One of my pronouncements, on the ceremonial music of Xi’an, was magnificently misquoted. Concerned that Chinese scholars had concentrated on rather flimsy and circumstantial historical links at the expense of detailed recent fieldwork, when so many living regional traditions remain under-researched, I had written:
It is ironic that a virtually defunct ritual genre should be among the most studied genres of Chinese instrumental music.
This sentence was too convoluted for one Chinese scholar, who proudly cited me to justify the study of the music:
Dr Stephen Jones has said that it should be among the most studied genres of Chinese instrumental music.
Ha! or Pah!