Reading Questions for Session 3

Please be prepared to discuss these questions in class.

Yellow Music, Chapters 1 and 2

  1. What are some differences between European and Chinese musical practices?
  2. What kinds of European music came to China via imperial routes?
  3. Who were the May Fourth reformers? Why were they interested in music and how did they think Chinese music should be "modernized"?
  4. What does Jones find alarming or problematic about Xiao Youmei's vision of a new "sonic regime" as articulated in his "The Power of Music"?
  5. What kind of music did Xiao Youmei suggest was "good" music"? What was "bad" music?
  6. What were "pocketbook record companies"? What does Jones think was significant about them?
  7. What was the leftist critique of urban media culture in the 1930s?

"The Rise and Generic Features of Shanghai Popular Songs in the 1930s and 1940s"

  1. Briefly, how does Chen describe Shanghai popular songs in terms of a) formal and technical rules, b) semiotic rules, c) behavioral rules, d) social and ideological rules, and e) economical and juridical rules?