The heart of Asia : musicking, tourism, and Taiwan's place in a globalized Asia



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Taiwan’s history has been fraught with identity politics as major world powers have disputed its place in Asia as a a prefecture of China, a colony of Japan, and a sovereign state. Because of the different cultures that have inhabited the island over the past 400 years, Taiwan is inundated with nested cultural formations and cultural cohorts that exhibit themselves through public and private musical practice. The focus of this study examines the interactions between these cultural cohorts and formations through the lens of the local and the tourist. I examine global, national, regional and local cultural flows in order to determine how music is utilized in identity formation and how major actors, both on a global scale and on a local scale utilize the connection between music and place to créate collective memory, dispute reconstructed history, and acknowledge aspects of the cultural formation of Taiwaneseness. I look at the interactions between music, locals, and tourists in government places, public places, online spaces, and privately run places in order to determine how music creates place and collective memory, and how this in turn affects cultural formation and identity. This top-down and bottom-up approach reveals that while government initiatives and global players utilize music, place, and interactions with locals and tourists to reify national identity, locals utilize music in tourist places toward the dissolving of the nation-state and national identity, and the building up of cross-boundary cultural formations and imagined worlds.



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