Dr. Mei Han

Director, Center for Chinese Music and Culture, Associate Professor, School of Music, Graduate Adviser.

Dr. Mei Han
(615) 898-5718
Room 1600, Miller Education Center (MEC)
MTSU Box 168, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office Hours

Fall 2022:

Mon. 1-4pm and Wed. 2:00-4:00pm

In person: 503A E. Bell St. 1600# (Miller Education Center 1st floor)

Global Expertise

Countries and/or Territories of Expertise

  • People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, Japan, and Korea

Languages Spoken

  • English and Chinese (mandarin)

Areas of Global Specialization

  • Chinese Music, World Music, Cross-cultural music, Cultural Anthropology.

Degree Information

  • PHD, University of British Columbia (2013)
  • MA, University of British Columbia (2000)

Areas of Expertise

Ethnomusicology, Chinese and East Asian Musical culture; General Ed of World Music and Cultural Anthropology; Chinese history; Mandarin; Music performance, specializing in the Chinese long zither (zheng) and small lute (liuqin); Cross-cultural and intercultural composition and music performance. Artistic director and art management; International scholar and student exchange program development.

Biography

Mei Han received her Ph.D. degree in ethnomusicology from the University of British Columbia, Canada and two MA degrees from UBC and the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Beijing. She is the founding Director of MTSU Center for Chinese Music and Culture. Performer and scholar specializing in Chinese music, Dr. Han is considered one of the world’s premiere zheng (long zither) artists. She has created a body of contemporary works rooted in Chinese traditional culture that propel the zheng...

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Mei Han received her Ph.D. degree in ethnomusicology from the University of British Columbia, Canada and two MA degrees from UBC and the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Beijing. She is the founding Director of MTSU Center for Chinese Music and Culture. Performer and scholar specializing in Chinese music, Dr. Han is considered one of the world’s premiere zheng (long zither) artists. She has created a body of contemporary works rooted in Chinese traditional culture that propel the zheng into radical new dimensions of musical expression. Dr. Han is a contributor of The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (2014) and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001). Her unique position as an international performer and scholar was recognized by Bruno Nettl (1930-2020) in The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-Three Discussions (2015), the primary textbook for the discipline. 

Dr. Han initially studied with now legendary zheng masters, before touring and recording with the prestigious Zhan You Ensemble. Dr. Han is known for her innovative and collaborative cross-cultural works in chamber music, New Music, World music and Free Improvisation. She was invited as a soloist to perform with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Calgary Philharmonic. Her performance highlight includes a concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington DC, the National Art Center in Ottawa, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, WOMAD festival in Australia and Singapore, China’s top TV shows. She has recorded eight solo and chamber music albums, two received Juno Award (Canada’s National music award) nominations (2001, 2004), and the nomination of the “Best World Music” album by Songlines, the top music magazine (UK, 2017). She was the feature of films and appeared on radio and TV networks, including NPR (US), CBC (Canada), BBC (Great Britain), ABC (Australia), NHK (Japan), and CCTV (China). Her boundary breaking practice is a case study in Dr. Michael Heffley’s book chapter “Improvising Mythoi and Difference Emerging in the Asian/Woman in North America,” in Sound Changes: Improvisation and Transcultural Difference, published by University of Michigan Press, 2021.  

Dr. Han is a leading educator on Chinese music in North America. She founded Chinese Music Ensembles at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Kenyon College, Ohio; and at MTSU. As the founding Director of MTSU’s Center for Chinese Music and Culture, Dr. Han has created a musical instrument gallery, a research archive, and a vibrant outreach program in local, national, and international levels. She works with her colleagues at MTSU to support student success and international competence. She also works beyond the university community to bridge cultures and connect peoples.     

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Publications

Book Chapters

 “Battling the Typhoon: The Zheng’s Revolutionary Voice in Maoist China.” 2018. in Tyranny and Music. Joseph E. Morgan, Gregory N. Reich eds. Lexington Books. Maryland. The USA. ·   

 “Ga Pic Pac and the Marriage Customs of the Dong.” 2013. in Music, Dance and the Art of Seduction. Frank Kouwenhoven, James Kippen eds. Eburon Publishers. Delft. The Netherlands.

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Book Chapters

 “Battling the Typhoon: The Zheng’s Revolutionary Voice in Maoist China.” 2018. in Tyranny and Music. Joseph E. Morgan, Gregory N. Reich eds. Lexington Books. Maryland. The USA. ·   

 “Ga Pic Pac and the Marriage Customs of the Dong.” 2013. in Music, Dance and the Art of Seduction. Frank Kouwenhoven, James Kippen eds. Eburon Publishers. Delft. The Netherlands.

Articles  

Entries on the “Zheng,” “Se,” “Yazheng,” “Zhu,” and “Duxian Qin.” 2014. in The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. London: Macmillan Press Limited.  

“Zheng.” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001. London: Macmillan Press Limited. 

“Ga Pipa de Minsu Kaocha ji Youguan Yinyuexue Wenti de Kaoyi” (“An Examination of Ga Pipa and its Ethnomusicological Issues”) 嘎琵琶的民俗考察及有关音乐学问题的考疑. 1996. Musicology in China 中國音樂學. 3:129-144.

“Guanyu Dongzu Caige Tang de Shidi Kaocha” (“A Field Report on Dong’s Singing Chamber”) 關於侗族踩歌堂的實地考察. 1994. The Yearbook of Chinese Music 中國音樂年鉴 342-348. 

“Gaige Kaifang dui Nanyin Xianzhuang de Yingxiang”(“The Impact of China’s Economic Reform on the Current State of Nanyin,” 改革開放對南音現狀的應響. 1994. Chinese Music 中國音樂 1:34-35.

Reviews 

CD Review: "Everyone Listen Close—Wanp-Wanp Jangl Kap: The Yandong Grand Singers. Polyphonic Grand Songs from the Dong in Guizhou Province in China." Ethnomusicology. Vol. 65, No. 1 (Winter 2021), pp. 198-201.

Book Review: “‘A Phonemic Theory: On Traditional Chinese Music’ by Shen Qia (No.4, Winter, 2019 ed., pp. 83-85). Asian-European Music Research E-Journal. Shanghai: Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

CD Review: “Music of Central Asia, Vol. 10: Borderlands.” 2018. in Ethnomusicology. Vol. 62. No.1.:167-69. 

CD Review: “‘Hugo’s Window on the World of Chinese Zheng: A Review of Hugo’s CD series of ‘The Art of Zheng Music.’” 2005. CHIME 16-17:242-45.

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Presentations

"The Influence of Ancient Chinese Aesthetics in North American New Music." November, 2019. Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, shanghai, China.

"Shifting Perspectives: De-othering “the others,” and De-othering Myself.,...

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"The Influence of Ancient Chinese Aesthetics in North American New Music." November, 2019. Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, shanghai, China.

"Shifting Perspectives: De-othering “the others,” and De-othering Myself.," November, 2019. The Music Research Institute, Chinese National Arts Academy, Chinese National Arts Academy, Beijing, China.

"Global and Local: Perspectives and Definitions."(keynote speaker). November, 2019. Music Future International Forum of Cross-border Talent and Industrial Prosperity, Tsinghua University and Communication University of China, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

"Three Studies of Musical Instruments in East Asia: The Human Factors," (presenter and panel leader), July, 2019. 45th ICTM World Conference, International Concil for Traditional Music, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand.

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Creative Activity

https://www.youtube.com/user/ZaDiscs

In the Media

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=222DomoDh3g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JjJl0WwX2g&t=114s

 

Special Projects

China's Long Song (CBC Radio 2) part I:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nble9rLjaz0&t=873s

China's Long Song (CBC Radio 2) part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceeS8lsIMZo

 

Courses

Chinese Music Ensemble MUEN 3760 - 001 and 5760 -001