Other publications

This is the main page for a sub-menu that mainly contains some significant articles on aspects of Gaoluo village, as well as a survey of Shaanbei-ology.

After an interlude when my three Ashgate volumes (the first two being part of the fine SOAS Musicology series) suffered a prohibitive price-hike, they are now reissued by Taylor & Francis/Routledge in affordable paperback editions. You can order them here (under “Books”!)
The two Ritual and music books are all the more worth snapping up for their accompanying DVDs—the first makes useful background for my film on Li Manshan.

This is my sixth book, and, gosh, my fourth film. They build on my previous work, notably:

  • 2004 Plucking the Winds: lives of village musicians in old and new China, Leiden: CHIME Foundation (with CD). You can order it here.

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As ethnographies go, it’s a Good Read, though I say it myself. Reviews can be complimentary, but this is music to my ears:

“One rarely laughs when reading sinological books, but this one made me more than once look silly when uproariously laughing on the subway”—Vincent Goossaert.

Cf. Groucho:

“From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”

and, less hilariously,

  • 2010/2017 In search of the folk Daoists of north China, Aldershot: Ashgate

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Two more books from Ashgate both come with DVDs:

  • 2007/2017 Ritual and music of north China: shawm bands in ShanxiScreen Shot 2016-11-02 at 12.02.28.png


  • 2009/2017 Ritual and music of north China, volume 2: Shaanbei.Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 12.05.17.png

Since I sometimes seem preoccupied with social history, it’s worth mentioning this lengthy musical analysis of the searing repertoire of the  Hua family shawm band, protagonists of the 2007 book—from the same county as the Li family Daoists:

  • “Living early composition: an appreciation of Chinese shawm melody”, in Simon Mills (ed.), Analysing East Asian Music: patterns of rhythm and melody, Musiké vol.4 (Semar, 2010), pp.25–112,

all the more since it complements an amazing CD, like wild Ming-dynasty gypsy bebop:

My first book is a kinda useful survey, hinting at themes I would develop later:

1995 Folk Music of China: living instrumental traditions, Oxford: Clarendon Press (paperback edition with CD, 1998).

The CD is edited down from my 2-CD set

  • China: Folk Instrumental Traditions, AIMP (Geneva), VDE-GALLO (1995), with booklet.


Also relevant to some of the themes on this blog are my articles

  • “Source and stream: early music and living traditions in China”, Early Music August 1996, pp.375–88.


  • “Reading between the lines: reflections on the massive Anthology of folk music of the Chinese peoples”, Ethnomusicology 47.3 (2003), pp.287–337.
    Chinese version: “Zili hangjian du jicheng: ping hongwei juance Zhongguo minzu minjian yinyue jicheng”, Zhongguo yinyuexue 2003/3, pp.103–28.

For my Amazon author’s page, click here.

Further to the playlist in the sidebaron this blog, I wrote this outline, with discography, for The Rough Guide to world music: Europe, Asia and Pacific:

  • “China: Han traditional—a well-kept secret”,

followed by

  • Rachel Harris, “China: minorities—sounds of the frontiers”.