Global Sounds and Local Sentiments: A Survey of Improvised Music in Contemporary China

Jing Wang


The essay provides a survey of local improvising music practices in major Chinese cities in relation to traditional guqin aesthetics, western rock music, experimental, and improvising music. My analysis proposes that China’s contemporary improvising practices foster a kind of atmospheric relation among musicians, audience, and the environment. Importantly, the environment is not simply the site where improvisation occurs, but an important constitutive element in an improvising event. This context-specific aspect of China is what, I consider, to make its improvising practice unique and significant.

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Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (through both its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives and Aid to Scholarly Journals programs) and by the University of Guelph Library.
ISSN: 1712-0624