The music culture of older adults in Cantonese operatic singing lessons

Wai Han LO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cantonese operatic singing, one of the regional opera forms in China, flourishes mainly in the southern province of Guangdong. By exploring the culture of Cantonese operatic singing, this study relates older people's music participation to a sense of collectivism, thereby contributing to the maintenance of interpersonal relationships and promoting successful ageing. The study also illustrates how the musical participation of older adults can be influenced by the lifecourse and ageing in terms of both vocal abilities and levels of participation. Data analysed through participation observation in two Cantonese operatic singing lessons identify the rituals and core values of Cantonese operatic singing lessons. The findings help to explain how this particular music genre interacts with ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1634
Number of pages21
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • ageing
  • Cantonese opera
  • cultural capital
  • culture
  • Music
  • rituals
  • tastes


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