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This title in other editions

Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age


Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Yellow Music is the first history of the emergence of Chinese popular music and urban media culture in early-twentieth-century China. Andrew F. Jones focuses on the affinities between andquot;yellowandrdquo; or andldquo;pornographicandquot; musicandmdash;as critics derisively referred to the andquot;decadentandquot; fusion of American jazz, Hollywood film music, and Chinese folk formsandmdash;and the anticolonial mass music that challenged its commercial and ideological dominance. Jones radically revises previous understandings of race, politics, popular culture, and technology in the making of modern Chinese culture.

The personal and professional histories of three musicians are central to Jones's discussions of shifting gender roles, class inequality, the politics of national salvation, and emerging media technologies: the American jazz musician Buck Clayton; Li Jinhui, the creator of andquot;yellow musicandquot;; and leftist Nie Er, a former student of Liandrsquo;s whose musical idiom grew out of virulent opposition to this Sinified jazz. As he analyzes global media cultures in the postcolonial world, Jones avoids the parochialism of media studies in the West. He teaches us to hear not only the American influence on Chinese popular music but the Chinese influence on American music as well; in so doing, he illuminates the ways in which both cultures were implicated in the unfolding of colonial modernity in the twentieth century.


The distribution of the gramophone and the birth of popular music, including jazz, as a part of nation-building and modernity in China.


Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

About the Author

Yellow Music pushes commonsense presumptions forward by complicating theory with solid empirical study. Jones weaves rich information and intriguing conclusions throughout this historically grounded book.”—Miriam Silverberg, author of Changing Song: The Marxist Manifestos of Nakano Shigeharu
Yellow Music is a fantastic, one-of-a-kind read: a beautifully written, theoretically rich, and empirically grounded story about the relationship between American jazz music and the politics of colonialism and modernity in China during the interwar years. Andrew F. Jones puts the question of music at the center of debates about the role of the popular in the making of modern China.”—Ralph Litzinger, author of Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging
“Jones illuminates Chinese cultural and political history from an unknown angle—that of popular music and an emergent transnational mass culture. In doing so, he not only enriches our understanding of this history but also makes an original contribution.”—Prasenjit Duara, author of Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China

Product Details

Jones, Andrew F.
Duke University Press
Durham, NC
World Beat
Popular music
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Genres & Styles - Pop Vocal
Popular music -- China -- History and criticism.
Music-Folk and Ethnic
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
12 bandw illustrations
9 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Asia and Indonesia
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Folk » Folk and Ethnic
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Pop Vocal
» Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
» History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
» History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822326946 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The distribution of the gramophone and the birth of popular music, including jazz, as a part of nation-building and modernity in China.
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