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Headbanging in Taiwan

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Drawing on the authors’ sustained immersion and participation in local music scenes, this short article lays the groundwork for Taiwanese metal music studies. Heavy metal music arrived in Taiwan in the early 1980s through the precarious mediation of daoban [pirated] tapes and foreign television channels and, in the course of three decades, it has moved from a niche and hardly accessible genre to an established ensemble of scenes, subgenres, bands, venues, record labels, booking agencies, distributors, rehearsal spaces and audiences. After sketching a history of metal music in Taiwan in dialogue with a local record distributor, the authors describe how a subgenre such as death metal is practiced, discussed and sustained – through equipment, skills and judgments – during a few hours of a local band’s rehearsal. In light of the history, development and practice of metal music in Taiwan, more research about local bands, audiences and scenes appears urgent and necessary.
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Keywords: Taiwan; daoban; death metal; distribution; genre; live venues; music history; music scenes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Tsing Hua University 2: Academia Sinica

Publication date: 2017-06-01

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  • Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.
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