Qualification: Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, University of Pittsburgh
Ying-Fen Wang received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. She founded the Graduate Institute of Musicology in 1996 and served three stints as its director. As one of the founding board members of the Study Group of Musics of East Asia of the International Council for Traditional Music, she also served as its first chairperson from 2006 to 2010 and is now on the steering committee of the newly-founded East Asian Regional Association of the International Musicological Society. She has been studying nanguan music since 1983 and has published articles on nanguan’s tune identity and creative process, its tune classification system, and the impact of cultural policy on nanguan in postwar Taiwan. Starting from 2000, she branched out to the historical study of music in colonial Taiwan, focusing on the historical collections of recordings, radio program, as well as nanguan in the Hokkien diaspora. Her restudy of Kurosawa Takatomo’s wartime survey of Taiwanese in 1943 led to the publication of a seminal book and a CD-set in 2008, and she just published a translation of Tanabe Hisao’s writings on his fieldwork in Taiwan and Amoy in 1922. She is currently working on the social history of music in colonial Taiwan under Japanese rule in relation to the issue of colonial modernity, focusing particularly on the recording industry and radio programming.
She is also conducting out a three-year project on the nanguan 78 rpm records issued in Amoy, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Using the newly unearthed archival materials in Nippon Columbia and Minpaku (National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka), she reconstructed the recording process and production strategy of Nipponophone’s Taiwanese recording and rewrote the history of recording industry in colonial Taiwan. She further combined her research on nanguan, 78-RPM records, radio programs, and Amoy-dialect films to sketch out the dissemination of nanguan in the Hokkien diaspora before and after 1945. She also collaborated with NTU library to create a Taiwan Daily New Sonic Culture Database with 350,000 entries and over 20 million characters of metadata and a 78-RPM Records database consisting of 6000 records. Other ongoing projects include the study of the representation of the aboriginal music and dance in colonial Taiwan, the comparison of the record industries in Taiwan and Korea under Japan’s rule (in collaboration with Yamauchi Fumitaka), and the compilation of a database of performing arts activities as reported in Taiwan nichi nichi sinbo (Taiwan Daily News, largest and longest-running newspaper in colonial Taiwan).