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"New Songs of the Battlefield": Songs and Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

Bryant, Lei Ouyang (2004) "New Songs of the Battlefield": Songs and Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation focuses on a five-volume anthology of songs published from 1972 to 1976 known as "Zhandi Xinge," literally "New Songs of the Battlefield." The songs represent a significant portion of the limited musical expression during a period in China known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Published and approved by the Chinese Communist Party, the anthology appeared at a time when artistic and musical activities were extremely restricted. The government utilized this particular musical form for multiple goals, including the propagation of political ideologies, stimulation of party support, and education of the masses. Based upon original research and personal interviews, the dissertation provides the first documentation and analysis of the anthology in any language. Analysis focuses on the official ideology as situated in its socio-historical context, and an examination of individual reception and memory. The study begins with an introduction to the Cultural Revolution period, followed by an investigation of the composition, editing, compilation, themes, texts, and musical characteristics of the anthology. The dissertation concludes with an analysis of the contemporary memory of Cultural Revolution songs while considering concepts of music, memory, and nostalgia. The analysis reveals that the major factors influencing how the music is remembered and who remembers it, is dependent upon a combination of features including music and memory, generational imprinting and changes in contemporary Chinese society.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bryant, Lei
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairYung, Bellbyun@pitt.eduBYUN
Committee MemberWeintraub, Andrewanwein@pitt.eduANWEIN
Committee MemberRosenblum, Mathewrosenblu@pitt.eduROSENBLU
Committee MemberConstable, Nicoleconstabl@pitt.eduCONSTABL
Committee MemberTang, Wenfangtang@pitt.eduTANG
Date: 24 June 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 April 2004
Approval Date: 24 June 2004
Submission Date: 5 May 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Faculty of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: ; Cultural Revolution; Geming Gequ; Generational Imprinting; Mao Zedong; Memory; Music; Nostalgia; Politics; Propaganda; Revolutionary Songs; Zhandi Xinge; Zhou Enlai; China
Other ID:, etd-05052004-205332
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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