Eggplantegg: Taiyu Language Proliferation and Linguistic Diversity in Taiwan’s Popular Music Scene

Written by Max Lembke-Soh. EggPlantEgg 茄子蛋 has fast become a significant player. Rocketing to popularity in 2017, EggPlantEgg received multiple Golden Melody Awards and nominations recognising their distinctly Taiwanese vibes, making full use of Taiyu’s broad intonation range to melodise lyrics across a variety of sounds. The band has no shortage of commentators lauding their style, highlighting their passionate use of Taiyu to express everything from love and yearning to relationships and loss.

Which Nation’s National Music? – A Critical Introduction of Contemporary Chinese Orchestra in Taiwan

Written by Min-erh Wang. From the late nineteenth century onwards, Chinese musical culture has been significantly impacted by the importation of Western music. Chinese musicians and intellectuals, therefore, began to organise an orchestra with Chinese instruments as a way for pursuing musical modernisation. The establishment of the music section at the Central Broadcast Station in Chongqing in 1935 was the most prominent example of this trend. By presenting this new ensemble at international occasions, the modern Chinese orchestra was further promoted as ‘Gou Yue (國樂),’ meaning ‘national music,’ in the first half of the twentieth century.

Confessions from a Former Fan Girl

Written by Ellie Koepplinger. I remember being thirteen with vivid clarity. You are at once gangly, disproportionate, and uncomfortable with yourself, confused and delighted in equal measure by your budding independence. You are constantly trying to untangle a knotted web of hormones, education, and friendships, convinced that one poor decision would permanently impact the chasm of life that stretched before you. At that tender inflexion point, falling in love with fictionalized Taiwanese pop idols was the one thing that kept me grounded.

Music as Political Commitment: The Reception of Pablo Casals in Taiwan before the 1970s

Written by Min-Erh Wang. Historical musicologists focus on studying Western classical music written by Western or Western-trained composers, while ethnomusicologists primarily concentrate on traditional and vernacular music research. Against this background, music scholars in Taiwan tend to pay attention to the musical works and composers or the cultures of traditional genres, such as nanguan and the music of aboriginal people, while leaving the reception of Western classical music overlooked. However, from the late nineteenth century onwards, Western classical music has deeply rooted in Taiwan as well as other East Asian countries as part of the modernisation agenda. Furthermore, during the Cold War, Western classical music was adopted by both the US and Soviet Russia to disseminate their influence over Third World countries.

Rethinking Self-Identity and Taiwanese Indigenous Musicians’ Contemporary Presentation on Social Media

Written by GuoTing Lin (Kuing). This work uses digital ethnography to consider how Taiwanese indigenous musicians utilise Facebook as their primary official platform for audience communication. I go about this by analysing cover images, profiles, photos, and feeds on Facebook, which is used to depict the details of the texts, photos, and videos. It thus shows the self-presentation and the communication of Taiwanese indigenous musicians concerning cultural and social issues. Moreover, I argue that indigenous musicians perform their identity through online self-presentation in everyday life.

When 50 Steps is Further than Taipei: Indigenous Contemporary Art and Temporal Orientation

Written by DJ Hatfield. Over the past ten years, images of Indigenous people have increased both in Taiwan and international representation. Indigenous people appear in depictions of Taiwan’s relationships to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in promotions of Taiwan as a tourist destination, in discourses of sustainability, and images of environmental protest. In relationship to these representations of Indigenous people, Taiwanese Indigenous contemporary artists maintain an ambivalent footing, aware that current indigenous visibility rearticulates Taipei (here referring broadly to settler power) rather than displacing it.

Jay Chou’s China Wind Pop Made in Taiwan and Its Transnational Audiences

Written by Chen-yu Lin. It is evident that “being Chinese” today can influence both music production and perceptions. The chapter argues that the construction and perception of Chineseness through popular music is multidimensional, whether the investigation concerns a China Wind song or a person’s experience of it. It also further explores other dimensions to be considered alongside the sonic journey music provides.

City Pop in Taiwan: old mainstreams becoming new indies

Written by Yan-Shouh Chen. As City Pop become more known to Taiwanese indie music lovers, unveiling J-pop history might not be enough. Some fans turned their eyes toward Taiwanese artists that are good at creating groovy melodies. These artists might consider themselves as R&B and Hip Hop rather than City Pop, but the boom did them a favour, and now the spotlight is on them.

Unpacking ‘Indie Music As Cool Ambassadors’ – Reflections on Taiwan’s Cultural Export Policies 2010-Present

Written by Jocelle Koh. During my time as a university student, what I would have given to have a copy of Routledge’s latest edition to their ‘Made in…’ series, ‘Made in Taiwan’. It would have been handy! As a student doing my thesis on the Taiwanese music industry in a university about as far removed from the topic as you can get, procuring the Taiwanese instalment of this academic series – completely in English and geared towards advanced understandings of Taiwanese popular music – would have saved me a lot of trouble.

Taiwanese Popular Music as World History

Written by Eva Tsai. Sure, I had an agenda: First, I wanted to create at the time—with popular culture details—a sense of the social and cultural space. Second, I wanted to suggest that any entry point is a good entry point into Taiwanese popular music, so long as it is put into a historical and geopolitical context, along with developing a curiosity and mindfulness about what else was going on when it was made and circulated. Such was the spirit we carried into Made in Taiwan: Taiwanese popular music as world history.

Taiwanese Contemporary Music: The Case of Fire EX.

Written by Hegerová Terézia. Fire EX. started their career in 2000 as an indie punk rock band from Kaohsiung. The four members are singer Sam, bassist Pipi, drummer Wu Ti and guitarist Oreo. The group at first performed only covers, but later started to produce their own songs. They say that their style was influenced by many other singers and bands, especially those from the US like Blink 182 and Green Day.

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