Keys to the Kingdom II: The pipe organ as vector of artistic and cultural exchange in China.

  • URROWS, David Francis (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal is for funding an expansion and continuation of research tracing the chronology and history of the pipe organ in China; as well as documenting the present- day status of the instrument and its repertory. “China” will be understood to mean the present-day geographical limits of Mainland China, irrespective of changes of administration or government in the periods under consideration. However, given recent research and publication related in some degree to this topic dealing with East-West musical and cultural interchange in Asia (including Japan, Korea, and the Philippines) comparative references will be made to these areas (although a full comparative study is beyond the scope of this project.)

Approached from a theoretical perspective of interchange and collaboration (as articulated by Waley-Cohen, Rae, Lindorff, Parker, North, et al.) the research proposed here will continue to investigate existing, ongoing developments in pipe organ construction, installation, and listening culture in China, and the increase in awareness of the instrument and its unique repertory. Three things separate this study from the one previously funded by a GRF:
1. The growth in the census of new instruments in the past five years, some of which it was impossible to visit in the previous 24-month period of research. This research aims to catch up and expand on this remarkable development which reflects shifts in cultural and musical ambitions.

2. The present research will also address additional historical resources, in particular archival resources, which were not previously identified or available, and which need to be examined in order to form a comprehensive picture of the area of study. It was intended in the previously funded research to look at some – though not all – of this material; the lack of time available away from Hong Kong led to a limitation on what sources could be looked at in Europe in particular. At the same time, through contact and collaboration with other scholars, the full range of material of potential value to the study has increased several fold.

3. A third area of new exploration will be the coordination of this project to the larger topic, explored in recent studies, of global interaction and exchange in the early modern era.

The outcome of this research will be of value not only to musicologists, but to historians of political, social, and religious studies in East-West exchanges, and to China and Asia- Pacific scholars generally.
Effective start/end date1/01/1331/12/14


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