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Popular Music in Reform China
MUSC 127
Spring 2022 not offered
Crosslisting: CEAS 259

This course offers students opportunities to explore aesthetic, political, and cultural meanings expressed in China's popular music from the 1980s to the present. Understand the emotional aspect of reform China and the inner feelings of contemporary Chinese people through popular music, from Mandopop, Cantopop, and C-pop to Chinese rock, China Wind, and Chinese rap. Popular music in reform China presents complex issues of state-sponsored popular culture intersecting with bottom-up popular taste and desire; the repressive collective "we" intersecting with the resilient individual "I" in artistic expressions; and the imagined "ancient China" intersecting with contemporary sound and technology. We will consider: Why do songs from the "jazz capital of the Orient" trigger nostalgia? Why did an "extremely soft and feminine" voice from Taiwan threaten the Chinese Communist Party? Why did "red songs" from the Cultural Revolution era become popular songs in the 21st century? How do underground rock and punk bands negotiate their existence? How is rap in China different from that of the US or anywhere else? How do Chinese artists deal with political censorship, social justice, (trans)gender, ethnic minority identity, and environmental issues in popular music? What future is there for China's burgeoning "networksongs"?

Knowledge of Chinese language is not necessary. Music materials in the course are drawn from the Sinophone world (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora).
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA MUSC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-MN)(CEAS)(CEAS-Lit&Cult)(MUSC)

Last Updated on JUL-17-2024
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