Burma’s soundscape changed slowly at rst, but the pace picked up dramatically as the 20th century dawned. Developments in the global music industry drew the country into a mass culture that embraced a wide range of musical forms. Also, as time passed, more Europeans and Americans had the opportunity to visit Burma and spend time there. The range and standard of local entertainment venues improved markedly and the province (later colony) began to appear on the itineraries of international artists. Yet the market in the West for sentimental stories about shy ‘native’ girls patiently waiting for their lovers did not diminish. Indeed, any movement towards a greater understanding of the country and its culture was set back by the advent of movies, which reinforced many of the familiar stereotypes, both on screen and in terms of their soundtracks. Even the Second World War could not shake images of Burma that had been created by Kipling’s ballad and later popular music. Indeed, in many cases it reinforced them.