Frederick LAU
Research Professor, Ethnomusicology
Department Chair and Division Head
Director of Centre for Chinese Music Studies
201B, Hui Yeung Shing Building
BA (CUHK); LRSM; Dip (Guildhall); MA, DMA (Illinois)
Ethnomusicology and Chinese Music

Frederick LAU is an ethnomusicologist, flutist, and conductor whose scholarly interests include a broad range of topics in Chinese, Western, and Asian music and cultures.  He has published widely on issues related to music and identity, nationalism, modernization, politics, globalization, diaspora, musical hybridity as well as Western avant-garde music.

LAU has received numerous research grants from agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Scholarly Communication with the PRC, Freeman Grants, and the German Academic Exchange (D.A.A.D.).  He served as the former book review editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music and is editor of a book series entitled Music and Performing Arts of Asia and the Pacific, University of Hawaii Press.

He is the president of the Society for Asian Music, former president of Music of East Asia Study Group and the Association for Chinese Music Research, and former council of the Society for Ethnomusicology.   In 2009, he was awarded the College of Arts & Humanities Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2010 the University of Hawai'i Board of Regent's Excellence in Teaching Award.  Prior to coming to CUHK, he taught at Milliken University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire, California Polytechnic State University, University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He also directed workshops and summer institutes for the East-West Center's Asian Studies Development Program.

Selected Publications

1. Music in China: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture.  New York: Oxford University Press (2008).

Edited Volumes:
1. Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Asia and the Pacific.  Co-edited by Frederick Lau and Christine R. Yano.  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press (2018).

2. Vocal Music and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Music: Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West, Co-edited by Frederick Lau and Christian Utz . New York & London: Routledge (2013).

3. Locating East Asia in Western Art Music. Co-edited by Frederick Lau and Yayoi Uno Everett. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press (2004).

2020    "Music in China: Recalibrating Musical Heritage in a Radically Changing Society" in Global Music Culture: an Introduction to World Music. Co-edited by Bonnie Wade and Patricia Campbell, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.72-89.

2020    "Listening to China: sonic articulations of a nation: an introduction" International Communication of Chinese Culture, Springer, V7/2:79–84.

2020    "The sounds of modernity in Chinese pop music." Intercultural Communication of Chinese Culture, Springer, V7/2:101–115.

2019    "Chinese Protest Music" Oxford Handbook of Protest Music. New York: Oxford University Press (in press).

2019    "Chinese Musical Modernities" Oxford Handbook of Chinese Music. New York: Oxford University Press (in press).

2018    "Chou Wen-chung: Voice of Authenticity in the Age of Change." in Music of Two Cultures: Cross-Cultural Synthesis in the Music of Chou Wen-chung.  Co-edited by Mary Arlin and MarkRadice. London and New York: Routledge, 1-16.

2018    "Molihua: Culture and Meaning of China's Most Well-travelled Folksong." in Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Asia and the Pacific.  Co-edited by Frederick Lau and Christine R. Yano.  Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 81-99.

2018    "Sounding Waves--Introduction." With Christine Yano.  in Making Waves: Traveling Musics in Asia and the Pacific.  Co-edited by Frederick Lau and Christine R. Yano. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1-18.    

2017    "When a Great Nation Emerges: Chinese Music in the World," in East-West Musical Encounters: Representation, Reception, and Power Politics in Sino-Western Musical Relations," edited by Michael Saffle and Helan Yang.  University of Michigan Press. 265-282.

2017    "Celestial Music, Glamerous Angels: Girls Glitzing up and Traditional Chinese," in Music in China Today: Traditions, Contemporary Trends, edited by Bernhard Hanneken and Tiago de Oliveria Pinto, Intercultural Music Studies 21, Germany: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 111-130.

2015    "Center or Periphery?": Regional Music in Contemporary China."  Intercultural Communication of Chinese Culture, Springer, 2/1:31–47. 

2015    "Rise Up and Dream: New Work Songs for the New China," in This Thing Called Music: Essays in Honor of Bruno Nettl, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 419-432.

2015    "Modernism and Modernity is Asian Performing Arts" in The Modernist World. London and New York: Routledge, 62-69.

List of Recent Courses Taught
  • Courses taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Music Cultures of the World
  • Sound Systems of the World
  • Musical Cultures: Chin
  • Topics in Ethnomusicology: “Music Production in Cross-Cultural Context”
  • Topics in Ethnomusicology: "Transcription of Musical Performance"
  • Topics in Ethnomusicology: “Music, Nationalism, and Identity”
  • Topics in Ethnomusicology: “Music and Globalization”
  • World Music Teaching in Undergraduate Education