Po-wei Weng is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. He is currently a visiting instructor (Chinese Language) in the Department of Asian Language and Literature at Wesleyan University and an adjunct faculty at Central Connecticut State University (Ethnomusicology and World Music). He is also the director/conductor of Wesleyan Chinese Music Ensemble. His musical career began with a ten-year professional training in Peking opera as both a musician and an actor. He was a Chinese flute major in the college and a winner of several Chinese flute competitions in Taiwan. Since coming to the United States in 2004, he has been an active performer of Chinese music and Javanese gamelan, and a leader of Peking Opera percussion at Wesleyan University. As an instructor, he has taught various courses in different academic settings. His recent class, “Music, Theater, and Chinese Culture,” was offered at Wesleyan University and Mount Holyoke College. His new class, “Music in Chinese Martial Arts Cinema: from National to Transnational,” is prospectively to be launched in the near future. As a scholar, Weng has a number of publication on Chinese operatic and traditional music. His M.A. thesis, Dynamic Interaction: Significance and Communication in Peking Opera Percussion Music (2006), explores the complex signification system of Peking opera percussion, examining how these musical conventions are contextualized into an active and interactive process of performance-building. Weng has also conducted extensive fieldwork on ritual and folk music of Penghu archipelago in southwestern Taiwan, which has resulted in two co-authored books: The Shao-Fa Ritual Music in the Penghu Archipelago (The Bureau of Culture, Penghu County, 2005) and Nanguan and Bayin Music in the Penghu Archipelago (BCPC, 2004). At the doctoral level, Po-wei Weng expands his research interests into film/TV music, music and technology, and music, globalization and post-colonialism. His recent research focuses on the soundscapes of Pili budaixi, a techno-mediated, televised puppetry, and the music in Chinese wuxia/kungfu movies.


Curriculum Vitae

Current Positions

Visiting Instructor, Asian Language and Literature, Wesleyan University, CT

Instructor, Summer Session Course and Chinese Music Ensemble, Wesleyan University, CT

Adjunct Lecturer of Music, Central Connecticut State University, CT




Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University

Research Interests: Music and Technology; Music and TV, Film, and Multimedia; Music in Taiwan and China; Music and Theater; Music, Globalization/Glocalization and Postcolonialim.


M.A., Ethnomusicology, Wesleyan University


M.A., Musicology, National Taiwan University


B.A., Music Education, National Taichung Teachers College. Chinese Flute Major

1983 – 93

Ten-year Training Program in Peking Opera, Kou-Kuang Arts School. Music Major and Actor Minor








“Secularizing Ritual Music: The Revival of Bayin from the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan, ” in Music & Ritual in the Modern Chinese-speaking World, edited by Mercedes DuJunco and Hwee-San Tan. (Forthcoming)

“A Renewed Tradition: Vitality in the Music of Peking Opera.” In Yu-hua Chang, ed., Surprises in the Peking Opera, pp. 41-54. Taipei: Preparatory Office of the National Headquarters of Taiwan Traditional Arts (in Chinese).

Film Review of What is the Chinese Opera? Produced by Porter Woods and Jih Ding Sy. Insight Media. Ethnomusicology 53(3): 561-63.

“Semiotic Approach in Euro-American Ethnomusicology – from the 1950s to the Present.” Taiwan Yinyue Yanjiu (Formosan Journal of Music Research) 8: 127-54 (in Chinese).

2006 Entry “Di” (Chinese Flute), the Virtual Instrument Museum, Wesleyan Univ.





Book Review of Huju: Traditional Opera in Modern Shanghai, by Jonathan Stock. Ethnomusicology Forum 14/2: 262-64.

Co-author, The Shao-Fa Ritual Music in the Penghu Archipelago. Taiwan: The Bureau of Culture of Penghu County (in Chinese).

Co-author, Revised Edition of the History of Penghu, Culture Volume. Taiwan: Penghu County Government (in Chinese).

2004 Co-author, Nanguan and Bayin Music in the Penghu Archipelago. Taiwan: The Bureau of Culture of Penghu County (in Chinese).



“Structure, Meaning, and Cultural Reflection in Peking Opera Percussion Music.” Taiwan Yinyue Yanjiu Prototype edition: 99-123 (in Chinese).

“Contemplating the Music of the Revised Peking Opera in Taiwan: Is it a Xiqu or a New Form of Musical?” Performing Arts Review 6/2003: 67-70 (in Chinese).

2002 “Modernization, Localization and Cultural Identity: The Crisis and Predicament of the Development of Peking Opera Music in Taiwan.” Collection of Youth Scholar’s Conference 2001, pp. 45-60. The Ethnomusicology Association of R.O.C (TAIWAN) (in Chinese).
2000 “The Relationship between Percussion Music and Actors in Peking Opera.” Journal of Chinese Ritual, Theatre and Folklore 125: 195-224 (in Chinese).
1999 “Reading Culture: A Survey of the Music Culture of Tang Dynasty through Bai Ju-yi’s Poems.” Yue-Lan (Overview of Music) 3 and 4 (in Chinese).


2009 a. Guest Speaker, “Ethnographic Perspective and Ethnomusicological Film Study: ‘Once Upon a Time in China’ as an example.” National Chiao-tung University, Taiwan (March 17)

b. Guest Speaker, “Music and the Mythic Hero Narrative: Intertexuality, Cultural Representation, and Construction of a Masculine China in Once Upon a Time Film Series.” National Taiwan University (May 1)

2008 a. Guest Speaker, “Chinese Cinema and Traditional Theatrical Forms,” Music and Film class, Wesleyan University (April 9th and 14th).

b. Guest Speaker, “Peking Opera: Performance and Music,” University of Hartford (Oct. 8th)

c. Guest Speaker, “Chinese Music and Opera,” University of New Haven (Oct. 9th)

d. Workshop Leader, Peking Opera Percussion Workshop, Society for Ethnomusicology 53rd Conference, Wesleyan University (Oct. 27th)

2007 a. Guest Speaker, “Peking Opera Music,” University of New Haven (March 22nd)

b. Guest Speaker, “Music in Modern China,” Trinity College (Oct. 2nd)

2006 a. Guest Instructor, “Chinese Music” and “Peking Opera,” Central Connecticut State University for two World Music classes (Fall Semester)

b. Guest Instructor and Consultant, for the Production of Peking Opera The Orphan of ChaoArtsFest 2006: Art & The Silk Road, DePauw University, Indiana. (Nov.)

c. Guest Lecturer and Instructor, “Depicting Peking Opera: History, Performance, and Music” and Peking opera workshop. DePauw University, Indiana (April 23, 24) 

2005 Guest Speaker, “Fundamental Concepts of History and Performance in Peking Opera” in the Theater History class, Theater department, Wesleyan University (Feb 23rd)
2004 Guest Speaker, “Voice Expression in Traditional Peking Opera” in The Gendering of Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective class, Wesleyan University (Nov 4th)

Conference Papers

2010 “The Beautiful Violence: Cultural Imagination of Music and Musical Instrument as Weapon in the Taiwanese Pili Budaixi,” New England Chapter Meeting, Society for Ethnomusicology, Harvard University (April 11)


a. “Masculinized China vs. Feminized West: Musical Intertextuality and Cultural Representations in the film series ‘Once Upon a Time in China,’” ‘East Meets West:’ Sino-Western Musical Relations / Intersections / Receptions / Representations Conference, Hong Kong Baptist University (Apr. 16-19).

b. “The Violence Sounds Beautiful: The Imagination of Music and Musical Instruments as Weapons in Pili Budaixi.” New England Conference of Association for Aisan Studies, Brown University (Nov. 3)

c. “Die in Music: Fighting, Violence, and Music as Weapons in the Taiwanese Pili Budaixi.” 54th SEM Annual Meeting, Mexico City, Mexico. (Paper accepted but not delivered due to personal reason).

2008 a. “Performing Local-centered Globalization: Soundscapes of the Taiwanese Techno-mediated Pili Glove-Puppet Theater.” Music and the Moving Image conference, 3rd annual meeting, New York University (May 30 – Jun. 1). b. “Film as Ritual, Film Music as Ritualistic Music: A Case Study of Jiang Jun Ling in Wong Fei Hung Films,” 13th International CHIME Conference, Bard College, New York (Oct. 16 – 19).

c. “Cultural Heritage and Musical Intertextuality of “Jiang Jun Ling” in Wong Fei-Hung Films,” 53rd SEM Annual Meeting, Wesleyan University, Connecticut (Oct. 25-28)


a. “The Survival of Oral Tradition in a Modernizing Genre: Luogujing in Taiwan’s Peking Opera Percussion Music,” Society for Ethnomusicology, 51st annual meeting, Hawaii (Nov. 15-19).

b. “Living in the Present: the Revival of Bayin Music in the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan,” Association of Asian Studies, New England chapter meeting (Nov. 3-4).


A Flexible Tradition: the Revival of Bayin Music in the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan,” ACMR annual meeting (in conjunction with the 50th annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology at Atlanta, Nov. 2005).


The Performance Mechanism of Percussion Music in Peking Opera,” the 37th ICTM World Conference (Jan. 2004).


Percussion Music, Signs and Performance Mechanism in Peking Opera.” Presented in the Master’s Theses Conference, held by Graduate Institute of Musicology, National Taiwan University. [in Chinese]



Summer Intern, the project of Chinese Community Cultural Initiative, Center for Traditional Music and Dance, New York City, USA. See CTMD site


Researcher, Project of the Xiao-fa Ritual Music in the Penghu Archipelago Council for Cultural Affairs, Taipei City, Taiwan


Project Co-organizer, the Survey of the Traditional Music in the Penghu Archipelago Council for Cultural Affairs, Taipei City, Taiwan

Teaching Experience



Visiting Instructor in Music, Mount Holyoke College, MA

Instructor, Chinese Music and Theater, Summer Session course, Wesleyan

2008 Instructor, the Annual Tours of the Gamelan for 4th Grade Students, the Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University
2007 – 08 Teaching Assistant, Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, Wesleyan
2007 Instructor, the Annual Tours of the Gamelan for 4th Grade Students, the Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University
2005 Instructor, Peking opera group tutorial, Wesleyan

Undergraduate Tutorial Assistant in Peking opera music, Wesleyan

2004 – 07

2000 – 04

1998 – 99

Teaching Assistant, Chinese Music Ensemble, Wesleyan

Adjunct Lecturer of Music, National Shinchu Teachers College, Taiwan

Adjunct Lecturer of Music, Christian Chung-Deh College, Taiwan

Related Music Experience

2005 –

2005 – 07

Graduate Music Archiving Assistant, World Music Archives, Wesleyan

Curator, Musical Instrument Collection & Virtual Instrument Museum, Wesleyan University Member at Large, Association for Chinese Music Research

2006 Artistic Adviser, the Production of Peking Opera The Orphan of Chao in the ArtsFest 2006: Art & The Silk Road, DePauw University, Indiana. (Nov. 3-11)

1997 – 98

Directive Organizer, Branch of Chinese Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra

1995 – 97

Chief of Performance Department, Branch of Chinese Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra

1993 – 98

Chinese Flute Performer, Branch of Chinese Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra


2010 “Popular Culture and Social Change,” Association for Asian Studies’ 9th Dissertation Workshop, Philadelphia (March 28-31).

Awards & Scholarships




Dissertation Fellowships for ROC Students Abroad, CCK Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange

Write-up Scholarship, Wesleyan University

AAS CIAC (The China and Inner Asia Council) Small Grants, The Association for Asian Studies, USA


Full Scholarship (Tuition Waiver and Stipend) for MA/Doctorate Degree, Wesleyan University, USA

2002 Master Thesis Award of the Year 2001, National Science Council, Executive Yuan, Taiwan


Scholarship for Master Thesis, Shih Ho-Cheng Folk Culture Foundation, Taiwan


Thesis Award in Music, Arts Division, Tzu Chi Foundation, Taiwan


Elite of the Year, National Taichung Teachers College, Taiwan


Yamaha Music Scholarship, Yamaha Music Foundation, Taiwan


The Outstanding Youth of Taipei City,China Youth Corps, Taiwan


The Outstanding Youth of Taipei City, China Youth Corps, Taiwan


Chinese Flute Performance, Third Prize in Taiwan Area and First Prize in Taipei City. Taiwan Area Music Competition, Taiwan


Chinese Flute Performance, Second Prize in Taiwan Area and First Prize in Penghu County. Taiwan Area Music Competition, Taiwan