Music from East Asia has recently been making its way round the world on waves created and mediated by new technologies and global interconnections. This may seem like something very novel, but as Andrew Jones shows in Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s (U Minnesota Press, 2020), popular music from this region – and here specifically varieties of Chinese music – has been riding revolutionary technological and socioeconomic currents for a long time.
Events during the 1960s, that quintessentially musical decade, prove this, and Jones’ book asks the key questions about genre and periodisation which help us understand whether there was a ‘global 60s’, while also examining the geopolitical currents connecting and dividing Taiwan, China and Hong Kong at this time. The book is thus not only a rich source of insights into stars such as Grace Chan, Teresa Teng and Taiwanese folk troubadour Chen Da, but also offers a whole framework for understanding the shifts in globalisation and communication which continue to shape our soundscape today.
Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.
Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia.