Robert Oliver Beahrs: Post-Soviet Tuvan Throat-Singing (Xöömei)and the Circulation of Nomadic Sensibility, Ph.D. Dissertation at University of California, Berkeley, USA, 2014

Post-Soviet Tuvan Throat-Singing (Xöömei)and the Circulation of Nomadic  Sensibility By Robert Oliver Beahrs

A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy inMusici n the Graduate Division of the University of California, Berkeley

Committee in charge: Professor Benjamin Brinner, Chair

Professor Bonnie Wade , Professor Alexei Yurchak, Professor Theodore Levin

Fall 2014

doc. post soviet tuvan khoomei

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post soviet tuvan khoomei 2.jpg

 

Abstract

Post-Soviet TuvanThroat-Singing (Xöömei)and the C

 

irculation of NomadicSensibility byRobert Oliver Beahrs Doctor of Philosophy in MusicUniversity of California, Berkeley Professor Benjamin Brinner, Chair

Guttural singing practices in the Sayan-Altai region of south-central Siberia have been historically framed as possessing “nomadic” qualities linked with pastoral population groups indigenous to the region. As these singing practices were incorporated into a genre of national folk music for Tannu Tuva (1921-1944) and the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1961-1991)—and then later reformulated as the center piece of an exotic genre of world music—xöömei throat-singing was shaped by contradictory attitudes towards its purportedly nomadiccharacteristics, which have been essentialized at various times, for multiple reasons, by local and global actors and interest groups.

In the post-Soviet era, xöömeizhi(master throat-singers) from the Tuva Republic (now part of Russia) express a revitalized nomadic sensibility through xöömei singing practices, which has come to operate both as an ideology and a disposition for Tuvan traditional music. Drawing on a selective use of history, cultural memory, and natural environments, post-Soviet xöömeizhi construct a nomadic sensibility that is embodied in music and sound-making activities, foregrounded in intercultural exchanges, and circulated as a social disposition.

To Mom, Dad,and Matt

In Memoriam Katherine Hagedorn (1961-2013) and Kongar-ool Ondar (1962-2013)

 

 

http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/etd/ucb/text/Beahrs_berkeley_0028E_14611.pdf

 

 

D’Evelyn, Charlotte Alexandra: Music between worlds: Mongol music and ethnicity in Inner Mongolia, China, Ph.D. Dissertation at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA, 2013

Music between worlds: Mongol music and ethnicity in Inner Mongolia, China

D’Evelyn, Charlotte Alexandra. University of Hawai’i at Manoa, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2013. 3572420.
MUSIC BETWEEN WORLDS:MONGOL MUSIC AND ETHNICITY IN INNER MONGOLIA, CHINAA
DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE DIVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I AT MĀNOA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR IN PHILOSOPHY IN MUSIC MAY 2013 BY
Charlotte Alexandra D’Evelyn
Dissertation Committee:Frederick Lau, ChairpersonCathryn ClaytonDavid Hanlon ByongWon Lee Ricardo D. Trimillos
UMI Number: 3572420
All rights reservedINFORMATION TO ALL USERSThe quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted.In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscriptand there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC.All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States CodeProQuest LLC.789 East Eisenhower ParkwayP.O. Box 1346Ann Arbor, MI 48106 – 1346UMI 3572420Published by ProQuest LLC (2013). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author.UMI Number: 3572420
Acknowledgments
I owe my gratitude to the following funding organizations for contributing to the completionof this work: Andrew Nyborg Fellowship in Music, a John Young Memorial Scholarship, a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, and a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship.
I would like to thank the many individuals who have supported me through my graduate school career, summers of fieldwork, and a long dissertation-writing process.I am immensely grateful to my Mongol friends and research collaborators that are too many to name here. I extend a special thanks to several individuals who have responded promptly and thoughtfully to email inquiries regarding Mongol music over the past two-and-a-half years, especially Xu Xin, Li Bo, Siriguleng, and Xu Xin. I have to also thank Andrew Colwell for many lengthy and provocative email discussions that have shed light on many aspects of Mongol music for me. I give mythanks to Daniel Kwok for providing me with his perspectives and initial field contacts and for Zhao Hongroufor her kind assistance and help making contacts during my stay in Inner Mongolia.Stephen Tschudi, thank you for patiently and astutely guiding me on an important translation journey.
Our work together has helped me put many of the pieces of this dissertation together and has perhaps more importantly, given me tools that I will use the rest of my scholarly career.Mahalo nui loa to theclassmates and colleagues who have read portions of this dissertation and offered me deepinsights, among them, Nancy Marsden, Ri Choi, Brigita Sebald, Rebecca Dirksen, Justin Hunter, Emily Wilcox, and Andrew Colwell. I would also like tothankHeather Diamond, Sarah McClimon, Sunhee Koo, Alyson Jones, Jessica Turner, Liz Macy, and many others for their excellent recommendationson how to survive the writing process.Thank you, Beryl Yang, Carl Polley, Aaron Infante-Levy, Katie McClellen, and Jason Engel for your friendship and many fun, stress-relieving times over a game table.I offer my thanks to those graduate school classmatesnot already mentioned,Priscilla Tse,Will Connor, Brian Diettrich, Rebecca Fineman, Sarah Carle, Ching-huei Chou-Lee, Clare Chan, Chadwick Pang, Justin Hunter, Yuanyu Kuan, Yang Xi, and many othersfor their friendship and camaraderiethroughout my years at the University of Hawai‘i ethno program.
I am grateful formy mentors at the University of Hawai‘i,especially Ricardo Trimillos, Byong Won Lee, Jane Moulin, Katherine McQuiston, Cathryn Clayton, David Hanlon, and Mari Yoshihara, who have supported and nurtured my growth as a scholar and whose knowledge will continue to guide me intothe next phase of my academic career. Barbara Smith, you are ever an inspiration and have made an impact on all of us in ethnomusicology program at the University of Hawai‘i. I have tried to carry yourcareful attention to detail and wisdom with me in all of my writing endeavors.I am indebted to many former mentors, including Dave Hagedorn, Andrea Een, Richard Bodmanand Hongyuan, Wan Binbin Laoshi, Phyllis Larson, Robert Entenmann, Loie Flood, KristenDruker. The knowledge I continue to pursue is largely built on the foundation you provided. Thanks to new mentors among them Jennifer Post and Paul Humphreys who have been cheering me on these last few months.I extend my deepest gratitude to FrederickLaufor nineyears of mentorship, inspiration, and encouragement. Thank you, Fred,for critically redirecting me and helping me to focus. You have shaped and guided my understanding of China and the field of ethnomusicology in fundamental waysand I will always treasure the wisdom and friendship you have generously shared with me.
Thank you for your enduring patience and for trusting me to work hard.
On a more personal level, the completion of this dissertation marks and coincides with two important phases inmy family life. My first son Liam is almost six, the number of years since I started my Ph.D.program. My son Micah has journeyed with me through this entire dissertation process, even before he was born. Each of my sons has provided me motivation, insights, and opportunities to grow as a human being and a scholarin ways I never imagined. I will always honor Liam and Micah for the difficulties they endured through my times away from home, physically and mentally, and for the wisdom they provided me beyondtheir ages.I cannot offerenough thanksto my parents, all four of them, who supported me with prayers, encouragement,and lots of childcare through this process. Mom and Dad, thank you for filling me with a desire to pursue knowledge from a very early age.I’ll always be thankful for your willingness to drive me to all my music lessons growing up, our many long nights finishing up research papers in high school, and many other dedicated ways that you have been involved in my musical and academic life. I could have never gotten to this point without your support. I would also like to thank my Oma Charlotte, for her namesake, and for taking me on my first trip outside the United States, for widening my eight-year-old world and helping me learn how to be brave away from home.My siblings deserve special thanks for offering their support during my studies. You are all amazing uncles and aunts and have been a special part of the lives of our sons. Jason, your presence has meant so much to Liam during our years in Hawai’i. Lara, you are the best aunt and have been a lifesaver on numerous occasions. Eric, thank you for stepping in during the crucial weekI was racing to finish. Katie, Josh, Heather, and Thomas, you four have also been wonderful in coming to our rescue in times of need.My sincere thanks to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Children’s Center, the Loyola Marymount Children’s Center, and Fara and Mehran Kaihani. Your tender care, love, and guidance for our boys have been a blessing to our family and have kept my mind at ease during the day so that I could get my work done.I dedicate this dissertation to Sean, my loving husband, whohaskept me sane, given me inspiration, and who has been the rock of our family through my months of fieldwork and years of writing.Sean,you have been a constant sounding board, never complaining when you hearme struggle through the same ideas over and overand always helping me to see the “forest”when I am stuck in the trees. You have an amazing way of articulating my own ideas better than I can. Thank you for encouraging me to pursue my career above concerns of money or the possibility of relocation, for offeringme some of my greatest insights, and for being, now and always, my biggest fan.

Abstract

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) of China is home to a diverse group of ethnic Mongols who live across the border from the nation of Mongolia, in a division that has existed for almost a century. As Inner Mongols have negotiated their position as ethnic minorities in China and a people between cultural worlds, they have used music to reconcile, and sometimes even celebrate, the complexities of their history and contemporary condition.
In this dissertation, I argue that Inner Mongols’ contact with a variety of Mongol, Chinese, and Western musical styles has inspired them to take up creative and energetic musical expressions, particularly as they traverse shifting minority politics in China and determine how to represent themselves on national and international stages.The first part of this dissertation tracesthe work of four musical elites, two Mandarin-language grassland song composers and two reformers of them or in khuur horse-head fiddle, who have been formative in the staging of a unified, orthodox Mengguzu(Mongol ethnic group) representationsfor the national stage. I demonstrate how these musical leaders adeptly negotiated the communist system in China and became the voices and faces of their Mongols through their musical developments and reforms.The second part of this dissertation highlights new understandings of Mongolness that have emerged in the past decade.
I explore Inner Mongol efforts to locate local heritage through the folk fiddle chor, on the one hand,and to forge links with the nation of Mongolia through morin khuur and khoomii styles, on the other. Through these two strategies—looking locally inward and transnationally outward—musicians have reconfigured themselves as Mongol peoples outside orthodox representations of previous decades.

Through these case studies, I demonstrate that Mongol individuals in China have occupied a central role innational and transnational discussions about musical Mongolness, cultural development,purity and preservation,and the Mongol past(Humphrey 1992, Marsh 2009). By critically examining instrument reform efforts,compositional fusions,musical discourses, and stage performances in Inner Mongolia, I explore how Mongol individuals have used music as a means to pursue creative artistic careers and, moreover,as a way to creatively invoke and contest musical representations of their ethnicity over the past six decades.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101902

Music between worlds : Mongol music and ethnicity in Inner Mongolia, China

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Item Summary

Title: Music between worlds : Mongol music and ethnicity in Inner Mongolia, China
Authors: D’Evelyn, Charlotte Alexandra
Keywords: Mongols
Date Issued: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) of China is home to a diverse group of ethnic Mongols who live across the border from the nation of Mongolia, in a division that has existed for almost a century. As Inner Mongols have negotiated their position as ethnic minorities in China and a people between cultural worlds, they have used music to reconcile, and sometimes even celebrate, the complexities of their history and contemporary condition. In this dissertation, I argue that Inner Mongols’ contact with a variety of Mongol, Chinese, and Western musical styles has inspired them to take up creative and energetic musical expressions, particularly as they traverse shifting minority politics in China and determine how to represent themselves on national and international stages.
The first part of this dissertation traces the work of four musical elites, two Mandarin-language grassland song composers and two reformers of the morin khuur horse-head fiddle, who have been formative in the staging of a unified, orthodox Mengguzu (Mongol ethnic group) representations for the national stage. I demonstrate how these musical leaders adeptly negotiated the communist system in China and became the voices and faces of their Mongols through their musical developments and reforms.
The second part of this dissertation highlights new understandings of Mongolness that have emerged in the past decade. I explore Inner Mongol efforts to locate local heritage through the folk fiddle chor, on the one hand, and to forge links with the nation of Mongolia through morin khuur and khoomii styles, on the other. Through these two strategies–looking locally inward and transnationally outward–musicians have reconfigured themselves as Mongol peoples outside orthodox representations of previous decades.
Through these case studies, I demonstrate that Mongol individuals in China have occupied a central role in national and transnational discussions about musical Mongolness, cultural development, purity and preservation, and the Mongol past (Humphrey 1992, Marsh 2009). By critically examining instrument reform efforts, compositional fusions, musical discourses, and stage performances in Inner Mongolia, I explore how Mongol individuals have used music as a means to pursue creative artistic careers and, moreover, as a way to creatively invoke and contest musical representations of their ethnicity over the past six decades
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101902
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. – Music