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October 16, 2013

Confucius Institute lecture - Reconstructing the Vanished Musical Life of the Shanghai Jewish Diaspora

Presenter: Professor TANG Yating, Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Start Date: October 30, 2013
Time: 12 -1:30 pm
Location: Koessler Room, Michigan League, 911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor

For over 100 years between 1840 and 1945, Shanghai was home to a number of Jewish diaspora communities, not all of whom came, but all of whom left as refugees. Each of these communities maintained its own traditions and practices; in modern Shanghai, only a few historic buildings and sites remain. In this report of my ethnomusicological “study at home,” I use rare ephemera and other documents to reconstruct a now vanished musical world, assembling evidence of actual musical events, their purposes, participants and repertoire. I observed various ways in which music functioned as a (subjective) marker of cultural identity within a self-enclosed cultural enclave that was characterized more by its heterogeneity than by the commonality suggested by its Jewishness.

Professor TANG Yating holds a professorship in Ethnomusicology and Translation Studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and guest professorship in ethnomusicology at Shanghai Teachers University and Taiwan Nanhua University. He has made numerous publications, including quite a number of translations. His current research focuses on the Western colonial impact on the music of diasporas in China’s modernity. His books include Urban Soundscapes (Shanghai Conservatory Press, 2005), and Musical Life of Shanghai Jewish Communities (Shanghai Conservatory of Music Press, 2007). A new book Variations of Imperial Diasporas: History of the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra, 1864-1949 is forthcoming soon by the Conservatory Press.

Posted by zzhu at October 16, 2013 10:42 PM