If you want to see what's hot in guitar bodies and hear what sounds good in amps or grand pianos, then be in Shanghai in the second week of October. That's when Music China hits town, a giant opportunity to source, sell or promote instruments in the work shop of the world. As I've reported here before, China is the world's number one maker of musical instruments - in quantity terms no one beats China for making and exporting pianos, guitars and drum kits. But China's middle class is growing and government here is spending ever-more money on public education programmes. Both are reasons why there'll be no less than five national pavilions at this year's Music China, set for October 9 to 12, at the Shanghai Convention Centre. Oxford University Press are joining the British Pavilion - they want to sell score books - while the Spanish Guitar Mastercraftsman's Guild will be showing off classical strings at the Spanish Pavillion. There'll also be special stalls from the Czech Republic and Taiwan. An eclectic grouping indeed. And all hosted (though the hard nuts and bolts work is done by Frankfurt Messe) by the China Music Instruments Assocation, whose chief mandarin Wang Getian was good enough to give me an interview recently. I'm now keen to talk to someone from the Music Industries Association in the UK for an insight into what the British pavillion, which it leads, wants from the show. Keep you posted.
2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.