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Listening to China – Sound and the Sino-Western Encounter, 1770-1839 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Listening to China: Sound and the Sino-Western Encounter, 1770-1839

Thomas Irvine


From bell ringing to fireworks, gongs to cannon salutes, a dazzling variety of sounds and soundscapes marked the China encountered by the West around 1800. These sounds were gathered by diplomats, trade officials, missionaries, and other travelers and transmitted back to Europe, where they were reconstructed in the imaginations of writers, philosophers, and music historians such as Jean-Philippe Rameau, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, and Charles Burney. Thomas Irvine gathers these stories in Listening to China, exploring how the sonic encounter with China shaped perceptions of Europe’s own musical de ... More

Keywords: China, Europe, 1800, Rameau, Forkel, Burney, Sino-Western encounter, sonic encounter, music history, imperialism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226667126
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226667263.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Irvine, author
University of Southampton