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Music in American Religious Experience$
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Philip V. Bohlman, Edith Blumhofer, and Maria Chow

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173048.001.0001

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 Reflections on the Musical Diversity of Chinese Churches in the United States

 Reflections on the Musical Diversity of Chinese Churches in the United States

(p.287) 13 Reflections on the Musical Diversity of Chinese Churches in the United States
Music in American Religious Experience

Maria M. Chow

Oxford University Press

Based on a fifteen-month survey of different Chinese American churches and hymnals, this chapter examines the choices made by immigrants from different parts and different linguistic traditions in East Asia. Chicago's Chinatown is given a central role. Chinese hymns respond not only to the adaptation of immigrants to American religious experience, but also to the need to find common Chinese languages, particularly for those from Cantonese and Mandarin backgrounds, as well as Taiwanese heritage. Hymnals vary in the way in which common American traditions take place, but most of them accommodate change and create possibilities for Chinese Americans to worship and sing together. Linguistic diversity therefore coexists with common repertories.

Keywords:   Cantonese, Chicago, Chinese American, East Asia, hymns, immigrants, linguistic diversity, Mandarin, Taiwanese

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