Singing Muqam in Uyghur pop: Minority modernity and popular Music in China

Chuen-Fung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This essay is about the popular music of the Turkic-speaking Uyghur people in northwest China. It explores Uyghur pop as a repository of the indigenous muqam musical tradition. I look at how minority popular music, with its strong attachment to places and the experience of displacement, has made audible some of the dilemmas of subaltern identities. I also demonstrate how traditional musical icons have afforded minority musicians a culturally situated place to encounter musical modernity. The multiplicity of stylistic influences in Uyghur pop allows musicians to articulate convincing practices of hybridity and to fashion a credible voice for the minority national self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-118
Number of pages21
JournalPopular Music and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Music


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