Colonial legacy and inheritance: Can Scottish Bagpiping survive in post-colonial Hong Kong?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Bagpiping has a long tradition in Hong Kong. Like other British colonies, the bagpipe was introduced to Hong Kong in the late 19th century by the British Army. Besides British military pipe bands, many civilian pipe bands were set up in the territory in the 20th century. Although the British Army already retreated from Hong Kong in 1997 due to the handover, bagpiping as a cultural form is still generally active in this territory. Many youth organisations and government organisations (such as the Hong Kong Police Force) still have their pipe bands.

Hong Kong was never a majority Anglophone or a Scottish society. However, bagpiping stands as an important marker of both colonial cultural legacies and newer, hybridised musical traditions in the contemporary globalising world. While bagpiping is still popular in Hong Kong, can this art survive in post-colonial Hong Kong? Especially when the post-colonial political controversy is so intense nowadays.

As a professional bagpiper myself, I will present why people in Hong Kong learn the bagpipes and how the political environment influences this culture in Hong Kong. Data were mostly obtained from ethnography interviews, secondary sources such as archives and news, as well as different observations as an insider. I will also present some survey data collected recently from Hong Kong in this paper. The survey results show what bagpipers and drummers in Hong Kong think of this colonial musical instrument's future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2021
EventThe 57th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association - Newcastle University, Newcastle , United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sep 202116 Sep 2021
https://www.rma.ac.uk/2020/09/24/rma-57th-annual-conference/

Conference

ConferenceThe 57th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle
Period14/09/2116/09/21
Internet address

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