Singing Muqam in Uyghur Pop: Minority Modernity and Popular Music in China

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This essay is about the popular music of the Turkic-speaking Uyghur people in northwest China. It explores Uyghur pop as a repository of the indigenous muqam musical tradition. I look at how minority popular music, with its strong attachment to places and the experience of displacement, has made audible some of the dilemmas of subaltern identities. I also demonstrate how traditional musical icons have afforded minority musicians a culturally situated place to encounter musical modernity. The multiplicity of stylistic influences in Uyghur pop allows musicians to articulate convincing practices of hybridity and to fashion a credible voice for the minority national self.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2013

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