The roots of Hong Kong pop music


The roots of Hong Kong pop music is in 上海 Shanghai.

   Shanghai's music participants and music industries took the political change in 1949 as a occasion to shift their bases from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

   Pop music made in Shanghai was called 時代曲 epoch music. Due to the long  time settlements of foreign powers, Shanghai was a colorful and modern city which had rich cosmopolitan outlook. The music which was made there and was popular there, is 時代曲. The way of calling "時代曲" itself is one  in Hong Kong after the Shanghai music arrived at Hong Kong.

   Though Shanghai was a cosmopolitan, Chinese traditional color was still deep, so the
時代曲 was also based on Chinese traditional music. The songs  were sung in Mandarin.

   Shanghai's music participants who came to Hong Kong began to make
時代曲  in the same manner as before. But, in spite of Hong Kong being a cosmopolitan like Shanghai, Hong Kong had much stronger influence of Europe and the United States than Shanghai. Hong Kong citizens seemed to prefer Western music rather than Chinese traditional one. Shanghai 時代曲 faded  away about since 1965.

   In place of
時代曲, so-called "cover music" which was Western music with Chinese (Mandarin) lyrics, appeared. Especially, after the Beatles performed in Hong Kong in 1964, band boom uprose and lots of small bands which sang Western music, appeared. But most of those were copies of Euro-American bands. Among those, the boom of 陳寶珠 Chan Po Chu and 蕭芳芳 Josephine Siao happened. In the late '60s, 泰迪羅賓 Teddy Robin and the playboys received popularity. 蓮花樂隊 the Lotus with 許冠傑 Samuel Hui, one of the most important artist in Hong Kong pop music scene, started their activities in the second half of '60s.

   In 1960s, most of songs were Mandarin or English. Some songs were Cantonese, but those were deemed low-grade ones compared to Mandarin or English ones. English pop music was supported especially by young people. They devoted themselves to and adored Euro-American music, and often clashed with adults. This situation was similar to that of Japan.

   This situation continued until early 1970s. It's due to this historical background that all songs in Agnes' first album (1971) were English. 黃志華, a music critic in Hong Kong, says that "Agnes' "Circle Game" would be the last song which Hong Kong singer sang in English and achieved success" in the book "チャイニーズ・ポップスのすべて All the Chinese Pop Music." For Agnes' English albums in the Life period, members of 蓮花樂隊 or 葉振棠
Johnny Yip play instruments or perform backing vocals.