Reading Questions for Session 7

Please select 8 of these questions and answer them in a few sentences each.

Like a Knife, Chapter 1

  1. What does Jones mean when he says that popular music, as opposed to regional folk music, is "national" in character?
  2. What is the difference between "popular music" (liuxing yinyue) and "popularized music" (tongsu yinyue)?
  3. What are some of the differences between tongsu yinyue and rock?

Like a Knife, Chapter 2

  1. How does the censorship apparatus in China work?
  2. Summarize the lyrics of "The Valiant Spirit of Asia" (Yazhou xiongfeng). What does Jones think is the song's significance? What do you think is its significance?
  3. What is the "Northwest Wind" style?
  4. What kinds of changes did government authorities suggest be made to the lyrics to "Going Towards the World" (Zouxiang shiije)?

Like a Knife, Chapter 3

  1. How does the state participate in the production of tongsu music?
  2. Sketch a portrait of the writers of tongsu music. How might they be described demographically, ideologically, and in terms of their musical tastes?
  3. In what ways do tongsu singers describe themselves as self-empowered? In what ways do they seem more constrained by the desires of the government and realities of the economy?
  4. How is tongsu music disseminated? Locate a clip online of a televised singing contest or a festival program (from New Year's, Spring Festival, or National Day, for example) from China and prepare to share it with us in class.