Music Streaming Platforms and Self-Releasing Musicians in China — IAPMS online workshop vol.8

We are pleased to host the Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies Group (IAPMS) Online Workshop vol.8. To participate in this online event, please register by filling out the form with your name and email address. The event information will be sent to your email after the registration. A reminder email will also be sent two day before as well as one hour before the event.

Registration form:

The event will be held on 10 June (Thu): 8:00-10:00pm (Korea/Japan) / 7:00-9:00 pm (China)  

(Please use the time zone converter to calculate the event time in your location:

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Music Streaming Platforms and Self-Releasing Musicians in China
IAPMS online workshop vol.8

Name:  Shuwen QU
Affiliation: Jinan University
Moderator: Jian XIAO

10 June (Thu): 8:00-10:00 (Korea/Japan) / 7:00-9:00 (China)  

Biography: Qu Shuwen is the Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the Jinan University. She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include cultural studies, popular music, music technology and communication. Now she is working on the research projects of the platformization of the music industry and its impacts on musical experiences. Her contacts:

Abstract: A major development in the music industries in recent years has been the rise of ‘unsigned’ or ‘self-releasing’ musicians (sometimes problematically called ‘DIY musicians’ or ‘independent musicians’) who upload music directly to music streaming platforms (MSPs). What’s unique about self-releasing in China is that Chinese MSPs have sought to incorporate such self-releasing musicians into their platform eco-systems, which is not the case in the west. This talk, first traces the evolution of ‘indie discourse’ in China so as to clarify its meaning in streaming time, that is, the celebration of an entrepreneurial and copyright-oriented ethos, which becomes the ideological foundation of self-releasing services. Then, the discussion analyzes why and how the self-releasing has been incorporated into MSPs as core assets, and to what extent cultural autonomy of self-releasing services is affected by platform mechanisms. 

Stay Underground? Punk in China, Indonesia and the Big Band: Inter-Asia Pop Online Workshop #7

We are pleased to host the seventh Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies Group (IAPMS or Inter-Asia Pop) Online Workshop. On Thursday, April 15, Dr. Jian Xiao will give a talk on punk in China and Indonesia.

The event is free. but you need to register in advance:

We will send you a reminder with the instruction to the video conference twice: one day before and one hour before the event. Please find more detail below.

Stay underground? Punk in China, Indonesia and The Big Band

Guest speaker: Jian XIAO (Zhejiang University)

Biography: Jian Xiao (Ph.D. Loughborough University, UK) is the Associate Professor in the school of Media and International Culture, Zhejiang University. She has published in International Journal of CommunicationJournal of Popular Music StudiesCultural Critique, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Chinese Journal of Communication, Space and Culture, Journalism Practice and so on. She has also published a monograph, “Punk Culture in Contemporary China” with Palgrave Macmillan. Her research interest is focused on urban politics, new media, and cultural studies.

Abstract: In this paper, I consider local, translocal, virtual punk scenes as “a form of networking”. The talk compares two sets of relationships—first, the Chinese punk scene and the Indonesian punk scene, and second, the pre-internet punk scene spatialised through different venues such as gigs, festivals, zines, and the platformised scene as organised via the online music show The Big Band—to discuss the transformation from an underground network to a platformised communicative network. The development of a punk scene in China can be described as “a form of cosmopolitanism urbanism” due to its involvement with global connections. While the underground network is shaped by the global punk community, I regard its relevant spatial practices as a form of authenticity that infuse local tradition into modernity, and its underground nature as an asset since it brings authenticity and the cultural capital that goes with it. It is argued that that the process of reconfiguring an underground network into a platformised network is based on a process of commercialisation that transforms the bands’ cultural capital based in authenticity into economic capital.

KL Sing Song: alternative voices in the Kuala Lumpur singer songwriter circuit (2005 – 2009) by Azmyl Yusof (Sunway University Malaysia): Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies (IAPMS) Online Workshop vol.06

Register here:

  • If you are a non-member of IAPMS and would like to register for this Zoom event, please fill out the form with your name, affiliation, and email address. The Zoom link information will be sent to you one day before the event.
  • If you are already a member of IAPMS and subscribing the mailing list, you don’t have to register for this event. Simply, have access to the event via the link provided in the email from the mailing list.

Date: Thursday, February 4th, 2021 
Time: 8PM (UTC+9) 
8PM (Korea/Japan) 7PM (Malaysia/China/Hong Kong/ Taiwan /Singapore/Perth)  

KL Sing Song: alternative voices in the Kuala Lumpur singer songwriter circuit (2005 – 2009)

Azmyl Yusof (Sunway University Malaysia)

This talk explores the emergence of the Kuala Lumpur singer songwriter circuit by charting the development of the annual singer songwriter showcase KL Sing Song. The showcase, which ended its run at it sixth installment (from 2005 to 2009) serves as a case study on the fostering of communal spirit and networking amongst like-minded arts practitioners. Taking a self-reflexive approach, it also considers the parallel developments of other related ‘scenes’, primarily the underground and indie rock, from which some of the KL-based singer songwriters featured in the showcase also participated. Taking cue from the DIY (do-it-yourself) punk approach ethos, the event emphasizes the use of only original compositions and has featured a variety of singer songwriters (from award winning globetrotting performers to upcoming youngsters to seasoned street buskers) with minimal instrumental accompaniment (itself an agent of mobility). In contrast to the more visible and ‘hip’ indie rock scene (which tended to be detached from contemporary politics), the singer songwriter scene has also provided an alternate cultural space for its participants (including for some who have moved on to commercial success) by being friendly to political communication and satire, with its notable support by the alternative online media, non-governmental organizations, and non-commercial venues and art spaces in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Through a combination of journalistic method of data collection based on the presenter’s professional background and insider network access, this talk hopes to offer greater insight into scene politics and the agency of artists outside of the overemphasized paradigm of the ‘music industry’ and locate practices that were prevalent before the arrival of social media platforms. The talk will also share the development of the singer songwriter circuit in the past decade right up to the COVID-19 pandemic which essentially halted all music-making activities, affecting the entire performing arts community’s livelihood while also revealing the structural shortcomings and severe lack of political will by Malaysian music industry players and policy makers.

Azmyl Yusof is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts, Sunway University Malaysia and a recording and touring underground singer songwriter. More popularly known as his stage name Azmyl Yunor, his research interest parallels his artistic practice which includes music subcultures and the cultural politics of identity in Malaysia. A gig organizer and the co-founder of several seminal punk and experimental rock bands, he has been recording and producing albums independently since 1997 as a solo artist and band member and continues to collaborate with filmmakers on projects. A weekly columnist for an online publication and a regular guest and host on radio shows, he is known as one of the few critical voices of his generation in the local performing arts community. His most notable publication was a chapter on Malaysian music subcultures, Malay youths, and mediated moral panics in Media, Culture and Society in Malaysia (2010). With his observational eye on the cultural politics of contemporary Malaysia that sets him apart from peers, his recent album ‘John Bangi Blues’ is a rootsy rock n’ roll romp dedicated to his district of Bangi south of the capital (launched in September 2020) which has been hailed by music magazine NME as a “blistering commentary on the ‘Middle Malaysia’ experience”.

Book Review: Eva Tsai, Tung-hung Ho and Miaoju Jian (eds), Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music by Hyunjoon Shin


Reviewed by: Hyunjoon Shin, Sungkonghoe University, Korea

The original link is at 

Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music-文化評論| 誠品網路書店

Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music is part of the now well-established Routledge Global Popular Music series. Like its predecessors, it is a multi-authored volume: the fourteenth in total, and the third among popular music in Asia after Made in Japan (Mitsui 2014) and Made in Korea (Shin and Lee 2017). Its three editors, all based in the Taiwanese academy, have actively joined international conferences, especially those of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) and Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies (IAPMS). The book represents an effort by these editors to gather authors from a range of disciplinary specializations, admirably including some who have hitherto published primarily in Chinese, and is thus a product of painstaking collaborative work rather than just a collection of essays.

As a non-Taiwanese East Asian, I had assumed that popular songs made in Taiwan, along with those made in Hong Kong, were “Chinese pop music”. While the latter used Cantonese, a regional variant of Chinese, popular songs from Taiwan used Mandarin, the standard Chinese, which I (mis)perceived as “authentic” Chinese popular songs. Especially, I was aware of numerous songs sung by Deng Lijun (aka Teresa Teng), a “persistent figure of the Asian diva” (Weintraub and Barendregt 2017: 2), which had crossed national borders and not only symbolized but also defined what Chinese pop music had been. Yet it did not take me long to realize that such a set of assumptions was far from correct. Then I underwent a confused process of understanding the identity of Taiwan. It is a complex riddle. According to my memo before writing this review, Taiwan is adorable, unique, multilingual, complicated, troubled and cool at the same time. Is such a combination possible? The answer is yes, because Taiwan is currently “a state without nation” (73) according to one of the authors/editors. Taiwan is a multi-layered cultural formation that does not allow easy understanding. Compare this to the stance of Marc Moskowitz whose pioneering monograph on Taiwanese pop music presents it within a wider frame as a “Chinese pop music”, as shown in his book title (Moskowitz 2010).

Thus, it is hard work to define, delineate and clarify “Taiwanese popular music” in a focused and simple way. Even in a volume that is beautifully and consistently edited, different authors use different wordings at different places: “Taiwanese popular music”, “Taiwan popular music”, “popular music in Taiwan” and “Taiwanese language (Taiyu) popular music”. Rather than indicating a shortcoming, the nuances stemming from those contrasting wordings deserve close attention. While popular music made in Japan is predominantly sung in Japanese and popular music from Korea in Korean language, popular music made in Taiwan is not so simply delineated. Indeed, Taiwanese popular music or popular music made in Taiwan offers a more intriguing case than any in the region or beyond.

The co-editors of the volume tackle this complex point in their co-written introduction, which is followed by a tracing of three different trajectories of popular music in Taiwan. Chapter 1 is not only the most comprehensive and authoritative but also original and controversial. Here, Tung-Hong Ho’s conceptualization of “nativism” is original enough to deconstruct the misconception that Taiwanese popular music is all about Mandarin pop ballads. As someone who has used the term alter-nativism elsewhere (Ho, Cheng and Luo 2015), his desire would not be so different from the desire of popular music artists, industry workers and cultural intermediaries in Taiwan: achieving both native and alternative (as also reprised in the Afterword in the form of a fascinating interview with Lim Giong).

Chapters 2 and 3 focus on Mandarin popular music and on aboriginal popular music respectively. To those who only have had basic knowledge about popular music in the early Cold War period, these two chapters on the extreme poles of Taiwanese popular music are both surprising and intriguing. If spatial relocation is the key process in the former, temporal reinvention is dominant in the latter.

Tracing the trajectories does not stop discussion on identities, as is shown by four chapters in Part II: “Identities”. Contrary to my expectation that the part will deal with the identities associated with social identities such as gender, class or generation, the focus is still centred around “Taiwanese identities”, whether national or ethnic. Chapters 4 and 7 (by C. S. Stone Shih and Andrew Jones, respectively) analyse the identities of subaltern Taiwanese from case studies on specific artists and their products: Hsu Shih, a vanguard composer of Taiyu ballads in the 1960s, and the prominent Hakka folk rock band Labor Exchange Band in the 1990–2000s respectively. Both chapters show that modern popular music never does away with traditions and roots, no matter how much they are transformed, refracted and even distorted. I perceive the different writing styles of the two authors as relating to the contrasting temporalities and spatialities that each interrogates.

Chapters 5 and 6 (by Yu-Yuan Huang and Meng Tze Chu, respectively) tackle the enduring power of the cultural hegemons, Japan and America, respectively. The practices of “covering” Japanese popular music and Anglo-American popular music are assessed by paying attention to specific actors and social conditions. Avoiding abstract theories, each chapter has the strong merit of providing thick and factual description based on rich data. Some readers will be discontent with the rather uncritical and positive usage of the concept of “hybridization” in the former and the ambiguous or ambivalent evaluation of the concept of “Americanization” in the latter. To my belief, however, they contribute to advancing further discussion on the subjects.

Part III: “Issues” consists of essays on contemporary genres written by scholars who are well-versed in cultural studies: rock (Chapter 8, Chi-Chung Wang), EDM (Chapter 9, Eva Tsai) and hip-hop (Chapter 10, Hao-Li Lin). These cases as well as studies on them have the flavour of so-called globalization which has been believed to make everything unstable, mobile and disarticulated. Rather than providing a general description of the music genres and styles, each author takes his or her own specific focus and expands from it toward the bigger picture. By doing that, unexpected encounters are highlighted: the legacy of Confucianist ethic in amateur rock (sub)culture, inter-Asia (Taiwan-Thailand) connections in electronic dance pop, and intelligent and non-misogynic hip-hop masculinity. All of these case studies are based on detailed ethnographies that challenge any easy generalization on the subjects concerned.

The remaining four chapters in Part IV: “Interactions and the Coda” wrestle with complex contexts that sometimes go beyond the local scale: the export of popular music associated with the state agenda (Chapter 11, Yu-Peng Lin and Hui-Ju Tsai), audience reception of the artist Jay Chou and his style (Chapter 12, Chen-Yu Lin), the myth of the border-crossing appeal of the national diva Teresa Teng (Chapter 13, Chen-Ching Cheng) and international or translocal networking of indie music on a regional scale (Chapter 14, Miaoju Jian). All these subjects and themes are too recent, pending and ongoing to be critically evaluated by this reviewer; yet, what is certain is that the authors bravely put maximal efforts into raising relevant questions. There is no doubt that these subjects will be heatedly debated in the future.

What I found unexpected here is a lack of specific chapters providing general description of conventional subjects and topics: the recording industry, broadcasting media, live music venues, digital-mobile platforms and so on. I am one of those who badly needs them! In East Asia, basic knowledge which may be taken for granted in one country can be totally alien in another, and there can be significant gaps in coverage in research in English as compared to that in the national language of each nation, leaving outsiders struggling to contextualize the more detailed content. The editors may have thought that such introductory description is not their job, or were perhaps afraid that such content could make their volume rather plain and banal. I nevertheless hope that they will consider providing such coverage somewhere else, if one edited volume cannot deal with everything.

Another unexpected detail is that some generic vocabularies are not precisely defined and their usages are not necessarily consistent throughout the volume. One example is the usage of the categories of “song”, “ballad” and “tune”. I am still not sure whether these three are sharply differentiated or largely interchangeable. If the former is the case, it would have been better to write down the Romanized term for each of them. In that sense, it would also have been helpful for the editors to trace or analyse the principles, rules and customs of genre division in Taiwan, which are hinted at in the beautiful mapping out of topics given in the volume’s Fig. 0.1 (14).

A last unexpected point is that some artists do not receive their rightful places in the volume. I will pick up only two artists, Luo Dayou (aka Lo Tayu, b. 1954) and Chen Qizhen (aka Cheer Chen, b. 1975). These two singer-songwriters redefined Mandarin popular music made in Taiwan during the 1980s and the 2000s respectively, and have achieved the status of cultural icons. If I may use the jargon of fandom, Luo is the “Godfather” (jiaofu) and Chen the “Goddess” (nüshen). They also show that even once-independent artists can sell out either to industry or to nation. It is in this sense that Luo Dayou is compared to Bob Dylan according to Guy (2011: 192). Thus, they should have been under critical analysis rather than mentioned in passing.

In that sense, this book performs its own cultural politics. Rather than focusing on Taiwan as the production centre for Mandarin popular music, especially during the 1980–90s, it sheds more light on multiple undercurrents produced during and after that period. Thus, it offers a serious effort at preventing Taiwan from being absorbed into China. It is true that everything made in Taiwan cannot be reduced to that made in China. The exchanges between the island and the mainland, more exactly the “continent”, which have been and will be going on would be another job beyond the scope of this book.

During my fieldwork, I sensed that different genres of Taiwanese popular music were flowing out of Taiwan. A Taiwanese pop-rock band was on a “world tour” all over the planet, old Taiyu ballads played in a Shanghai taxi, and a young amateur singer in Hong Kong sang indie pop from Taiwan on the street. All in all, Taiwanese has become more than just an identity. It has become a brand that generates diverse style. It is made in Taiwan and flows to the world. I am sure that this will be the next subject of study by these authors and other researchers. Taiwanese popular music is neither overtly global nor merely local. Thus, the book makes its readers ask questions as to how far concepts like hybridization, glocalization and transculturation are standing the test of time.

All the points above never undermine any single part of Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music. It is a groundbreaking book and highly recommended for scholars and students interested in Taiwanese popular music, and in East Asian popular music broadly. Political scientist and Taiwan specialist Shelley Rigger posits Taiwan both as a small island and global powerhouse (Rigger 2013): there is no doubt that Taiwan matters, and understanding Taiwanese popular music is of significant help in grasping the complexities of popular music on this planet much more generally.


Guy, Nancy. 2011. “Review of Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow: Chinese Pop Music and Its Cultural Connotations by Marc L. Moskowitz”. Perfect Beat 12(2): 191–93.

Ho, Tung-Hung, Hui-Hua Cheng and Yue-Quan Luo, eds. 2015. Zaoyin fantu [Altering Nativism: Sound Culture in Postwar Taiwan]. Taipei: Walkers Cultural Enterprise.

Mitsui, Toru, ed. 2014. Made in Japan: Studies in Popular Music. New York: Routledge.

Moskowitz, Marc L. 2010. Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow: Chinese Pop Music and Its Cultural Connotations. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Rigger, Shelley. 2013. Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse. Plymouth, UK: Rowman and Littlefield.

Shin, Hyunjoon, and Seung-Ah Lee, eds. 2017. Made in Korea: Studies in Popular Music. New York: Routledge.

Weintraub, Andrew N., and Bart Barendregt. 2017. “Re-Vamping Asia: Women, Music, and Modernity in Comparative Perspective”. In Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities, edited by Andrew N. Weintraub and Bart Barendregt, 1–39. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Book Review: Eva Tsai, Tung-hung Ho and Miaoju Jian (eds), Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music by Yiu Fai Chow

Book Review: Eva Tsai, Tung-hung Ho and Miaoju Jian (eds), Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music

First Published August 5, 2020 Book Review

Yiu Fai Chow

Creative Commons Attribution, Non Commercial 4.0 License

Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular MusicEva Tsai, Tung-hung Ho & Miaoju Jian (eds), Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music. New York, NY; London, England: Routledge, 2020. xix + 260 pp, with a selected bibliography: ISBN 9780815360155 (hbk, £88); 9780815360179 (pbk, £26.39); 978351119146 (ebk, £26.39).

This anthology is a sumptuous and ambitious project. It is sumptuous because the contributors offer readers a unique occasion to understand Taiwanese popular music, along an expansive time line (from the late 1890s to 2019), across an unusual musical diversity (whether in terms of what we usually understand as genres, or pop defined linguistically or cultural-historically), and informed by a wide range of disciplines (media and communication studies, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, East Asian studies and ethnomusicology). It is ambitious because the editors are not content with a sumptuous collection, or, in their words, ‘the sum of Mandarin pop, Hokkien/Hoklo pop, Hakka pop, and indigenous pop’ (p. 1); they intervene and ‘highlight certain smaller, more interstitial narratives that put these dominant historical interpretations in perspectives’ (p. 5). In other words, Made in Taiwan is not preoccupied with defining what a certain kind of popular music is or should be; rather, it is intent on breaking open hardened pop histories in order to afford more academic contemplation and empirical curiosity, ultimately to release more energy and liveliness from popular music itself. We see the editors’ mission in the 15 chapters or studies that follow their poignantly formulated Introduction.

The main body of the book is divided into the following four sections: Trajectories, Identities, Issues, and Interactions. The three chapters under Trajectories zoom in on the formative years of Taiwanese popular music, the decades following the Second World War, albeit with different perspectives. Tung-hung Ho’s opening chapter examines the intricate connections between the rise of nativism and the emergence of Taiwanese pop, with a critical reflection on the pitfalls of nativism and a proposal of what he calls ‘alternative nativism’. Szu-wei Chen’s chapter recuperates the productive encounter of two professionals – the prolific composer Chou Lan-ping and the pioneering entrepreneur Liao Chien-yuan, to argue against the dominant view that Taiwan in the 1950s was only borrowing from neighbouring centres (Shanghai, Hong Kong) and never itself a site of original music production. The following chapter by Kuo-chao Huang foregrounds indigenous music, particularly in the form of ‘Mountain Songs’ and tracks its development in the 1960s and 1970s to underline its often neglected, or ignored, importance to the development of Taiwanese popular music as a whole. The second section, as its title Identities suggests, collects four chapters dedicated to exploring the relationship between identities and social and musical practices. The chapters by C.S. Stone Shih and Yu-yuan Huang concern Taiyu ballads. While the former is a case study of composer Hsu Shih and his significance, the latter focuses on Taiyu covers of Japanese songs and dissects processes of cultural hybridization. Turning from Japanese influence to Anglo-American pop-rock, Meng Tze Chu talks to aging lovers and music practitioners and weave a life-affirming inquiry from their collective memories of the rock scene and the Cold War period. Andrew Jones, in his chapter on Hakka folk rock, unfolds the complexity of ethnic, class and musical identities through the music of Labor Exchange Band.

The third section Issues covers three pop genres in Taiwan since the late 1990s. A vivid instance of how locatedness functions to produce knowledge on popular music, Chi-Chung Wang’s chapter studies the relationship between elite high school practices and the development of rock culture in Taiwan. Informed by feminist deconstruction, Eva Tsai maps Hsieh Jin-yen’s transformation from Taiyu singer to EDM diva, teasing out its subversive potentials. Continuing the gender problematic, Lin Hao-li considers the possibility of ‘alternative masculinity’ among a group of educated, middle-class male rappers in Taiwan. The final section Interactions brings readers to the latest development in Taiwanese popular music. The first chapter, by Yu-peng Lin and Hui-ju Tsai, enters the field of cultural policy, and examines government support to promote Taiwan’s indie music abroad. Turning to one of Taiwan’s most profitable musical exports, Jay Chou, Chen-yu Lin focuses on his China Wind songs and discusses the issue of Chineseness by way of Chinese audiences’ reception of Chou’s music. The final chapter, by Chen-Ching Cheng, ends the book proper, very appropriately, with ‘the biggest Mandarin pop star in history’ (p. 170) – Teresa Teng – and an analysis of her stardom in the nationalistic context.

I wrote ‘book proper’ earlier, as following these four sections are two more chapters. Miaoju Jian’s chapter, as Coda, explores further what is going on right now in Taiwan’s music scene; she presents three paths through which indie musicians may reach audience outside Taiwan: global Mandopop market, East Asian DIY networks, and translocal entrepreneurial promoters. The final chapter of the book, modestly presented as an afterword, is a conversation between the three editors and veteran practitioner Lim Giong. Perhaps, this last choice may serve as a trigger to offer some form of criticism – as a book review is obliged to – to this highly engaging, informative and political anthology. Namely, the bulk of the book remains dedicated to the past. As someone with vested interest – both personal and professional – in music, I long to read more about what is going on, what future we can envisage, how do streaming and other forms of technological developments impact on Taiwanese popular music, what are younger generations of fans ‘prosuming’? I am also not very sure what the section titles add; would it be better to organize the book somewhat mundanely according to themes or chronology? Finally, a very minor sigh: it would be helpful to add cited names and titles in Chinese, for those who may find it difficult to recognize them in ‘English’ renditions. All in all, Made in Taiwan is a must read for anyone interested in Taiwan, Taiwanese popular music and popular music at large. For the richness of musical genres, case studies and academic disciplines included in the anthology, it is relevant to scholars operating in a wide range of fields. It should also be a good textbook for courses on popular music, globalization and area studies. The selected bibliography on popular music in Taiwan is very useful.Yiu Fai Chow
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

7th Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies Conference3-6 December – Online

Dear Participants

Hope this message finds you well

On behalf of Sunway University and the 7th IAPMS Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) we would like to express our concern as the coronavirus continues to control all matters of our lives.

Given that Malaysia is now experiencing a third wave, the 7th IAPMS conference will take place 3-6 December 2020 and will be fully online. All presentations will be delivered through asynchronous broadcasting of pre-recorded presentations followed by a live Q &A session. The conference will be done using Zoom meetings and will allow participants to ask questions during the live Q & A session.

In order to participate in the conference please register and make the payment online using the following link:

The fees are:

Students – RM100 (roughly 25USD)

Regular – RM200 (roughly 50USD)

(Please make sure to select the right event.)

All registered participants will receive a complimentary copy of the 7th IAPMS proceedings in either hard copy or e-book format. 

After we receive the payments, the Local Arrangements Committee will send the programme together with the Zoom links to all registered participants by November 15.  

Best regards and stay safe 

7th IAPMS Local Arrangements Committee


Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies

CfP extended: IASPm 2021


The Local Organizing Committee is pleased to invite you to the 21st Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music to be held in Daegu, South Korea, for 5 days from July 6 to 10, 2021. Here are some latest updates on the conference.

1) Thanks to popular demands, we decided to extend deadline for abstract submission for one month until 31 August 2020. The submission can be made through the IASPM 2021 website (

* Abstract Submission: until August 31, 2020 (Korea time GMT+8)

2) The IASPM 2021 registration fee has been set. We will deliver you with the registration guide when the payment system is completed.

3) We are delighted to introduce you Keynote Speakers for IASPM 2021:

– Britta Sweers (Director of the Center for Global Studies at the University of Bern, Switzerland)

– Shuhei Hosokawa (Professor Emeritus at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies)

– Chan E. Park (Professor, Ohio State University, United States)

– Jung-Sun Lee (Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, and former professor of Seoul Arts University, Korea)

4) IASPM 2021will proceed as announced in spite of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19

Despite the on-going worldwide crisis of COVID-19, the local organizing committee is working hard to make IASPM 2021 in Daegu happen. Depending on the situation in 2021, the conference could take the form of real, virtual, or hybrid. We are preparing for every possible scenario to ensure IASPM 2021 to be a successful conference. IASPM 2021 will be greatly benefitted from host city Daegu’s world-class capacity for COVID-19 control. In close cooperation with Daegu Metropolitan City, we will make sure a safe and sound conference experience for all participants. Thank you!

For further details, please visit IASPM 2021 website at
Best,IASPM 2021 Local Organising Committee

[CfP] XXI Biennial IASPM Conference in Daegu, South Korea

“Climates of Popular Music”, 21st Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Call for Presentations
The most pressing issue for humanity in the 21st century is global climate, and thus IASPM’s 21st Conference turns its attention towards this subject. Whereas our 20th anniversary conference considered where we have been, we now ask where we are now, what we are doing as a species, and what impact it has on our communities and our world. On a planet increasingly interconnected by a dizzying array of media channels, such a discussion has to be broadly framed. Our planet’s climate is impacted by numerous forms of human activity, including those that are individual, personal, local, communal, institutional, commercial, corporate, cultural, political, and international. This conference invites presentations that ask how popular music relates to our climate, where climate relates to any part of the totality of surrounding conditions and circumstances affecting growth or development. By “climate,” we intend to include a range of definitions, including ecological climate, political climates, socio-political climates, and contextual and individuated climates. We ask presenters to consider the impacts of activities related to popular music and its cultures on variously defined climates, and the impacts of changing or changed climates on different popular music and its contexts.
To address these issues, as well as any other questions and topics related to the past, present and future climates of popular music, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music invites proposals for the twenty-first IASPM biennial conference, to be held at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea, July 6-10, 2021. The general theme of conference is divided into five interrelated streams:
A) Environment
Popular music has long been associated with green agendas, ecological concerns, and environmental activism, and this stream takes a more literal interpretation of the conference title than others. It also implies a link to ecological approaches that explore affordances as well as impacts, including insights from fields such as eco-musicology and ethnomusicology.
B) Milieu
Political climates no doubt seem to be more complex than those of the past to each generation. They have a direct influence on the stability and sustainability of our cultures, and this relationship is often reflected in our popular music. Political storms, quakes and disasters flow from isolationism into global cooperation, between east and west and from south to north. This stream will address local, national, and international politics, as well as individuated socio-politics, as reflected through issues such as identity, gender, class, sexuality, and belief, and seen and heard through popular music.
C) Ambiance
When describing climates, we may use terms such as ambiance, atmosphere, mood, or tone, to conceptualize the often unconscious perceptions of space and place. Studies of space and place have emerged as a key interdisciplinary subject across numerous fields and have crossed into popular music studies through studies of geographies, locality, scenes and subcultures. This stream invites explorations of receptions and perceptions, of audiences and ethnographies, of set and settings of popular music.
D) World
Climate, however defined, is intimately associated with questions that require a global approach. Although ‘world music’ has slowly made peace with ethnomusicology and although both have made inroads into popular music studies, they have not yet reached a truly global understanding of popular music. Areas such as South East Asia, where this conference is to be hosted, are having an increasing impact upon popular music, yet they are significantly under-represented. This stream encourages contributions which widen and deepen our global/local understanding of popular music and its cultures, whether through a detailed study of a specific subculture or scene, or by exploring changes in global popular music climates.
E) Mediums
The modes and channels of mediation of music have evolved at a rapid rate over the last 120 years, moving through cycles of oral, written, recorded, digital, and virtual transmission, into a multi-valent universe where revivals of folk singing and vinyl clubs mix with digital music and streaming. This stream focuses on how mediums impact on popular music, and on the role of technology.
Academic Committee
Geoff Stahl (co-chair), Andrea Dankić (co-chair). Pil Ho Kim (co-chair)
Local Organizing Committee
Keewoong Lee (chair), Aekyung Park, Eunice Sung, Taeyoon Kim, Hyun Kyong Chang, Eujeong Zhang, Hyunjoon Shin, Hyunseok Kwon, Gyu Tag Lee, Hawsook Song, Wonseok Lee, Pil Ho Kim, Jun-Hue Lee, Jung-Yup Lee, Jungwon Kim, Yu Jung Lee, Youngdae Kim
* Individual roles not yet assigned
There will be four options: panels (of 3 or 4 presenters), individual papers, film/video presentations, or poster sessions.
Proposals for organized panels are encouraged (two-hour long sessions with four papers, or three papers and a discussant). Each session should leave at least 30 minutes for discussion or for comments by a discussant immediately following the presentations. The panel organizer should submit the panel abstract and all individual abstracts (200 words each) in one document, with a full list of participant names and email addresses. Where an independently submitted abstract appears to fit a panel, the Academic Committee may suggest the addition of a panelist.
We invite abstracts of no longer than 200 words, including five keywords for programming purposes and an optional list of references (max 10). Individual paper presentations are 20 minutes long to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
Film/video session
Recently completed films introduced by their author and discussed by conference participants may be proposed. Submit a 200-word abstract including titles, subjects, and formats, and indicate the duration of the proposed films/videos and introduction/discussion.
Poster session
A space for Poster Exhibition will be provided. A 200-word abstract by the poster’s author, including five keywords for programming purposes, must be submitted.
Please submit your abstract no later than 31 July 2020, as both doc. & pdf. format attachment through the IASPM 2021 official website. You can easily find detailed guidelines and templates at the online submission page.
  • * Each participant must be a member of any branch of IASPM:
  • * Each participant may present only one paper at the Conference, but may also preside over a panel or serve as a discussant.
  • * Abstracts will be accepted in English, IASPM’s official language.
  • * Letters of acceptance will be sent by 30 September 2020.
If you have any question, feel free to contact IASPM 2021 Secretariat (
Covid 19 Information
We are aware of the global pandemic’s impact across the world and take issues of safety seriously. We hope that by the time of the conference, various COVID19-related restrictions will have eased more or less completely. We are monitoring the situation closely and will advise members accordingly.
Virtual Presentations
We are aware of the environmental impact of global travel, especially in light of the subject of the conference. We hope that moving some of the conference online will be one way of addressing this ecological issue. Circumstances surrounding the current pandemic have also made virtual research sharing more necessary. We are preparing so that at least some portions of the conference can take place online and interested parties may be able to attend the conference virtually. More information will be published when it is available.
The conference organizers look forward to receiving your submissions!
With kindest regards,
IASPM Executive Committee:
  • Rupert Till, Chair
  • Beatriz Goubert, Secretary
  • Bernhard Steinbrecher, Membership Secretary
  • Simone Krueger Bridge, Treasurer
  • Kimi Kärki, Webmaster
  • Keewoong Lee, Conference Chair
  • Catherine Strong, Member-at-large
  • Andrea Dankić, Member-at-large

Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music, 1st Edition

Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music, is officially published by Routledge early this year. It is edited by me, Tung-hung, and Miaoju. Please recommend your institution/library to purchase a copy.

We hope the book will contribute to further dialogues. 
Also, last week, Taiwan Insight published six short articles about the book. Three of the articles by the contributors of the book, and the other, by other academic or industry insiders/observers. Maybe this will pique your curiosity. Please follow the links.








Eva Tsai