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A Historical Review of Popular Music and Social Change in Taiwan

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This article considers the relationship between popular music and the power of the state through an analysis of the history of Taiwan and the settings within which popular music was constructed and transformed by contentious political and social groups in the twentieth century. The historical formation of Taiwanese society falls into three distinct stages: Japanese colonization between 1895 and 1945; the Kuomintang's (KMT) military rule between 1947 and 1987; and the period from the end of martial law in 1987 to the resurgence of Taiwanese consciousness in the early 2000s. The evolution of Taiwan's popular music has always been connected with the state's production of new ideologies in line with changing socio-political and economic conditions, and this music still embodies a functional social content.


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