A Critical History of New Music in China
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By the end of the nineteenth century, after a long period during which the weakness of China became ever more obvious, intellectuals began to go abroad for new ideas. What emerged was a musical genre that Liu Ching-chih terms "New Music." With no direct ties to traditional Chinese music, New Music reflects the compositional techniques and musical idioms of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early twentieth–century European styles. Liu traces the genesis and development of New Music throughout the twentieth century, deftly examining the cultural, social, and political forces that shaped New Music and its uses by politicians and the government.

Liu Ching-chih, PhD, FCIL, Hon MCIL, LRSM, AMusTCL, is currently visiting professor of the Department of Music Education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, honourary research fellow of the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (incorporating the Centre of Asian Studies), honourary fellow of the Research Institute of Music of the China Academy of Art and honourary fellow of the Research Institute of Music of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He has served as visiting scholar at St. Antony's College of the University of Oxford, the University of Heidelberg and other leading universities in China and Taiwan.

Professor Liu is a devoted European classical music scholar who is the author and editor of twenty-four books on music, two on classical Chinese literature and eleven on translation. He has also written numerous articles and reviews on music, books and culture.


"This is a monumental and fascinating work contributing not only to the study of 20th century Chinese music, but also to all intelligent studies of the post–May Fourth period in Chinese cultural, literary, artistic, and intellectual life. The author exhibits an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, and has brought to fruition a lifetime's passion and an insatiable curiosity about the subject.... An acute musical insight is enriched by a broadly based literary-historical and cultural approach, which gives the work added interest ..."

── Professor John Minford, Faculty of Asian Studies,
The Australian National University