PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 833-843.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.06.010

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Influence of tourism on local music and its construction to the place: A case study on the Lijiang ancient town

Dawei LI(), Chenggu LI, Zuopeng MA, Jing ZHANG*(), Yakun LU, Shuju HU   

  1. School of Geographical Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
  • Received:2017-09-01 Revised:2018-03-03 Online:2018-06-28 Published:2018-06-28
  • Contact: Jing ZHANG;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 4160010351


Music is an important part of local culture and in Lijiang ancient town more people feel that the originally dominant role of Naxi traditional music is being replaced by modern folk music due to increasing tourism. This change, in the music scene, gives us a deeper understanding of the local cultural transition under the influence of tourism. To examine how local music changes, we investigated the performing practices and places of local music in Lijiang ancient town through participant observation. We conducted semantic analysis of musical lyrics to grasp the content and emotions of the songs. We also conducted interviews with musical performers, shopkeepers, and tourists in Lijiang ancient town. The findings of the study indicate that tourism influences traditional music that used to be the soul of local residents integrated into local social life, and has turned it into a variety of commercial performances for tourists. However, the transformation of these music has not received deserved recognition from tourists. It is "out of place" in the flourish of tourism. Modern folk music has become the mainstream iconic music form in Lijiang ancient town. It is "in place" from the atmosphere of "petty bourgeoisie". However, the traditional music constructs the uniqueness of the ancient town, which motivates tourists with idiosyncratic sense and makes tourists feel the place other than their hometown. Modern folk music exaggerates the "petty bourgeoisie" culture. Both music forms play an important role in the emotional construction of tourists. We hope our findings can enrich the research perspective of cultural change in tourism destination, respond to the relationship between tourism and local traditional culture, and provide some useful ideas on the relationship between music and place in china.

Key words: music, place, construction, tourism, interview, Lijiang ancient town