What Is Mandopop And How Does It Differ From Other Pop Music?

1780 words - 7 pages

Mandopop is defined as the shortened form of the Chinese music genre ‘Mandarin-Chinese language popular music’ (Moskowitz 2009). However, Mandopop cannot be defined solely as a music genre but a cultural and social importance, especially in China and Taiwan. This essay will first focus on the brief history of Mandopop and its cultural and social importance in China and Taiwan. Secondly, the essay will concentrate on the marketing style in increasing revenues of Mandopop within the Chinese music industry . Thirdly, a comparison of Mandopop to Korean pop in its marketing styles will also be examined. Overall, this essay will emphasize on how Mandopop is generated to be a part of Chinese cultural and social significance for Mandopop listeners.

The Mandopop industry first began around the 1920s in Shanghai, China (Moskowitz 2009:1). However, the popularity of Mandopop did not spread and develop until the late 1970s after China established the ‘open door policy’ in which foreign cultural products like Taiwanese Mandopop were introduced into mainland China. The introduction of Gangtai pop music received unfavorable reactions from China’s government to the extent of arresting Chinese citizen for listening to unauthorized Gang-tai pop music (Baranovitch 2003:10, 103). Surprisingly, due to various factors from increasing consumer financial power to technology development, Taiwanese Mandopop had a rapid increase in popularity in China (Latham 2007:344). Even till this day, although China contains the largest Mandarin speaking population, Taiwan is now deemed as the upcoming centre of Mandopop, with trade revenues in its music industry totaling up to $68.9 million in 2007, rivaling against China’s piracy affected revenue of $69.4 million (Worth 2009). Nevertheless, it is also due to Mandopop’s cultural and social impact that led to the increasing popularity of Mandopop in general allowing Mandopop to be seen as more than just a music genre.

Mandopop songs can be said to have largely contributed to the maintenance of the nationalistic view and identity of Mandopop listeners, regardless of their country of origin (Latham 2007:355). Kloet (2010) and Latham (2007) both discuss that Mandopop provides a sense of unity between diasporic Mandopop listeners, especially in China and Taiwan. The authors state that pop music, although may differ in musical styles than prior genres, still presents a common cultural and linguistic link within its music that corresponds to the familiarity of listeners’ cultural and social background. In addition, with the gradual advancement of technology, there is also a gradual increase in the exposure of Mandopop. For example, Baranovitch (2003:196-200) argues that establishments television programmes like CCTV’s Chinese Music Television in China enhances the relationship of Mandopop and television in China but yet also plays an important role in publicizing China’s traditional cultures and ideas of nationalism and identity....

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