Yang Yinliu and his Draft

Yang Yinliu (杨荫浏) wrote a critique of his Draft History of Ancient Chinese Music 中国古代音乐史稿 (hereafter Draft) in the April issue of Music Research (音乐研究) in 1958.

It was more of a self-criticism. Yang wrote that he had a far-from-perfect grasp of Communist doctrines and that he had not become ‘proletarianized’ enough.

Yang (third from the left in the photo) started on the Draft in 1959 and completed two volumes by July 1977. The two volume work was officially published February 2, 1981. In 1965 Mao Zedong instructed that Yang's book be published without delay and Yang worked frantically to complete the text. At the time, Yang was reluctant to make any revisions, politically that is, and the book ended up on the printing press shelves for another ten years.


Micic, Peter, 'Gathering a Nation's Music: A Life of Yang Yinliu' in Lives in Chinese Music (Helen Rees, ed), University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 91-116, 2009.

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