Sonic Multiplicities (Book)

Hong Kong Pop and the Global Circulation of Sound and Image

Through the lens of popular music in and from Hong Kong, Sonic Multiplicities examines the material, ideological, and geopolitical implications of music production and consumption. Yiu Fai Chow and Jeroen de Kloet draw on rich empirical research and industry experience to trace the worldwide flow of popular culture and the people who produce and consume it. In doing so, the authors make a significant contribution to our understanding of the political and social roles such circulation plays in today’s world—and in a city under cultural threat in a country whose prominence is on the rise. Just as important, they clear a new path for the study of popular music.

Category: Cultural Studies, Music


‘Sonic Multiplicities is a fascinating book, with essays rich in empirical detail and - captivatingly combining the personal and the theoretical - evocative of the complexities of experience, desire and politics in our perplexingly mobile and entangled world. The book’s focus on Hong Kong pop music as part of a translocal, if not global network of flows provides a starting point for the authors to unsettle received notions of Chineseness, place and identity, of particular importance in a time when we need to come to terms with, and resist, the increasingly stifling discourse of “the rise of China”.’

Yiu Fai Chow is assistant professor in the Humanities Program at Hong Kong Baptist University.Jeroen de Kloet is assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

'An intriguing study of pop culture' 

Pop Matters, Subashini Navaratnam

'A rich and fascinating analysis of Hong Kong popular music ... a much-welcome addition to the study of Hong Kong culture. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Hong Kong popular music in particular and popular culture in general.'

Chun-Yi Lee, China Information

'Sonic Multiplicities is an exciting read for anyone who is interested in Hong Kong pop, Chinese popular music, or Chinese popular culture in general.' 

Qian Wang, International Journal of Communication

'The intellectual strength of Sonic Multiplicities lies in its multifaceted approach, which examines both the production and the products of popular music. Each chapter discusses the ‘sonic multiplicities’ of Hong Kong Pop from different perspectives, ranging fromthe stories of individuals to the sounds of big hits, and to the voice of Hong Kong as a city. In doing so, the authors successfully contextualize these multiplicities in Hong Kong Pop’s global circulation. These attempts have valuable implications for both East Asian studies and popular culture research. The broad coverage of this book also makes it a particularly useful reference for anyone interested in contemporary Hong Kong music' 

Music & Letters, Shan Huang

'Refreshingly penetrating insights and critical dissections' 

Chinese Journal of Communication, Liew Kai Khiun

'Their book is full of fascinating detail, but its importance lies most of all in its resistance to the ascendancy of discourse centred around the allegedly irrevocable rise of China' 

European Journal of Communication
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