The Changing Fate of the Chinese National Anthem

  • Tim F. Liao
  • Gehui Zhang
  • Libin Zhang
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies book series (PMMS)


A national anthem, arguably the most representative song of a nation, serves more than ceremonial purposes. National symbols, rituals and traditions are important for political and social order, for these define a nation’s identity. Cerulo (1993, 1995), as an example, studied the function of national anthems as a crucial component of national identity construction by aligning the syntactic structure of the musical pieces with larger socio-political contexts. However, the function of a national anthem goes far beyond defining a nation’s identity; it can have a much more direct bearing on collective memory because most anthems have lyrics. If the rhythm of an anthem shapes the syntactic structure, its lyrics define its message. As Wagner-Pacifici (1996: 303) stated, “The necessity of ‘words’ is what gives the forms of collective memory such importance.”


Cultural Revolution Collective Memory Original Lyric Cultural Object National Pride 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Tim F. Liao, Gehui Zhang and Libin Zhang 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim F. Liao
  • Gehui Zhang
  • Libin Zhang

There are no affiliations available

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