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2024-05-08 | 3 p.m. | NOVA FCSH, Colégio Almada Negreiros, Campolide (Lisbon) | Room 208 -  Floor 2 | Zoom Room 
Free entrance, both online and in presence.

Trends and developments in Chinese music after the Revolution, 1949-2000

Frederick Lau | Center for Chinese Music Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong 

Shaped by the ethical and moral principles of Confucianism, Chinese Music has long been a continuous and illustrative tradition deeply ingrained in Chinese society throughout history. However, following the 1949 Communist Revolution, this rich musical tradition experienced an abrupt interruption. Drawing upon extensive research in Chinese music, as well as theories of ethnomusicology and social sciences, this presentation aims to explore the evolving soundscape and conceptualization of Chinese Music in the half decade since the1949 revolution.


This presentation will delve into the significant changes that have been made to Chinese music in both theory and practice, and their profound impact on the overall shape and trajectory of the art form. Moreover, it will shed light on the redefined notion of tradition and the process of resignification that Chinese music has undergone.


By examining these transformative developments, we can gain a deeper understanding of how Chinese music has adapted and evolved within the socio-political context of the post-Revolution era. Through exploring the redefined boundaries and meanings of Chinese music, we can grasp its contemporary significance and the ways in which it continues to resonate with Chinese society today.


Frederick Lau | Chair and Professor of the Music Department and Director of the Center for Chinese Music Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His expertise spans a broad spectrum of Western and Asian music, encompassing performance, practice, and scholarly pursuits. Lau's accomplishments are evidenced by his extensive research, notable publications, prestigious positions, and numerous awards.
Lau holds a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, alongside a post-graduate performance diploma from the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Lau has established himself as a highly esteemed flutist, recitalist, and conductor, captivating audiences with his expressive style and interpretations of baroque and avant-garde repertoire. He has had the privilege of performing with esteemed orchestras and ensembles in the US and Asia.
Lau's scholarly achievements have garnered recognition through awards and grants from esteemed institutions such as the US National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Academy of Sciences, the German D.A.A.D. Academic Exchange, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Scholarship. He is the author of Music in China (Oxford University Press) and co-editor of Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Asia and the Pacific (University of Hawaii Press), Vocal Music and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Music: Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West (Routledge), Locating East Asia in Western Art Music (Wesleyan University Press), and an upcoming volume titled China Sounds Abroad (Chinese University of Hong Kong Press). His scholarly articles have been featured in esteemed international journals such as Ethnomusicology, Yearbook for Traditional Music, and Asian Music. Additionally, his contributions can be found in edited volumes such as the Oxford Handbook for Chinese Music, China and the West, Oxford Handbook for Protest Music, and The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Lau also serves as the editor of the book series "Music and Performing Arts of Asia and the Pacific" at the University of Hawaii Press.
Prior to his tenure in Hong Kong in 2018, Lau held professorial positions at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and Cal Poly State University in California. Furthermore, he has served as a visiting professor at various universities in Asia and the United States.