Subject Ideology in campus folksongs
Posted by Jennifer
Posted on Mon May 1 00:04:58 2000
From IP  

Journal Jennifer Tsai 4861210319
  State Apparatus is one of the forces that form the ideology and maintain the state power. According to the French Marxist theoretician Louis Althusser, RSA (Repressive Sate Apparatuses) can enforce behavior directly and make people follow the rules of the state, such us the law courts, prisons, and the army. These apparatuses have a power to force people’s behavior. However, ISA (Ideological State Apparatuses) are more importantly the institutions which promote and generate ideologies which individuals or groups internalize and act according to them. These apparatuses are like schools, churches, the family, arts, etc. They promote and generate ideologies that people believe and internalize.
  Althusser also mentions that ideology is a system of the ideas and representations (images, myths, ideas or concepts according to the case) which dominate the mind of a man or a social group. That is, the ruling idea of the ruling party. Ideology is a representation of the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence. Ideology is internalized into people’s mind that they don’t realize it.
  There is another important term that Althusser introduce. That is the notion of “overdetermination”. This concept means that an effect is resulted from various causes rather than determined by only one reason. In Marx’s point of view, he thinks that the society and people’s actions are determined by economic conditions. He emphasizes the power of economic condition a lot. However, the notion of overdetermination tries to attack the notion that a superstructure is entirely determined by the nature of the economic base. There are different and many factors influencing the shaping of ideology.
  During 1978 to 1982, there was a new style of music called folksong. This type of music was especially popular among the intellects. They composed and wrote their own songs, and played them with guitars. From their music, they expressed their feelings and reflected the situation of the society. There were three types of folksong. The third type which arose last was the most popular called “ campus folksong”. Campus folksongs were named because the music was created mostly by students and was very popular on campus. The style of campus folksong was built as “ innocence” and “pureness”.
Record companies helped develop the rise of campus folksongs. They held Golden Melody Award and contests. They participants were mostly not outstanding in their appearances and they dressed simple and pure. Their songs expressed their won feelings of life and were against authorities and the fancy trend of the pop music at that time. There were many different themes which were often used in campus folksong and one of them was “ wandering” ,such us Olive Tree (橄欖樹)、Cloud Wanderer (浮雲遊子)、Gatha (偈)、Returning to a Desert Town (歸人沙城), etc. Some songs in the theme of wandering were recognized by Golden Melody Award, and were appealing to young people. They revealed the ideologies of innocence, unreality and nostalgia.
Take Cloud Wanderer for example. The song was written in 1981 by Lieh Su (蘇來). The lyrics are: 肩負了一只白背包 踏著快捷的腳步 不知道什麼是天涯 不知道什麼叫離愁 遙遠的路途無窮盡 披星戴月向前程 唱起舊時的山歌 想起了故鄉的家園 浮雲一樣的遊子 行囊裝滿了鄉愁 雖然努力往前走 鄉愁一樣入夢中. The vocal was a female singer singing with a very tender and soft voice. The rhythm was rather fast. The use of flute in the beginning sounded like whistles, and the chorus repeated 浮雲一樣的遊子 meant that the song represented the feelings of the young. The colors above in the lyrics represent different ideologies. The red means innocence and pureness. We can tell from “一只” and “白”strengthens the sense of pureness. The following words like “快捷”、 “不知道”also stand for pureness , and “不知道”is repeated in order to emphasize that the author regards the wandering/travel a simple thing. In real life, it is impossible to have only one bag to go out somewhere. In the first fives lines, there also appear words like “天涯”、 “無窮盡”、 “遙遠” to show the unknown destination and the uncertainty. We can tell from here that the author doesn’t explain where he is heading. In fourth line, it appears the word “離愁”, and it is the first word directly involving nostalgia in this song. There are also similar words such as “故鄉的家園”、 “遊子”、 “鄉愁” to point out the them of this song—nostalgia. There are some other ideas in this song like “舊時”、 “遊子”, the former means that the author is longing for the past , and the latter presents the sense of irresponsibility. The whole song doesn’t explain where the author is going and why. It is hard to tell the motive. However, the author has the feeling of nostalgia, and doesn’t have goal. We can tell that he is searching for the sense of belonging.
  During the late 60s and early 70s, there were many songs of this theme and were very popular among the young. Though it is hard to tell the motives of these songs, these songs still at certain degree reflected some social background during that time. In the 60s, Taiwan was facing many diplomatic emergencies, and they threatened the power of the KMT. Therefore, in order to stabilize its power, the KMT sought unification and emphasized that the true Chinese sovereignty. It was a time of White Terror (白色恐怖).
Under these circumstances, people were afraid of talking something too sensitive like politics directly. At that time, the news bureau was very strict with censorship. They required that “art songs” and “ patriotic songs” had to be one-third of the singing program. Campus folksongs were promoted by record companies, and the eventual goal of those companies was to make profit. Influenced by such strict censorship, more and more companies gave in to the ideology of the authorities, and didn’t publish songs which could arouse controversy.
Besides politics, the campus folksongs were deeply influenced by American folksongs, especially American armies improve the popularity of Disco and American folksongs. In the 60s, the United States also had a hard time of changing. They had Hippies and humanism. The idealism in American folksongs expressed the dissatisfaction toward the reality and the authorities, and the longing for nature. These ideologies also influenced the creation of Taiwanese campus folksongs. These factors formed the background of the ideologies of these wandering folksongs.
Most folksongs of wandering don’t point out the motive of wandering, and sometimes they don’t even really say directly the word “ wandering”, however, these songs all express the love for the remote and the lack of destination and identity. These ideologies reflected the situation of that time, and proved that the literal works have a very close connection with the society. A piece of work can’t be overdetermined.

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