Pop won't stop

Updated: 2012-12-07 13:50

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Pop won't stop

Pop won't stop

Mighty melody

As the industry struggles, a comprehensive retrospective of the mainland's contributions to the genre looks back - and forward. Chen Nan reports.

Related: Wu Mochou's new music video

Jin Zhaojun sold pants at a State-owned shopping center in Beijing for a year before he took the national university entrance exam in 1977, when the country resumed university classes after the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).

Life was dull before that. He made 36 yuan (about $6) a month. His girlfriend broke up with him because he didn't earn as much as State-owned factory workers, who brought in 42 yuan a month.

After he became a Chinese literature major at Beijing Normal University, Jin - like many young people then - was excited to absorb classroom knowledge.

It was during this time that he also discovered pop music from Taiwan's singers, such as Teresa Teng and Steven Liu, which came to the mainland after the reform and opening-up began in 1978.

He spent 360 yuan - a huge sum at that time - on a single-track audio cassette player and listened to pop music all day.

The 54-year-old is now the Chinese Musicians Association's vice-secretary-general and a veteran music critic.

Jin has joined a coalition of musicians, critics and record label founders involved with the mainland's pop music development to stage a series of events titled Pop Music of the Chinese Mainland 1979-2011. The event will collect and review the genre's hits during the period.

"We called it tongsu (common) music, rather than pop, 30 years ago," Jin recalls.

"Pop was then considered vulgar. Much has changed as we've continued down the path of development. It's time to reflect on what we've done and where we're going."

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