China's music industries: evolution, development and convergence
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 20:19 authored by Fangjun Li
The music industries have gradually been given consideration within the fields of media and communication, economics and management, creative industries, musicology and popular music studies, both in China and the West in recent years. Music, as a representative and significant sub-industry of the creative industries, evolved and integrated over a long period in China. Through the process of evolution and integration, factors of macro-influence, such as culture, the economy and politics, as well as industries, such as culture, media and information communication technology, greatly influenced and facilitated China’s music industries. This thesis will reveal the process, characteristics and dynamics of the evolution and development of China's music industries. Therefore, the following two perspectives are the focus of this thesis. Firstly, the thesis focuses on the evolution and development of three major music sectors - live performance, physical recorded music and digital music mainly during the modern and contemporary periods, referred to in this thesis as the 20th and the early 21st century. Moreover, the thesis focuses on the influence of convergence and Chinese politics on the evolution and development of China's music industries.Therefore, the following two perspectives are the focus of this thesis. Firstly, the thesis focuses on the evolution and development of three major music sectors - live music performance, physical recorded music and digital music mainly during the modern and contemporary periods, referred to in this thesis as the 20th century and the early 21st century. Moreover, this thesis focuses on the influence of convergence and Chinese politics on the evolution and development of China’s music industries. Convergence, as a developmental dynamic, stimulated China’s music industry system, transforming it from a simple to a complex system; meanwhile, it also influenced the three major music sectors to successively generate and develop during different periods. Chinese politics, as an essential factor, greatly influenced the cultural and economic foundation of China’s music industries and was key to the evolution of China’s music industries. Thus this thesis addresses the key research question: ‘How have China’s music industries developed?’ It will also investigate the following sub-questions: ‘How did convergence and Chinese politics (including Chinese governments) influence the evolution and development of China’s music industries? This thesis argues that China’s music industries are unique and therefore the following question is also explored: What are the major differences between China’s music industries and Western music industries? Understanding the evolution and convergence of China’s music industries involves addressing macro issues, and therefore several research approaches are required. This thesis will primarily adopt a qualitative methodology, while also utilising a quantitative methodology to a lesser extent. Historical research and method is the primary concern of this thesis. Literature analysis and review is the main method used in the historical research approach; the literature analysis and review undertaken in this thesis primarily involves academic monographs and articles, as well as general articles from the Internet and newspapers. Other significant approaches embrace quantitative analysis, case studies, qualitative interviews and comparative analysis used to complement any deficiency in existing material and to support the viewpoints of this thesis. This thesis is significant because of the following aspects. Firstly, its findings will be of value for the development of strategic thinking with regard to music industry activities for current and future music business operators both in China and the West. Secondly, some points in this thesis may also guide and assist cultural and industrial policy-makers of the present Chinese government, as well as those of Western governments, to update and/or make relevant cultural and music industry policies, based on this information concerning the evolution of China’s music industries. Thirdly, this thesis attempts to provide a theoretical foundation for academic research and education related to China’s music industries.