Reading Questions for Session 8

Please select 8 of these questions and answer them in a few sentences each. In the final two spaces at the bottom of the sheet, write two questions—on any aspect of the text—of your own for us to discuss in class.

Like a Knife, Chapter 4

  1. What does it mean that rock music was "underground" music in late 1980s and early 1990s China?
  2. Who is Cui Jian? What is his background and how is it similar or different from the backgrounds of other composers or performers we've discussed so far in this course?
  3. Describe the relationship of the rock scene to the democracy movement. (See also chapter 5 for this!)
  4. What does yaogun yinyue (rock music) sound like? What kinds of backgrounds do its producers have?
  5. How are the themes of yaogun songs different from the themes of tongsu songs?

Like a Knife, Chapter 5

  1. What do you think the difference is between expressing "political opposition" and "cultural opposition" in music?
  2. Jones refers to "feudalism" a lot in this chapter—a term we've heard before in this course. What does it mean here? How can music espouse or reflect "feudal" values?
  3. How would you characterize yaogun in terms of gender? How does it compare to tongsu music in this respect?
  4. Listen and read the lyrics to "Yiwusuoyou" ("Nothing to My Name "/" I Have Nothing") and "Lajichang" ("Garbage Dump") closely. Pick one of these songs and write a short paragraph describing your personal response to it. Does it move you? Do you like how it sounds?

Your Questions