Language/Music Contacts and Exchanges: Nomadic Mongolian Music Transformations in Ordos Area in the Early Twentieth Century

Reference work entry


Language, as an important cultural element, is the main index of regional cultural geography. The folk music influenced by local language is also one of the elements to study regional cultural changes. By analyzing the basic features of Mongolian music in Ordos region of China in the early twentieth century, this chapter finds that the local Mongolian music is deeply influenced by Han immigrant culture in this period. Although the long-tune music, a traditional main narrative form, remained in daily life and festival activities, it began to show a decline, while the short-tune music with lively rhythm was very popular under deep influence of the Han folk music. At the same time, under the introduction of Catholicism, the folk music from Belgium also began to be a part of the Mongolian folk music. The change of Mongolian music in Ordos reflects the originally single Mongolian soundscape of Ordos began to present complex and diverse regional features made by cultural contact and communication in the process of social great changes.


Language and folk music Ordos area Mongolian music Soundscape Father Joseph Van Oost 


Publisher’s note:

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


  1. “Inner Mongolia”. (1985). Editorial committee of Inner Mongolia agricultural geography eds., Inner Mongolia agricultural geography. Inner Mongolia People’s Publishing House.Google Scholar
  2. Ku, W. (Ed.). (2002). Mission beyond the Great Wall, Leuven: Ferdinand Verbiest Foundation. Taipei: Kuangchi Cultural Group.Google Scholar
  3. “Summary”. (1932). Summary of Shaanxi and Suiyuan’s division of provincial boundaries, Jingxiuzhai.Google Scholar
  4. Tao, J. (2003). Migration process and its analysis in Hetao area from Qing dynasty to early republic of China. Inner Mongolia Social Sciences, 5, 26–30.Google Scholar
  5. Van Oost, J. (1908). Recueil de chansons mongoles. Anthropos, 3(2), 219–233.Google Scholar
  6. Van Oost, J. (1912). Chansons populaires chinoises de la région Sud des Ortos. sur la lisière de la grande muraille entre Ju-lin et Hoa-ma-tch’e. Anthropos, 7(4), 893–919.Google Scholar
  7. Van Oost, J. (1914, April 20). Chinois et Mongols. Leur Musique. Le Devoir, Montreal.Google Scholar
  8. Van Oost, J. (1915). La musique chez les Mongols des Urdus. Anthropos, 10–11(3–4), 358–396.Google Scholar
  9. Van Oost, J. (1922a). Vingt Cantiques sur textes Chinoises avec accompagnement d’orgue. Shanghai: Zikawei.Google Scholar
  10. Van Oost, J. (1922b). Chapitre V: Chansons et musique Populaires. In: Notes sur le T’oumet. Chang-hai: Imprimerie de la Mission catholique.Google Scholar
  11. Van Oost, J. (1930). Les musiciens professionels dans le Nord de la Chine. La Revue Belge, 544–555.Google Scholar
  12. Van Oost, J. (1932). Chapitre VIII: La Chanson Populaire. In: Au Pays des Ortos. Paris: Dillen.Google Scholar
  13. Van Overmeire, D. (Ed.) (2008). Elenchus of CICM in China, 1865–1955. Taipei: Jianzheng monthly.Google Scholar
  14. Zhang, X. (2017). How to listen: The origin and development of soundscape research, Wenhui Daily, W12, March 31, 2017.Google Scholar
  15. Zhou, Q. (Ed.) (1993). Historical geography of Inner Mongolia. Hohhot: Inner Mongolia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Zhuang, H. (2017). Study of the spread of Catholicism in Mongolia and its environmental adaption from the Qing dynasty to the republic of China. Unpublished Ph.D Dissertation, Fudan University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Historical Geography StudiesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of History and CultureXinyang Normal UniversityXinyangChina

Personalised recommendations