design overlay
Unearthing Sounds from the Archive: Joseph LenherrFather Joseph Lenherr records the traditional songs of the Amis people (白冷會林若瑟神父紀錄阿美族傳統歌謠), Bethlehem Mission Society(白冷外方傳教會). Archived by Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank at (CC BY-NC).

Unearthing Sounds from the Archive: Joseph Lenherr's Field Recordings of Indigenous Music of Taiwan

Schoenberg Music Building Room B544

Joseph Lenherr was a missionary priest and ethnomusicologist who was also a visiting scholar at Academia Sinica Taiwan. Between February and September 1965, Lenherr conducted fieldwork in Hengchun, Taitung, and Hualien, where he recorded a variety of Indigenous music, including religious and sacred songs, children's songs, Christian songs, and working songs, as well as Han Chinese genres such as Hengchun folksong, lâm-kuán, and kua-á. The Indigenous groups he recorded included Amis (15 villages), Bunun (10), Paiwan (11), and Puyuma (4). The collection also contains music of the Rukai and Yami, copied from other individuals. However, this wealth of material lay neglected for almost sixty years and was rarely acknowledged by scholars. Thanks to the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, this collection has been recently digitized and is available for further investigation. This presentation aims to contextualize the untold story of Father Lenherr’s trajectory in Taiwan and the potential value of these recordings to the present-day Taiwanese Indigenous communities.

Mei-Chen Chen holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work focuses on historical music recordings from Taiwan, and on cultural policies and local practices related to intangible cultural heritage, particularly in relation to traditional performing arts. She is the co-author of Old Armature Music Club on Minle Street: Historical Memory of Gonglexuan (民樂街上老軒社:共樂軒歷史記憶, 2023, Taipei City government). Recent essays include “What to Preserve and How to Preserve It: Taiwan’s Action Plans for Safeguarding Traditional Performing Arts” in Resounding Taiwan: Musical Reverberations Across a Vibrant Island (2021, Routledge), and “Cultural Policy on Traditional Music and Theater” in Encyclopedia of Taiwan Studies (forthcoming, Brill). She has extensive experience working collaboratively with government agencies and local communities in cultural transmission, preservation, exhibition, and research projects in Taiwan.

Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, this event is sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology and the UCLA Asia Pacific Center.

For ticketing, parking, and accessibility information, please visit the UCLA School of Music event website.



Image for RSVP Button

Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center, Department of Ethnomusicology, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology

24 Apr 24
1:00 PM -

Save the Date

Sharing Tools

Link copied!