Art song as lyrical modernity in colonial and post-colonial contexts: listening to each other’s songs

Joys H.Y. Cheung, Alison Mc Queen Tokita

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


This chapter sets the scene for the book, theoretically and geo-politically. It declares that the proposed volume, in outlining art song in the five selected locales of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia, shows their interconnectedness as a global phenomenon of lyrical modernity through poetry and song. It lays out a framework of cosmopolitan interconnectivity through art song that goes beyond mere comparison. The opening section elaborates the theoretical grounding of our proposed ethic of listening. The chapter then elaborates on the origin of art song in nineteenth-century Europe as an instance of lyrical modernity that spread to European settler colonies, and in the early twentieth century also to colonial and semi-colonial regions of East Asia. It contextualizes the art song traditions across East Asia and Australia in their colonial and settler histories, looking at their common ways of transforming musical contact with or inheritance from the European West into the creation of local art songs. It identifies the uniqueness of their specific routes of development that reflect local musical, literary and linguistic traditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Art Song in East Asia and Australia, 1900 to 1950
EditorsAlison McQueen Tokita, Joys H.Y. Cheung
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000849271, 9781003313151
ISBN (Print)9781032321622, 9781032321660
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSOAS Studies in Music

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