Cosmopolis Festival - Yi Xiang Chaozhou Music Ensemble: Instrument Demonstration and Discussion
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
LT-A, Academic Building, HKUST

In advance of their performance, the Yi Xiang Chaozhou Music Ensemble, distinguished representatives of the Teochew xianshi (string poem) tradition from the Chaoshan region in eastern Guangdong, will introduce their instruments and explain the significance of the music within the Teochew subculture. The event will be moderated by ethnomusicologist Dr. Mercedes Dujunco. (In English, with Q&A in Mandarin and English.)

The event is free and open to the public. 



The Chaozhou Chinese (a.k.a. Teochew) subculture, located in the eastern part of Guangdong, has one of the most vibrant folk instrumental ensemble traditions in China. Teochew men meet regularly in music clubs devoted to the performance of the wind-and-string ensemble tradition known as Chaozhou xianshi for their self-entertainment. In places throughout the world with large Teochew populations, one often finds music clubs—part of voluntary trade, religious, and lineage associations—in which Teochew musicians regularly perform as they would in their hometown. In her research on Chaozhou xianshi music, ethnomusicologist Dr. Mercedes Dujunco (HKUST) asserts that it is through xianshi performed in these music clubs that Teochew forge business alliances and networks, as well as affirm their Chaozhou Chinese regional identity in the face of increased contact and competition for business with other Chinese subgroups or foreign peoples in the places they have migrated to. 



The seven members of the Yi Xiang Chaozhou Music Ensemble are some of the best musicians of Chaozhou xianshi music in the Chaoshan region. Made up of former professional, semi-professional, and non-professional musicians steeped in the Chaozhou regional folk music style, each player can perform on more than one instrument. Several of them have been officially recognized as inheritors and transmitters of Chaozhou xianshi as an intangible heritage at the national and regional level in mainland China. Their seamless ensemble playing has been honed through many years of performing Chaozhou xianshi together and with other Teochew from different music clubs all over the world. 
Mercedes M. Dujunco is currently Senior Lecturer in the Division of Humanities of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where she teaches ethnomusicology content courses as well as other music courses using an ethnomusicological perspective. Her research areas include the string-and-wind ensemble traditions of China’s southeast coastal regions, particularly that of the Chaoshan region in eastern Guangdong, called Chaozhou xianshi; the music of the Chaozhou (Teochew) diaspora in Southeast Asia; and art and popular music in the Philippines. She has published papers on Chinese popular music in mainland China and on the funeral ritual and music of Teochew in Southeast Asia. Her article on Jiangnan sizhu in the Greater Suzhou Area is included in the recently published Oxford Handbook of of the Music of China and the Chinese Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2023).

LT-A, Academic Building, HKUST
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School of Humanities & Social Science