Sound Alignments

Popular Music in Asia's Cold Wars

Sound Alignments

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 15 illustrations Published: June 2021

Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Music

In Sound Alignments, a transnational group of scholars explores the myriad forms of popular music that circulated across Asia during the Cold War. Challenging the conventional alignments and periodizations of Western cultural histories of the Cold War, they trace the routes of popular music, examining how it took on new meanings and significance as it traveled across Asia, from India to Indonesia, Hong Kong to South Korea, China to Japan. From studies of how popular musical styles from the Americas and Europe were adapted to meet local exigencies to how socialist-bloc and nonaligned Cold War organizations facilitated the circulation of popular music throughout the region, the contributors outline how popular music forged and challenged alliances, revolutions, and countercultures They also show how the Cold War's legacy shapes contemporary culture, particularly in the ways 1990s and 2000s J-pop and K-pop are rooted in American attempts to foster economic exchange in East Asia in the 1960s.Throughout, Sound Alignments demonstrates that the experiences of the Cold War in Asia were as diverse and dynamic as the music heard and performed in it.

Contributors. Marié Abe, Michael K. Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene, Nisha Kommattam, Jennifer Lindsay, Kaley Mason, Anna Schultz, Hyunjoon Shin, C. J. W.-L. Wee, Hon-Lun (Helan) Yang, Christine R. Yano, Qian Zhang


“With this vital addition to the growing literature in global music studies, the contributors to Sound Alignments reveal the vernacular cosmopolitanism of Asian popular music as a crucial dimension of Cold War cultural politics, nationalist policies, and internationalist rhetorics. An essential mapping of sonic history and musical mediation.” — David Novak, author of Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation

“Giving readers a happily cacophonous remapping of the sounds of the Cold War, Sound Alignments is an intellectually stimulating and multidimensional contribution to the study of twentieth-century popular music and the global culture of the Cold War.” — Andrew F. Jones, author of Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Michael K. Bourdaghs is Robert S. Ingersoll Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon: A Geopolitical Prehistory of J-Pop.

Paola Iovene is Associate Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Tales of Futures Past: Anticipation and the Ends of Literature in Contemporary China.

Kaley Mason is Assistant Professor of Music at Lewis and Clark College.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction / Michael Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene, and Kaley Mason  1
Part I. Routes
1. Musical Travels of the Coconut Isles and the Socialist Popular / Jennifer Lindsay  43
2. Vehicles of Progress: The Kerala Rikshawala at the Intersection of Communism and Social Realism / Nisha Kommattam  69
3. East Asian Pop Music and an Incomplete Regional Contemporary / C.J. W.-L. Wee  93
Part II. Covers
4. Searching for Youth, the People (Minjung), and "Another" West While Living Through Anti-Communist Cold War Politics: South Korean "Folk Song" in the 1970s / Hyunjoon Shin  131
5. Cosmopolitanism, Vernacular Cosmopolitanism, and Sound Alignments: Covers and Cantonese Cover Songs in 1960s Hong Kong / Hon-Lun Yang  153
Part III. Fronts
6. Sonic Imaginaries of Okinawa: Daiku Tetsuhiro's Cosmopolitan "Paradise" / Marié Abe  173
7. Cosmaharaja: Popular Songs of Socialist Cosmopolitanism in Cold War India / Anna Schultz  201
8. Yellow Music Criticism during China's Anti-Rightest Campaign / Qian Zhang  231
Afterword: Asia's Soundings of the Cold War / Christine R. Yano  249
Bibliography  263
Contributors  285
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-1179-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-1067-8