This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about the music and ritual songs of the Sibe people of Xinjiang, China. This book aims to counter the monolithic view of Chinese culture by demonstrating a more complex picture of layers of syncretism and multi-directional cultural flow between discrete sub-cultures, within and without the larger Chinese cultural domain. It traces the musical processes of the absorption and gradual remoulding of the music of other peoples of Xinjiang and examines the recent creation of a Sibe ethnic identity as a minority nationality.
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