14th International CHIME Conference

18-22 November, 2009
Musical Instruments Museum (mim)
Brussels, Belgium

Chinese and East Asian Music: The Future of the Past

The 14th CHIME meeting features 66 presentations, plus concerts and workshops.

We look forward to welcoming everyone at the mim. Anyone not presenting a paper, but interested in attending the conference programme and the concerts as a listener, is most welcome to register too. The conference is a scholarly meeting, but is also open to anyone interested in Chinese and East Asian music.

Conference participants who play traditional musical instruments may want to bring them to our informal musical 'corridor gatherings'.


For all practical questions concerning the conference, please contact the organizer, Claire Chantrenne, Musical Instruments Museum (mim), 1 rue Villa Hermosa, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium, for email click here.

For questions about the conference programme, the concerts and exhibitions, you can also contact Frank Kouwenhoven at CHIME, European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, Postbox 11092, 2301 EB Leiden, The Netherlands, telephone +31-71-5133974.


The conference fee covers participation in the conference, including two evening concerts, an opening reception, three lunches, coffee and tea during breaks, and an improvised afternoon (closing) concert on Sunday 22 November.

The registration fee for the conference ranges from 125 to 150 Euro, depending on whether you are a CHIME member or not. For those who want to come just during one day, please contact us by clicking here.

Please find here the registration form to be filled in and sent to the mim (electronically or in printed form).

We have limited possibilities to reduce registration fees for student participants with very limited financial means and for participants from third world countries. Please contact the CHIME office you feel you are entitled to this. Note that we may not be able to honour everyone's requests!

Hotel accommodation

Given the size and scope of the Europalia Festival and the numbers of visitors expected, we kindly urge you to book accommodation in Brussels as early as possible.

Hotel prices tend to be stiff in Brussels, but we are ready to help you find a fellow conference participant in case you wish to share a hotel room with someone to reduce accommodation costs. Please indicate this on your registration form.

RESOTEL has been appointed by the organizing committee to assist you with your hotel reservations. They basically offer a choice of three hotels for the CHIME meeting. All of these hotels have single rooms, double rooms and twin rooms (with two separate beds), and the twin rooms come in the same price category as the double rooms. These hotels are within a reasonable travelling distance from the conference site:

Villa Royale is 15 minutes away from the mim with tram 92 or 94.
Astrid Centre is 15 minutes away from the mim with bus 71 or 38, or take the underground (Metro station de Brouckère).
Sainte Catherine is 20 minutes away from the mim with the underground (Metro Sainte Catherine).

RESOTEL is a free independent hotel reservation services working with a various range of hotels at very competitive conditions. Click here to be connected with the on-line booking system for the participants and to consult the selected hotel. Should the hotel selected not meet your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Resotel.  They will be glad to suggest you other hotels in different categories.
RESOTEL can be contacted at: 6, avenue Van Nieuwenhuyse, 1160 Brussels - Belgium; Tel. + 32 (0)2 777 01 58; Fax + 32 (0)2 779 39 00

For people with limited financial means we have also listed 2 youth hostels:

 * Auberge de Jeunesse Jacques Brel: 20 minutes away from the mim by foot
Rue de la Sablonnière, 30, 1000 Brussels; T. : +32(0)2-2180187 / F. : +32(0)2-217205
visit the website

 * Jeugdherberg Bruegel: 15 minutes away from the mim by foot
Heilige Geeststraat 2 - B 1000 Brussels; T: +32(0)2-5110436 / F: +32(0)2-5120711
visit the website



Chinese and East Asian Music: The Future of the Past
14th CHIME Meeting, 18-22 November 2009
Musical Instruments Museum (mim), Brussels

All events take place in the lecture- & concert-hall of the mim unless otherwise stated



13.30     Registration Desk open

              Welcome drinks

15.00     Welcome speeches by:

              Anne Cahen, Director Royal Museums of Art and History KMKG, Brussels
              Frank Kouwenhoven, Director CHIME Foundation, The Netherlands
              Claire Chantrenne, organizer, Musical Instruments Museum

15.15     Special Performance.

              Huanxian Shadow Puppet Theatre, East Gansu.

16.00     Keynote lecture

              Tan Hwee-San, SOAS, University of London, UK

"Intangible Cultural Heritage with Chinese characteristics": The Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China, an examination of Government Policies and their implications.            

16.40     Excursion to the exhibition 'The Other World - Puppet Theatre in China'

              Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR), rue Ravenstein 23

18.00     Dinner outdoors (at your own cost)

20.00     Concert: Guqin on different terms           

             Classical Chinese zither in a new light: new ways of exploring an ancient
             instrument, from trios to John Coltrane and beyond...
             With Ding Chengyun and Fu Lina (Wuhan), Liu Xing (Shanghai);
             Luca Bonvini (Paris), Gong Linna, Lin Chen, Wang Hua (Beijing)

21.45     Evening reception at the mim restaurant: please bring your instruments!

23.30     End of Reception



              SESSION 1, Keynote, and workshop

  9.30     Keynote lecture

              Alan Thrasher, Music Dept, UBC Vancouver
              Sizhu Music in Perspective: Rethinking the Ancient Origins Belief.    

10.15     Workshop on Chinese Folk Song Singing
             Gong Linna (Beijing)

11.00     Coffee & tea break

             SESSION 2 -  Tradition lost, tradition gained ?

11.30     Jan Chmelarcik, Sinology Dept, Charles University, Prague

              Music of Development: Traditional Music, Folk Ritual and Land Policy in Southwest Shandong                                                                     

12.00     Helen Rees, Music Dept, UCLA

              The Future of China's Musical Past: Snapshots from Yunnan.

12.30     Robert Zollitsch, Munich, Germany

              Young Musicians Trained at Chinese Conservatories - Their Situation and Perspectives.

13.00     LUNCH

              SESSION 2 -  Tradition lost, tradition gained ? (continued)

14.00     Anne Laure Cromphout, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Cultural Transmission or Cultural Preservation: The Transformation of Amdo Tibetan Music.           


              SESSION 3 - Musical instruments in the making

14.30     Gisa Jähnichen, Music Dept, Universiti Putra Malaysia

              Chinese versus Lao Temple Drums in Northern Laos.                      

15.00     Lancini Jen-Hao Cheng, University of Otago, New Zealand

              The Development, Preservation, and Reconstruction of Formosan     Aboriginal Musical Instruments.

15.30     Coffee & tea break

              SESSION 3 - Musical instruments in the making (continued)

16.00     Lin Chen, Music Research Institute, Beijing

The Improvement of Instruments in the Early Period after the Establishment of the People's Republic of China.        

16.30     Ding Chengyun & Fu Lina, Wuhan Conservatory of Music

              Origins, Reconstruction and Development of the Ancient Se Zither

              and its Music.

17.00     Liu Xing, Bandu Café, Shanghai

              Composing for Zhongruan (Chinese guitar).

17.30     End of session

18.00     Dinner outdoors (at your own cost)

20.00     Concert: China Blossoms

Traditional playing styles clashes with the new in a programme full of contrasts: Li Guangzu, senior pipa (lute) master is set off against the modern virtuoso-style pipa player Zhao Cong (Beijing), and Chen Qijun's traditional Chaozhou style zheng pieces are pitched against the modern swing of the Beijing zheng trio San Chuan. With film interviews.

22.00     End of concert


FRIDAY, 20 NOVEMBER                        

              SESSION 4A - The classical zither guqin: paths of discovery

              Lecture Room II [Please note: This session runs parallel with session 4B]

09.30     Stephen Dydo, New York Qin Society, NY, America

              Tang Melodies in Contemporary Performance.                                

10.00     Jeffrey Roberts, Beijing Center for Chinese Studies

              Li Xiangting and Guqin Improvisation: New Direction or Recreation of an     Ancient Tradition?                                                                             

10.30     Marion Mäder, University of Cologne, Germany

              Giving in to Modernity, Past and Humor - Traditional Guqin Music Today.

11.00     Cofee & tea break                                    

              SESSION 5A - Musical instruments in the making (& more on qin)

              Lecture Room II [Please note: This session runs parallel with session 5B]

11.30     Yang Yuanzheng, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong

              Demystifying the Golden Age Craftsmanship of Qin Making.

12.00     Zhou Ming, Music College, Shandong University of Arts, China

              The Cuo Qin - a Chinese Folk Musical Instrument.                                     

12.30     Luca Bonvini, Paris, France

              Transcription of Western Modal Music for Guqin.                

13.00     LUNCH  [until 14.30]

09.30     SESSION 4B - Panel, chaired by Hermann Gottschewski

The Role of Music for the Japanese Cultural Policy in the Colonial Period (1895-1945) Lecture Room I

              [Please note: this session runs parallel with session 4A]

              The panel consists of:

09.30     Naka Mamiko, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Kyoto, Japan

              How Japanese Residents in China studied Japanese Traditional Music in the Early 20th Century.

09.45     Chōki Seiji, The University of Tokyo, Japan

              Cultural Politics of the Japanese Government during the Great East Asia       War.

10.00     Lee Kyungboon, Seoul University, Korea

              Europeanized Tradition as Propaganda - Ahn Eaktai's Etenraku in Context of           the Japanese Cultural Policy During the Second World War.

10.15     Hermann Gottschewski, The University of Tokyo, Japan

              Gagaku and Pan-Asianism.

10.30     Panel discussion on the topics presented

11.00     Coffee & tea break                                              

              SESSION 5B - Innovation in Chinese musical narrative

              Lecture Room I [Please note: this session runs parallel with session 5A]

11.30     Lam Ching-wah, Hong Kong Baptist University, HK

              Musical Innovations in Huangmei Opera Films in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

12.00     Law Ho Chak, The University of Hong Kong

              Questioning how kunqu becomes "a heritage to be modernized"- A concise study on the musical accompaniment of Bai Xian-yong's "youth version" of the kunqu play Peony Pavilion.

12.30     Zhang Weigang, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China

              A Preliminary Study of Mengxi and its Tune.


13.00     LUNCH  [until 14.30]

14.30     SESSION 6  - Panel, chaired by Fañch Thoraval

              Music, sound and gesture: change and continuity in ritual traditions              

              The panel consists of:

14.30     François Picard, Musicology Department, University of Sorbonne-Paris IV

              Long-time Permanence of Musical Repertoires in Ritual Practice.

15.00     Catherine Capdeville-Zeng, Dept Chine, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), France   

             Organizational Changes in the Nuo Theatre of Shiyou Village, Jiangxi            Province.        

15.30     Fañch Thoraval, University of Paris Sorbonne, Paris IV

              The Hidden and the Shown: Some Change in the Sound Dimension of the     Daoist Liturgy.

16.00     Short Coffee & tea break

16.15     SESSION 7 - Poster presentations:

              Miriam Brenner, MA Musicology, University of Amsterdam

              From earth-zither to brass gongs: Sulawesi Tenggara's lost and found.

              Arlene Caney, Music Dept, Community College of Philadelphia

              Perception of the Uighurs in Chinese Performances.                         

              Natasha Shuen-Git Chow, Nogent-sur-Marne, France

              Digital Guqin Museum: Preservation, promotion and development of the       guqin through an online immersive virtual world - Secondlife.                

              Fu Limin, China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China

              Study Report on 'Hebei Shenfang Concert'.                         

              Monia Grauso, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

              Liu Sola and her New Chinese Jazz Music.                                      

              Sanat Kibirova, St Petersburg University of Culture and Arts

              Revival & Reconstruction of Musical Instruments of Kazakhstan's Uyghurs.

              Frank Kouwenhoven, CHIME Foundation, Leiden, Netherlands

              Chinese Temple Festival Dynamics.

              Liu Yong, Dept of Musicology, China Conservatory of Music

              The Revival of 'Si Bin Fu Qing' (Chinese chime stones).       

              Marta Piras, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy

              Mozart and Beethoven in Mandopop: the hit-single 'Don't wannna grow up' (Bu xiang zhangda) from S.H.E.                                                                                 

17.30     End of poster session / Dinner outdoors (at your own cost)

              Evening: FREE

              Please note the possibility to go and see:

              The Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe in: Legend of the White Snake,

              one of their most succesful productions in recent years, in Antwerp, at the     Bourla Theatre, Komedieplaats 18. (Both tonight and tomorrow at 20.00 h)

              Antwerp is half an hour by train from Brussels.

              This concert is not included in the registration fee. Book your tickets, preferably in advance, via the europalia.china website



09.30     SESSION 8A - Panel, chaired by David Hughes

              Cultural Properties Protection Law: The Impact and Future of Japan's           Cultural Policy Lecture Room I

              [Please note: this session runs parallel with session 8B]

              The panel consists of:

09.30     Shino Arisawa, SOAS, University of London

              Living National Treasures: Innovation within tradition.

09.45     Jane Alaszewska, SOAS, University of London

              Preservation as a Force for Innovation: A case study of the impact of            Cultural Asset designation on Japan's Chichibu Night Festival.

10.00     David W. Hughes, SOAS, University of London

              Safeguarding the heart's home town: Japanese folk song as Intangible           Cultural Heritage.

10.15     Matthew Gillan, Dept Art & Music, Internat. Christian University, Tokyo

              Regional and national support for Okinawan music.

10.30     Panel discussion on the topics presented

11.00     Cofee & tea break                                    

               SESSION 9A - Issues in Chinese musical history

              Lecture Room I [Please note: this session runs parallel with session 9B]

11.30     Dallas McCurley, Dept of Theatre, Drama and Dance, Queens College,    CUNY, USA                                     

              On the Role of Martiality in the History of Xi.                                              

12.00     Marnix Wells, London UK                                   

              Recovery of Lost Musics: 'that strain again, it had a dying fall!'         

12.30     LUNCH (until 14.00 h)

              SESSION 8B - New music in East Asia

09.30     Renaat Beheydt, Royal University Leuven, Belgium

              Traditional Roots in Contemporary 'Classical' Music. The Work of Zhang     Haofu.

10.00     David Leung, Hong Kong University

              Wenren Aesthetics and Hong Kong Contemporary Music.

10.30     Lien Hsien-Sheng, Humanities Res. Center, Nat. Science Council, Taiwan

              Sound, Song and Cultural Memory - Examples from Contemporary Taiwanese Music.

11.00     Coffee & tea break

              SESSION 9B - New music in East Asia

11.30     Ury Eppstein, East Asian Studies Dept, Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem, Israel

              Elements from the past in new Japanese music.

12.00     Marie-Hélène Bernard, University Paris-IV La Sorbonne, France

              New Music, Old Instruments.                                                                     

12.30     LUNCH (until 14.00 h)

              SESSION 10 - Panel, chaired by Tsao Pen-yeh

              Ritual Soundscape in China's Belief System: Three Field Sketches

              The panel consists of:

14.00     Liu Guiteng, Cultural Ministry, Dandong, China

              Field sketch I: Drum in the Mongolian Shamanistic Hüderqolu Ritual of the   Bargu District.

14.30     Xiao Mei, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China

              Crowning of a Spirit Medium (Guangxi, China).

15.00     Liu Hong, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China

              Daoist Ritual Music in Shanghai.

15.30     Coffee & tea break

              SESSION 11 - Intangible Cultural Heritage in Vietnam

16.00     Barley Norton, Goldsmiths College, University of London

              Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Revival of Ca Tru Music Culture in         Vietnam.

              SESSION 12 - Workshop Peking Opera

16.30     Worskhop with members of the National Peking Opera Company, Beijing.

17.30     End of workshop / Dinner outdoors (at your own cost)

              Evening: FREE

              Please note the possibility to go and see:

              The Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe in: Legend of the White Snake

              (see yesterday evening for details)



              SESSION 13 - Issues in Chinese music history

10.00     Ulrike Middendorf, Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg

              Lament and Praise Songs (yintan qu): Some Notes on an Early Chinese Song           Genre   .                                                                                                        

10.30     Shuyun Crossland-Guo, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

              The Quanzhou Nanyin: Historical Connections and Present   Manifestations in the Southern Folk Operas.                                              

11.00     Tan Shzr Ee, Royal Holloway University, London, UK

              The Rise and Fall of 'Red' Accordions and Harmonicas in Singapore.          

11.30     Coffee & tea break

              SESSION 14 - The Future

12.00     Interview with Li Liuyi, stage director of Guo Wenjing's contemporary

              Chinese opera trilogy 'Chinese Heroines'

12.15     Closing panel: Cultural Intangible Heritage and the Future

              Open discussion with a.o. Tan Hwee-San, Barley Norton and guests

13.00     Lunch (at your own cost)

14.00     Open Stage (Concert Hall Musical Instruments Museum)

              Bring your instruments and play Asian music!

              This concert is open to the public

16.00     End of programme

Festival Europalia: China

The Festival Europalia, taking place in Belgium, is the largest cultural festival in Europe. Going on from 8th October 2009 to 14th February 2010, it consists of music, opera, dance, theatre, films, conferences, literature, acrobatics and even more! The festival offers the European audience this time a unique opportunity to discover all aspects of Chinese culture and lifestyle. More information on the europalia.china website

Among all Europalia events, please notice:

An exhibition about the Silk Road at the Royal Museums of Art and History. Free entrance during the conference for participants.

We would like to bring to your special attention will deal with Chinese puppetry, in all its aspects. We are promised a truly gorgeous display, with numerous interactive installations and live demonstrations. China may not have its own Pulcinella or Pinocchio, but it has the Monkey King: a magically gifted monkey who frightens the wits out of the Gods in Heaven by stealing the Peaches of Immortality, and eating them all! The Monkey King shares with his European counterparts not only a highly volatile character or a rare combination of virtue, cleverness and naughtiness, but also in the case of Pulcinella many of his mystical and carnivalesque connotations. For people who love puppetry, China's miniature stages and shadow screens may soon have a homely feel!

Puppetry in China, as in so many parts of the world, emerged thousands of years ago as a magical theatre in the framework of religious observances. Its stories offer ample room for moralizing and ritual doctrine, but Chinese puppet plays are first and foremost packed with action. Many performers are great masters of their art, whose puppets execute the most incredible actions and acrobatic feats. Puppets dress or undress, smoke, drink wine, play musical instruments, dance and move like human beings... The gamut of Chinese puppet plays like that of its bigger stage pendant, Chinese opera runs from delicate lyrical drama to spectacular fighting scenes, from classical romance to slapstick. Most puppet plays are actually operas, with one or more singers and instrumental accompaniment, and countless regional genres and musical styles have emerged in the course of time in almost every part of China.

Puppetry frequently transcends the world of ordinary man, and explores the realms of the super-powerful, the supernatural, and the fantastic: in Chinese genres, we may run into the

Goddess of the Moon, or meet a procession of musicking animal spirits, or watch the Eight Immortals at work, floating by on high clouds... A truly impressive wealth of different genres from shadow theatre to marionette theatre, from stick and glove puppets to water puppets, from rod puppets to 'flesh' puppets is matched by an equally impressive craftsmanship on the part of puppet makers and related craftsmen. The exquisitely carved wooden puppets from the National Arts Museum of China in this exhibition may serve as a case in point.

Chinese puppetry today flourishes in a great many different contexts, from rural rituals to modern urban stage entertainment, from TV animation to cyberspace games. If, in the last two centuries, China's turbulent history has seen an initial decline of many traditional forms, it has also witnessed many splendid revivals and new developments. New media now offer fierce competition to local puppet shows, but they have also given important impulses to the innovation of puppetry, as this rich exhibition will show. Fluorescent paint, laser light, computer-steered animation and a wide range of other new techniques are now used to guide (or misguide!) the spectator's eye.

In the meantime, many rural traditions in China continue to thrive beyond expectation, with their local ritual functions intact. This exhibition draws in particular on the local shadow puppetry of Huanxian, a barren region in eastern Gansu (West China), where more than forty shadow puppet troupes continue to be active today. With Chinese New Year, when fireworks are lit in this region¹s capital, it is nearly impossible to round any street corner of the small town without bumping into a shadow theatre performance! The delicate 'cowskin babies' as they are lovingly called of local Huanxian artisans are not only fine samples of craftsmanship, but are sometimes hardly any less fantastic or capricious than the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch or Hokusai.

Puppet groups performing in Belgium in the framework of Europalia are: the Marionette Theatre of Quanzhou, the Zhangzhou Handpuppet Theatre from Fujian, the Yangzhou hand and wire puppet ensemble from Jiangsu, the Tangshan Municipal Shadow Theatre Company, and the Daoist Shadow Theatre from Huanxian (Gansu). More on the europalia.china website.