From Music-China Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Shidaiqu (Chinese:時代曲 shídàiqǔ) is a type of Chinese folk/European jazz fusion music that originated in Shanghai, China, in the 1920s[1].



The term (時代曲shídàiqǔ) literally means "songs of the era" in Mandarin. When sung in Cantonese, it is referred to as (粵語時代曲), when sung in Amoy Hokkien, it is referred to as (夏語時代曲).


In Shanghai shidaiqu was regarded as Chinese popular music beginning in the 1920s. Its heyday was in the 1940s, then died out in 1952 when the Communist banned nightclubs and pop music production. The tradition moved to Hong Kong and reached its height from the 1950s to the late 1960s, when it was replaced by the Taiwanese pops (sung in Mandarin) and later cantopop. While it is considered a prototype, music enthusiasts may see it as early version of mandopop. Li Jinhui is the founder of shidaiqu along with chinese popular music. The western jazz influence were shaped by American jazz musician Buck Clayton. Nowadays, shidaiqu inspired Gary Lucas for his album "the Edge of Heaven". On the other hand, if cinema was at the origin of many songs, Wong Kar Wai used them again for illustrating his movie "In the Mood for Love"; Rebecca Pan, one of the actresses in this film, was also one of theses famous shi dai qu singers. Last but not least, as Mainland and Hong Kong were original areas, Japan shouldn't be neglected in the story of shi dai qu, due to one of the famous singers, Yoshiko Yamagushi (aka Li Xianglan).

Read more about the History of Shidaiqu.

Further information


  1. Shoesmith, Brian. Rossiter, Ned. [2004] (2004). Refashioning Pop Music in Asia: Cosmopolitan flows, political tempos and aesthetic Industries. Routeledge Publishing. ISBN 0700714014

Personal tools