I earn my living as an IT system administrator. Obviously, the news that Google stops censoring search results in China was quite a bomb for me. This is the biggest impact on politics and censorship in modern media that a single decision by a software firm has, or better, will have on the world and everyday life. At least I can not remember anything similar from the top of my head. Also, nice move from Google for not only telling the world they might do this, but for actually doing it. For whatever their motives might be, it’s a bold move nonetheless, given the weight the Chinese market will undoubtly have in the future.
As I thought about this whole thing for a while, putting the first obvious positives aside – being able to get an “outside view” on China through possibly less filtered and tuned news channels and websites – I wondered: how big will the impact on the music scene in China be? Will this be a chance for artists and new music to pour into the land? Or maybe, pour out of it? I mean, let’s be honest: China is more or less ruled like a totalitarian state, and history shows us that the censorship of those states make quite an impact on the music scene as well. One example I can think of is the government in East Germany/the DDR, where Beat music (think Beatles and Co), Punk and other music genres surfaced, tolerated or “shaped” to reflect the opinions of those in charge of the country, just to fade out of existence completely a year or so later. Without anyone even to mention that such bands existed or were promoted by the regime.
In China, this might not be any different. I’m sure that there is a big scene of underground artists, playing songs with lyrics against their government, or just music that is not deemed “worthy” to represent China’s culture to the outside world so to say. Maybe the fall of Google censorship is a new way for the people to discover such artists, that are promoted only on sites and sources outside of China. Or, maybe the influence of new music and media available with relative ease (I think it might still be achore here and there to really obtain absolute unfiltered results and web sources there…) will help breed a completely new wave of modern Chinese music. This might be interesting to observe…
Just my two cents from the top of my head. I wonder what music actually IS hip and modern in China right now anyways… Nice little research project for after work I guess. Open for recommendations and hints regarding the matter though! =)