CHIME was founded in 1990 by European music scholars from four different countries. CHIME serves as an active world-wide network of Chinese music enthusiasts. We take an interest in Han Chinese music, but also in other native music traditions within the current geographical borders of China, in musical cultures of areas bordering China, and in music of the Chinese diaspora.
For whom is CHIME intended?
Our annual conferences are attended by specialists in musicology, sinology and anthropology, but also by composers, musicians, art historians, archeologists, writers, journalists, and general lovers of Chinese music. Speakers examine a very wide range of genres, from Buddhist ritual to Asian local opera, from folk songs to Chinese pop and rock, from shamanism to film & theatre music.
These broad interests are also reflected on the pages of our annual journal, published in a circulation of ca. 600, and subscribed to by numerous major university libraries, Asian studies departments and music centres in Europe, the United States, the Pacific and Asia. The journal incorporates academic papers (some fairly down to earth, some very complex!) but also nicely illustrated travel reports and popular articles, intended for a wider readership.
At our office in the Netherlands, we house an international library with books an journals on Chinese music (in Western languages and in Chinese), as well as an elaborate audiovisual archive.
Name and logo
CHIME is an abbreviation which stands for 'Chinese Music Europe'. The character used by the foundation as its logo was designed on request by Chinese painter and calligrapher Zhang Qinghui (Suzhou). He wrote the word qing ('chime') in such a way as to bring out its musical implications. 'Chime' may refer to bell ringing, clear and resonant sounds, clarity, harmony, a spirit of agreement, or, in its specific sense of a Chinese instrument, to the L-shaped sonorous stones used in the court music of ancient China.
Among the founders of CHIME are Frank Kouwenhoven (currently the Foundation's Secretary-Treasurer), Antoinet Schimmelpenninck (Leiden University), Stephen Jones (SOAS, University of London), François Picard (The Sorbonne University, Paris) and Helen Rees (University of California, Los Angeles). In recent years, Dr. Laurence Picken (Cambridge University UK) and Dr. Barbara Mittler (Heidelberg University) were appointed honorary members.
As a non-profit organization, CHIME depends primarily on private funds and on incidental support grants. Its annual income is supplemented with subscription payments, donations, revenues of concerts, conferences and radio broadcasts. We welcome contributions and bequests to support our special projects, events and publications. Contributions are tax deductible. For more information on opportunities to support our activities, please write or call our office in Leiden.
CHIME has received incidental grants and logistic support from the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (Taiwan), the Dutch Organization for Science and Education NWO, the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences KNAW, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foundation for the Promotion of Cultural Exchange and Co-operation between the Netherlands and China, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the Leiden University Fund, the Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation NPS, the Research School CNWS (Leiden) and other institutions. CHIME co-operates actively with numerous instutions in Europe. These include the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM), the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (SOAS), the Universities of Leiden, Heidelberg, Prague, Sheffield UK and Venice, as well as international concert agencies like Paradox, Asian Music Circuit, and Network for Non-Western Music.
Board and liaison officers
Executive Board: Stephen Jones (SOAS London), Frank Kouwenhoven (Leiden), Barbara Mittler (University of Heidelberg), François Picard (The Sorbonne University, Paris), Tan Hwee-San (SOAS, London).
Liaison Officers: Professor Helen Rees (University of California, Los Angeles), Dr. Wu Ben (University of Pittsburgh), Wang Hong (San Francisco), Li Shuqin (Central Conservatory, Beijing), Dai Xiaolian (Shanghai Conservatory), Dr. Lucy Oliva (Chiang Ching-kuo Center for Chinese Studies, Prague), Dr. Luciana Galliano (Torino, Italy), Dr. Jonathan Stock (Music Department, University of Sheffield, UK), Dr. Zhou Qinru (Los Angeles, USA).
For further information on our various activities (journal, meetings, archive, special projects), you can consult the various entries on our website.