fung Wong, Ethnomusicology, Macalester College
The Grapes are Ripe: Representing the Uyghur Musical Other in Minority China

Chi Li, Ethnomusicology, UCLA
On the Modern Erhu Composition of Mongolian Style

Panel II: Music as Constructions of Individual Identity
David Chao, Ph.D., UCLA Ethnomusicology
Letting Her Speaking Voice Be Heard: An English Translation of Norovbanzad’s Autobiography

Peter Marsh, Department of Music, CSU East Bay
Two Men and Music in Mongolia: Music, Nationalism and Conflicting Modernities

Münir N. Beken, Ethnomusicology, UCLA
The Concept of Hero among the Gazino Musicians

4:45 – 5:30


5:30 – 7:00

Demonstration Workshop of Central Asian Music

Lecture-Demonstration and Performance of traditional küi, Megan Rancier
Kazakh gyl-gobyz (two-stringed horsehair fiddle)

Performance of Sashmagom and Folk Melodies, Tanya Merchant
Dutor (two-stringed lute) and Doyra (frame drum)

The Art of Improvisation in Turkish Classical Music, Münir N. Beken
Ud (fretless lute)

Performance of Mongolian Folk Melodies, Chi Li
Erhu (two-stringed fiddle)


Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center, Ethnomusicology