Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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p. xi

Several people have made this project possible and deserve recognition. My husband, Howard, and our families have always been unyielding in their love and support throughout my education and career. Ronald G. Walters, my adviser, and several faculty...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

The synchronized plate throwing of the Wesselys, a troupe of five jugglers, received an enormous round of applause as they bowed and walked off the stage. With the stage completely empty, Lee Tung Foo, arguably the first Chinese American in vaudeville, stepped out and positioned himself in front of the primarily white...

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Chapter 1: Imagining China: Early Nineteenth-Century Writings and Musical Productions

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pp. 10-29

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, Americans and Europeans struggled with how to understand Chinese music and how to portray the Chinese in their own traditions. The majority of Western visitors to China drew on a long and relatively...

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Chapter 2: Toward Exclusion: American Popular Songs on Chinese Immigration, 1850–1882

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pp. 30-56

The discovery of gold in 1849 sparked a tremendous worldwide wave of migration to California that included numerous songwriters and performers. Some came as part of the Gold Rush but found music to be more profitable than mining. Others saw an opportunity among the mining camps and growing cities and came...

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Chapter 3: Chinese and Chinese Immigrant Performers on the American Stage, 1830s–1920s

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pp. 57-85

Although pushed to the margins of the music and theater industries, Chinese and Chinese immigrant performers were present on the American stage throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. American entrepreneurs who hoped to find commercially lucrative novelty acts introduced Chinese performers as...

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Chapter 4: The Sounds of Chinese Otherness and American Popular Music, 1880s–1920s

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pp. 86-111

By the 1880s, with the number of opportunities for Americans to hear Chinese music, American songwriters began to incorporate Chinese-inspired sounds into their music. To some extent this development was a continuation of the racist discourse that saw the Chinese as foreign and inferior, with the American composer...

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Chapter 5: From Aversion to Fascination: New Lyrics and Voices, 1880s–1920s

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pp. 112-142

At the end of the nineteenth century, the musical expression of American popular music changed in ways other than notation and instrumentation. By the mid-1880s, lyricists and performers had begun to produce an assortment of songs, skits, and...

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Chapter 6: The Rise of Chinese and Chinese American Vaudevillians, 1900s–1920s

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pp. 143-162

By the beginning of the twentieth century, Chinese and Chinese American performers began to appear in vaudeville throughout the United States, moving beyond community theater houses, world expositions, and human displays. Many of these vaudevillians avoided magic and acrobatics, which white audiences...

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Conclusion

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pp. 163-168

In 1990, the news that Cameron Macintosh’s London hit, Miss Saigon, was coming to the United States was received with both great enthusiasm and sharp criticism from Asian Americans and the theatrical community. Miss Saigon, an updated...

Appendix A. American Popular Songs with Chinese Subjects or Themes

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pp. 169-179

Appendix B. Musicals, Revues, and Plays Produced in the United States with Chinese Songs, Scenes, or Characters

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pp. 180-182

Notes

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pp. 183-210

Index

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pp. 211-220

About the Author

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p. 221