“Are you Chinese?”
“No, I am Taiwanese although I speak Chinese.”
“But you look Chinese.”
“Ya, my ancestors were from China.”……
These are common and repetitive dialogs when Taiwanese explained to others when living overseas. Taiwanese has been struggling with the issue of self-identity for years because of the complicated political factors between China and Taiwan. However, to conserve or to archive the culture heritage, we have to know exactly who we are and recognise the history and the culture of the land we live.
The basic of Taiwan music culture is definitely Chinese culture, despite its roots in China, Taiwan has developed in a unique Taiwanese way, especially mentioning the indigenous Taiwanese music. About forty years ago, a group of young Taiwanese scholars and musicologists have launched a “folk song collection movement” which featured in finding Taiwan cultural roots trip. They carried a simple luggage, but with a heavy tape recorder, trekking on the pathway in in-depth remote villages which were in the undeveloped mountain regions from northern Taiwan to the south. They recorded the precious voice of aboriginals and folk musicians’ rustic performances. Their field research lasted for two years, leaving a large number of traditional music of Taiwanese aboriginal and Han for future generations.
With the task of introducing the archive work of popular music in week 3, I found many Taiwanese scholars have already made a lot of efforts in archiving music through the process of collecting information, no matter in contemporary or traditional music these years. The following three websites (or facebook) are the archive work of Taiwan’s music data.
- Digital Archive Center for Music, NTNU
This institute was established in 2004. The principle objective was to aid the NTNU College of Music in making a record of important events and activities and digitizing its historical archives. In order to increase international visibility and accelerate scholarly exchanges, the Digital Archive actively participates in conferences and workshops both in Taiwan and abroad. DACM has now advanced and professional visual-audio recording equipment and post-production editing systems, the ability to make live concert recordings on multi-computer engineering systems, a shared multimedia server as well as a computer lab with an independent server. In addition, DACM possess all of digital archiving technology which is necessary for music and have the ability to record, engineer and edit short films, teaching films, audio-visual productions and make high-quality sound and video recordings of live concerts. The Center has already completed fifteen main projects, including with National Digital Archive Programs of National Science Council, Taiwan Music Institute and other industries.
- The online database of Taiwanese Musicians
The website a page of Taiwan Music Institute which is built by Taiwan National for traditional Arts is aimed to collect, preserve the characters, images, works, books and audio-visual materials of the Taiwanese musicians, and to integrate the existing database, research projects and related publications of the music museum which to provide many Taiwan’s important information main characters of music. In addition, the platform also provides the opportunities and environment for people who want to expand music knowledge of Taiwan, or enhance the understanding of Taiwanese musicians.
The information of musicians is catalogued into three types: musicians of traditional music. western music and popular music in different generations. On the page of each musician, the background and important music works are introduced. The timeline of musicians and related links of other music archive website are also presented on this website “the online database of Taiwanese Musicians”.
- Wiki Popular Music of Taiwan
The Website is founded by a Taiwanese artist and art critic who actively promoted the search and collection of historical materials of Taiwan’s popular music. On this website, the history and the celebrities in Taiwan popular music are introduced precisely. The institute had been engaged in the projects such as interviewing the pop musicians, archiving the database of Taiwan popular music history database, and publishing magazines relating to Taiwan popular music.The future plans are to design a project “Taiwan Pop Music Exhibition for the hundred years” which is expected to be held in 2017 at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary, and established the popular music digital music software museum of Taiwan.
To sum up, there are more and more Taiwanese contribute to music heritage preservation and archive distinct and varied music treasure of this beautiful island. As Taiwanese, we should cherish what we have and to be proud of the music culture we opposed.
Digital Archive Center for Music, NTNU(國立臺灣師範大學音樂數位典藏中心)
The online database of Taiwanese Musicians(台灣音樂家名錄)
http://musiciantw.ncfta.gov.tw/index.aspx(The online database of Taiwanese Musicians)
http://www.ncfta.gov.tw/taiwanmusic_74.html (Taiwan National for
Wiki Popular Music of Taiwan(台灣流行音樂維基館)