Musical Practices, Cultural Politics and Human Mobility in the Macau Chinese Orchestra

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Political and social transition in a territory raises a set of variables that affect music developed by groupsof individuals involved in this process. The study of musical performance of the Macau Chinese Orchestra allows usto understand how local identities are constructed and represented. The presentation and representation of theOrchestra abroad is made by Chinese instruments and a repertoire that, according to this institution integratesvarious musical genres from traditional Chinese melodies, song adaptations produced in Portugal, western musicand contemporary Chinese music. Founded by the Macau Cultural Institute in 1987, this orchestra has fortymusicians and already has performances in various countries around the world, such as the Special AdministrativeRegion of Macau, China, Portugal and other European countries. The structure and the public presentation of theorchestra is made in accordance with type of audience and performance space and time of year. Musicalperformances carried between this orchestra and Portuguese musicians are one of the main cultural programsdeveloped by Macau Cultural Institute. In addition, most musicians of this orchestra were born in Mainland Chinaand Taiwan, with few exceptions of Hong Kong and Macau. The cultural policies implemented in musical educationstructures and the cultural and regional context are described by these musicians as crucial elements in the musicthey produce, specifically in instrumental performance. Expressive practice produced in the context of thisorchestra is characterized by a specific cultural program that is mediated and communicated by musical practicedeveloped by these musicians and the musical partnerships between them and Portuguese musicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalMusic and Human Mobility: Cultural Interface, Ethnomusicology and Performance
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference Music and Human Mobility - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 7 Jun 20169 Jun 2016
Conference number: 5


  • Macau Chinese Orchestra
  • musical practices
  • cultural politics
  • human mobility


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