Myanmar/Burma: Conscripted for Karaoke

14 June 2004

  Promoting the Burmese governments National Convention, three famous singers; Khin Maung Toe, Ringo and Htun Aeindrabo are singing a jingle on Myanmar TV—but something is not right. Expressionless, the three gaze at their scripts and sing blankly, even though the song is short and repetitive. The singing zombie trio …

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Malaysia: Malay songs with English lyrics banned

20 April 2004

The government of Malaysia has banned songs that contain English lyrics from state-controlled radio and television stations On April 18th, 2004, a ban on Malay songs containing English lyrics went into effect for state-controlled broadcasters throughout Malaysia. The ban resulted from Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP, the Language and Literature …

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Mariah upsets Malaysian Muslims

16 January 2004

Malaysia’s Muslim opposition party has called for Mariah Carey to be barred from performing in the country. From BBC;  

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Chinese punk band denied visas

13 November 2003

 visas China’s only all girl punk band Hang On the Box have been forced to pull out of a UK tour after the Chinese government deemed their music as “inappropriate” and denied the band visas to travel. Story from NME   Related reading Listen to interview      

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China: Culture, Legislation and Censorship

1 August 2003

Excerpts from Chinese Cultural Laws Regulations and Institutions by Gao Shuxun (ed.) Culture and Art Publishing House, Beijing, 1999. Summary by Eric Silva Brenneman The publication and circulation of all the forms of information in China have grown greatly under the direction of “serving the people and serving socialisms.” (102) Also, …

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India: Bhangra dance banned in Jamshedpur

8 April 2003

Sikh religious leaders in the city of Jamshedpur has banned women from the community from dancing the vigorous Punjabi bhangra on the streets during celebrations “There will be a complete ban on women’s participation in bhangra. Those found guilty of violating the directive will have pay 2,100 rupees.” This was said in …

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China ‘orders Stones songs ban’

13 March 2003

The Chinese Government has ordered the Rolling Stones to drop four of their best-known songs from their concerts in the country next month, according to a tour organiser. Story from BBC  

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Korea: ‘The people united’

24 February 2003

 MUSIC FOR NORTH KOREA’S ‘GREAT LEADER’ AND ‘DEAR LEADER’ By Keith Howard, Senior Lecturer, SOAS, and Director, AHRB Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance Performance, UKIn North Korea the word “censorship” is a euphemism. The government simply controls all areas of musical life. Keith Howard’s paper examines this very …

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Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan

1 March 2002

Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan musical instruments were destroyed and burned. The only music allowed was unaccompanied Taliban chants. Breaking the Silence was shot in Kabul just after the fall of the Taliban regime and portrays, among other things, the first concerts in the bombed-out city. ‘Breaking the Silence: …

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