Friday, September 19, 2008

How crazy are the Chinese Olympic "Fou" drums?

Yesterday I received an e-mail notice that a fellow member of the Society for Ethnomusicology had been appointed the new editor of the Society's journal, and upon reading the note about his area of specialization, I was happy to see that it was China. I called him to ask him what he knew about the fou drums that--all 2008 of them--had been so impressive in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. (See my 2 September blog entry) His response was that, as far as he had been able to pursue, the claimed lineage of the instrument was somewhat suspect. I told him of my interest in trying to pursue the subject further through our VOA colleagues in Beijing, and he said he would be glad to collaborate. So stay tuned for further information on the fou ("crazy" in French--as indeed they are seeming to turn out to be) drums of the Beijing Olympics. . . .

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