Beijing Is Rock, Shanghai Is Jazz: Musical Identity Formations and Shifts in the Big City Soundscapes of China

  • Andrew David Field
Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)


This chapter traces the rise of live music scenes in Beijing and Shanghai since the 1980s, looking at how their respective identities as China’s rock and jazz capital originated and developed, and how these identities have shifted since the 2000s. It traces Beijing’s identity as a rock and roll city to the 1980s with the rise of China’s early rockers, in the bewildering context of the new reform era and the massive protest movement in 1989 that ended in violence. In the 1990s, rock in Beijing went underground in makeshift club and bar scenes that gave rise to the Chinese punk movement. Meanwhile, Shanghai began reviving its identity as a jazz metropolis in the 1980s, with ample references to its ‘golden age’ of the 1930s. More recently, each city has fed off the other’s scenes, clubs, and musicians to create a more diverse musical soundscape for the inhabitants.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew David Field
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke Kunshan UniversityKunshanChina

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