Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Steel

Second Advisor

Dr. David L. Code

Third Advisor

Dr. Alexander Cannon

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jon D. Holtzman


China, Mongolia, music, ethnomusicology, culture

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Mongolian music culture as it exists in China is a unique entity unto itself as it features a base of traditional Mongolian practice and also includes aspects of Chinese music and culture. As the world becomes more interconnected and as China continues to display a markedly Han society to the world at large, Mongolian musicians and Mongolian-music enthusiasts in China maintain and evolve their musical culture in a nebulous middle-ground between Mongolian and Han-Chinese culture. How Mongolian music culture in China came to be and its ultimate function in global society are the key questions being investigated in this thesis. Using historical evidence, hands on interactions with local peoples, and first-person interviews with persons immersed in the music culture (both professional and amateur), this research concludes that the best outlet Mongolians in China (and Mongolians in Mongolia) have of preserving their music is exporting it to the world through the auspices of the People’s Republic of China. Thus, Mongolian music culture in China acts as both a buffer and a bond between Mongolia and China while bringing foreign interests in to gain a closer look and a deeper appreciation for Mongolian culture.