Not only the mirror of tourist: the local musicians in Lijiang Town

Authors: DAWEI LI*, Beijing Normal University, SHANGYI ZHOU, Beijing Normal University
Topics: Cultural Geography, China
Keywords: local music; tourism; Lijiang Town; Theory of Mirror
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Washington 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


How do local musicians face to tourism? This study took Lijiang Town in Yunnan, China as the research area. According to Jacaueo Lacan’s Mirror Theory,the local musicians in Lijiang Town may cater to the needs of tourists and thus become the object under tourists’ gaze. This study investigates whether the musicians among Naxi People give up the innovation of ethnic music when they catered to tourists. The methods of this study are interview, semantic analysis of lyrics, and watching performance. We tried to tell if the local musicians still have the vitality. We found that their creative passion was inspired by the tourists, even they changed the original form of music for the audiences. This is not completely loss of self-motivation, not simply imitating pop music. For example, the Naxi performers add a commentary before the performance in order to let tourists understand the songs and music well, rather than sing in Mandarin. So the conclusion is that many studies only saw that tourism led local culture disappear, but did not see that it was because of tourism that local musicians feel the crisis of ethnic music and thus continued to innovate. This conclusion is related to the resistance identity mentioned by Manuel Castells.

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