28 September 2014
Singapore Soundscape - A Book on the History of the musics on the island republic
National Library Board and National Arts Council in Singapore has finally published the book. Yes, arguably one of the first books locally to trace the historical journeys of music and the various music scenes (classical, jazz, Malay, Tamil, Chinese, etc.) in Singapore. It also included chapters on government policies on music education, histories of school bands, choirs, etc. as well, to make it an interesting anthology for anyone who is keen to find out more about the island republic in the past century.
I contributed an overview chapter on the history of English language popular music (Chapter 8), and I have included accounts of the vibrant rock scene of the 1960s, the lean years of the 1970s and early 1980s, key local music figures like Chris Ho (X' Ho), Dick Lee, and many more. Not as in-depth as I have wanted it to be but, hopefully, a start for the documentation of the so-far under-written past of Singapore's musical path. One thing which I think I might have done it right would be a substantial portion of it has been dedicated to the independent/underground music scene of the late 1980s and 1990s, so Chris Ho's Rediffusion programmes, music mag BigO and related developments were outlined in the chapter.
It is not for sale (which is good), copies will be available in all NLB branches for loan and it will be available online via NLB site Music SG very soon.