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by Jeroen Groenewegen


This overview provides a survey of musical activity in China. As such its scope is huge.

  • Including popular music, mass music, art music and everything in between. 
  • Spanning a history that goes back to the beginning of modernity in China in the mid 19th century.
  • Covering mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and occasionally Singapore, Malaysia and other areas. This is not to say that all these places are currently ruled by the same political entity, but that they are to a larger or smaller extend part of a shared cultural sphere, tentatively named Greater China. For practical reasons I will define this cultural sphere by the use of Chinese languages and dialects, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese and Hakka. In other words, Chinese popular music here means popular music in Chinese languages (huayu liuxing yinyue).


That said, I am biased towards:

  • Contemporary developments (since 2000).
  • Popular music, including rock and urban folk.
  • Beijing, where I have done most of my research.


I am open to suggestions, including additional information on the periods, genres, locations and languages that wholly of partly beyond my knowledge.


For the complete mapping as PDF please click the link below. Please respect the author, and metion him in quotes.