Year published :February 2022

Pages :362 pp., paperback

Size :15 x 23 cm.

Black & White illustrations :93

ISBN: 9786162151873

Music and Recording in King Chulalongkorn’s Bangkok

by James Leonard Mitchell

Paperback edition

Music and Recording in King Chulalongkorn’s Bangkok is the first comprehensive history of Siamese music during the celebrated reign of Rama V (r. 1857–1910). Following on from the author’s 2015 exploration of Thailand’s most popular music genre, luk thung, James Leonard Mitchell focuses in on the brief period from 1903 to 1910 when gramophone recording came to Siam and almost failed. Music and Recording in King Chulalongkorn’s Bangkok is the story of Siamese musicians, European recording experts and Chinese middlemen. It is the story of the city that was inherited and developed by Rama V, of a Chinese community seething with secret societies and revolution, and of the adventurous western companies that dreamed of global commercial domination. Based on research from the EMI Archive in London and the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, along with years of fieldwork in Thailand, the book contains 88 photographs, a discography of all known recordings, and links to YouTube videos.

About the Author

James Leonard Mitchell completed his PhD from Macquarie University in 2012 before becoming Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Khon Kaen University in Thailand. He is currently Professor of Ethnomusicology at Missional University and lives with his family in Sydney, Australia. In 2020 he received an Endangered Archives grant from the British Library to digitize early Thai gramophone records.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 King Chulalongkorn’s Bangkok
Chapter 2 The Chinese in Bangkok 
Chapter 3 Music and Theater in Siam Before 1903 
Chapter 4 Recording of Siamese Music up to 1915 

Book Reviews

  • Review of Music and Recording in King Chulalongkorn’s Bangkok by Deborah Wong. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, Vol. 38, No. 3, November 2023. (Download PDF)

Related products