From the 1920s on, popular music in Southeast Asia was a mass-audience phenomenon that drew new connections between indigenous musical styles and contemporary genres from elsewhere to create new, hybrid forms. This book presents a cultural history of modern Southeast Asia from the vantage point of popular music, considering not just singers and musicians but their fans as well, showing how the music was intrinsically bound up with modern life and the societal changes that came with it. Reaching new audiences across national borders, popular music of the period helped push social change, and at times served as a medium for expressions of social or political discontent.
Bart Barendregt is an associate professor at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. He is editor of Sonic Modernities in the Malay World (Brill, 2014), and co-editor of Green Consumption: The Global Rise of Eco-Chic (Bloomsbury, 2013).
Peter Keppy is a historian with a background in anthropology and currently researcher at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He wrote The politics of redress. War damage compensation and restitution in Indonesia and the Philippines, 1940-1957 (KITLV, 2010).
Hendrik Schulte Nordholt is a sinologist. He started working in 1981 as a government official promoting economic relations between the Netherlands and China. In 1985 Schulte Nordholt set up the first Dutch bank (AMRO) in China, but in 1992 he decided to ‘jump into the sea’ and with two partners established the technology company Hofung. Schulte Nord.holt has lived in China for twenty years, and frequently speaks and publishes on China.