AbstractsPolitical Science

Musical Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule: A Historical and Ethnomusicological Interpretation.

by Hui-Hsuan Chao

Institution: University of Michigan
Department: Music: Musicology
Degree: PhD
Year: 2009
Keywords: Colonialism and Music; Taiwan  – Colonial Period, 1895-1945; Music and Colonial Modernity; Music and Politics; Japanese Colonialism in Taiwan; Musiking; Humanities (General); Humanities
Record ID: 1846624
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/63711


This dissertation examines Taiwanese musical experience and musical life in the early Japanese colonial period, beginning in 1895, to understand how the Japanese and the Taiwanese negotiated their historically imposed roles through music. When Japan colonized Taiwan, Japanese colonizers faced the problem of how to establish governance on the newly acquired territory, while the Taiwanese confronted the uncertain future of becoming the colonized. The decade following the colonial annexation, 1895-1905, was a transitional period when both Taiwanese and Japanese negotiated new historical experiences and cultural agendas. Music was an essential part of their encounter. This dissertation applies the theoretical concept of musiking ??? the manipulation of sonic and non-sonic objects of music in musically particularized sites and with musically strategic and driven processes to negotiate specific agendas with targeted partners ??? to analyze Taiwan musical experiences in the early Japanese colonial period. The Japanese colonizers and the Taiwanese colonized subjects presented and manipulated musical works and performances (objects) in several major venues and occasions (sites) in order to negotiate their concerns and agendas (processes). Such a portrait of colonial Taiwan thus addresses the dynamic interactions between the foreign colonizing power and the local colonized population through musical activities. By analyzing how Japanese and Taiwanese musiked together for their own agendas in the early colonial period, this dissertation argues that the emerging new and hybridized soundscape of colonial Taiwan, comprised of a diversity of musics and cultures, set the foundation for the development of the modern and complex musical Taiwan in the twentieth century.