What is the Chinese-American identity

260 Music and Identity: The Cultural Revolution and the “End of Chinese Culture” 1 BARBARA MITTLER (Heidelberg University) The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76) is said to have destroyed Chinese art and culture. In this interpretation, the cultural revolution of art and culture was a revolution only in the negative sense, in that it strived for a total break with the traditional and thus carried out the complete transformation of the existing culture: it turned, xenophobic, against any influence from outside; it destroyed, iconoclastically, its own Chinese heritage and thus conjured up the "end of Chinese culture". This also applies to the music of the Cultural Revolution.2 Just like the entire art and cultural production of this time, it was subject to strict political guidelines that only allowed very specific and correct colors, shapes and sounds: Chinese musical self-assertion in the Cultural Revolution meant, among other things, that records smashed and notes were burned: Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms were decried for their bourgeois origin and way of life, Schoenberg and Debussy were considered formalists, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff were seen as representatives of the revisionist Soviet empire and were therefore not allowed to be played; But it also meant that Chinese cultural heritage was attacked during the years of the Cultural Revolution: the sounds of the Chinese literary zither guqin '= were frowned upon because of their aristocratic background, and traditional operas brought too many emperors and noble ladies, too few workers, peasants and soldiers to them Stage - and this list could be continued indefinitely. And if that may not seem like it at first: that too, as I would like to show in this article, was Chinese musical self-assertion. The musical repertoire of the Cultural Revolution was meticulously regulated. Eight so-called “model pieces” (yangbanxi 540), 3 ballets, operas, symphonies and piano music, the infamous bage yangbanxi # 5404, the number of which increased to 18 during the course of the cultural revolution, were regarded as shining (and exclusive) models. 5 For ten years the dominant 1 Partly based on my own earlier research (especially Mittler 1998, 1999), which I do not quote constantly and in detail so as not to tire the reader. 2 Cf. only the presentation in the Cambridge History of China (Fokkema 1991). Liu, Ching-chih 1990 and Yang 1979 speak in favor of the destruction of music. 3 The expression yangban 54 was coined in the late 1950s for the demonstration fields during the “Great Leap Forward”. The new formation yangbanxi during the Cultural Revolution transfers the expression from the “base” to the “superstructure”, see Li 1973. 4 These are the ballet pieces Baimaonü> 6+ [The white-haired girl] and Hongse niangzijun? @, - F [ The Red Women's Battalion], the Shajiabang 8.9 Symphony [Shajia Village], and the Shajiabang, Hongdeng ji?