Gender in Chinese Music

Abstract

Gender in Chinese Music is an admirably ambitious volume that spans an impressive range of temporal and geographical axes, forcefully demonstrating the breathtaking range of musical traditions in the PRC. There are too many gems in this book to address here so I will limit myself to presenting a few sample chapters, chosen in part with an aim to demonstrate the volume’s remarkable array of topics.

 

Content

Gender in Chinese Music is an admirably ambitious volume that spans an impressive range of temporal and geographical axes, forcefully demonstrating the breathtaking range of musical traditions in the PRC. There are too many gems in this book to address here so I will limit myself to presenting a few sample chapters, chosen in part with an aim to demonstrate the volume’s remarkable array of topics.

Tiantian Zheng’s chapter expertly links historical practices of gender construction among imperial Chinese courtesans with the contemporary setting of KTV (karaoke TV). In both worlds, women are presented as gendered objects of desire: their use of song in KTV aligns them lyrically with traditional roles of passive and subservient women, even as they control the thematic direction of the gendered narratives in choosing which songs to perform. Zheng points out that men also perform masculinity: in traditional China, elite men studied guidelines on how to be good patrons, while in contemporary China, the public performance of men as sexual consumers also plays an important part in their construction of masculinity among their …

http://ml.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/2/314.extract

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