THE good thing about having a bad year is that you can always look forward to better days in the next one. The past year has not been a good one for the music industry - or the entertainment scene - where death and violence have been lead characters. In the music business, in particular, three deaths have had a profound effect on the players and the scene. In January, the accident which took the life of a 17-year-old fan during Andy Lau Tak-wah's debut concerts may not have had far-reaching consequences for the industry in general, but it must have left a lasting impression on Lau and made concert organisers more aware of the problem of safety. In June, it was the death of Beyond lead singer Koma Wong Ka-kui that brought the biggest setback for the music industry. Wong, who was spearheading Hong Kong's resurrection of original compositions, was seen as an idol in the slowly growing rock scene. And, in October, Danny Chan Pak-keung finally slipped away after 17 months in a coma induced by a suspected drug overdose. The untimely demise of these two musicians has left Hong Kong with still fewer singer-songwriters in an already shrinking pool of talent. On the upside, Hong Kong and Taiwan appear to have entered into an exchange programme where they swap Canto-pop stars for teenage Tai-pop idols - Jimmy Lin Chi-yan, Nicky Wu Chi-lung and Takeshi Kaneshiro are sending Hong Kong girls into a frenzy, whileHong Kong's four ''Don't Call Us Canto-pop'' kings - Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, Leon Lai Ming and Aaron Kwok Fu-shing - are notching up impressive sales in Taiwan. Taiwan should prove to be a good influence on Hong Kong because its trend of original compositions should force Hong Kong singers, who have so far been doing cover versions of Taiwanese or Japanese numbers, to come up with their own songs. But where were the ''queens'' in 93? Hong Kong lodged missing persons reports as Sally Yeh, Sandy Lam Yik-lin and Shirley Kwan Suk-yee faded away after Faye Wong Ching-man - attitude and all - took over the crown of Most Likely to Succeed (Despite a Weird Dress Sense) Canto-pop Queen. In another shock dethroning, the aptly named Charlie Young Choi-nei upset the apple cart when she pulled in the ''Sweet Young Thing of Canto-pop'' title. She also nabbed the fans of former Sweet Young Thing Vivian Chow Wai-man, Also-ran Liz Kong Hei-man and Never-quite-made-it Karen Mok Man-wai. In 1993, a new breed of moleitau (nonsense) singers was born, led by Commercial Radio disc jockeys, SoftHard Kids (Eric Kot Man-fai and Jan Lamb Hoi-fung). Joined by singer-for-eight-years-but-recording-artiste-for-one Dicky Cheung Wai-kin, they provideda welcome nonsensical yet logical change in a boring staple of Canto-love ballads. Together with this new moleitau breed came dozens of new singers of whom nobody had heard or are likely to hear of again as record companies decided on hit-or-miss tactics to bring in big bucks fast, probably so that they can relocate to Bermuda after 1997. The year also saw a revival of those who had faded from the scene in the past five years, led by Tony ''the headband'' Leung Chiu-wai and ''Law Kei'', who has turned out to be Hong Kong's latest - and most unlikely - teen idol. By all accounts, 1993's Newcomer of the Year crown should fall into the hands of ''Law Kei'', but it would no doubt be recalled when it is learnt that he has been masquerading as Roman Tam for more than 20 years. And, in the ''I May Not Sing Well But Hey I Can Strip'' category, Vanessa Ellen Chan Nga-lun and Loletta Li Lai-chan followed in the footsteps of Veronica Yip Yuk-hing and found the quickest way to a recording contract was to shed their clothes. As a result, karaoke and singing contests should die a natural death in 1994 because potential candidates will be too busy signing up for photo shoots for Chinese Penthouse and other soft porn magazines. In the ''Great Comebacks'' department, Priscilla Chan Wai-han broke her own record when she announced a comeback a year ahead of schedule, beating her standing record for the longest retirement announcement, which lasted eight months. Not so lucky is Anita (I Want to Retire But I Can't Afford to) Mui Yim-fong, who has rallied friends to lead the call for her return to the stage, despite already having signed up for 53 concerts in China. But her big comeback is now in limbo - the Chinese authorities postponed indefinitely all concerts by foreign artists because they cause too much of a ''disturbance''. And, as if they didn't have enough problems already, Vivian Chow Wai-man and Alan Tam Wing-lun learned from friends that their record company released their albums a few weeks ahead of schedule to select street vendors in Mongkok's Sai Yeung Choi Street. Imagine their shock when they read the fine print on the compact discs and discovered they had been released by some pirate on the mainland. Just about any other recording artist you can name found their latest and greatest collections were also being rushed to the vendors by recording factories they didn't even know existed. In the coming year, the focus on triads in the movie industry will send actors and actresses beating a path to the doors of recording companies for a change in career, with Carina Lau Ka-ling, Tony ''The Lover'' Leung Kar-fai and Joey Wong Jo-yin at the head of the queue. This, in turn, will induce triads to switch their focus to the recording scene, where they have been waiting on the fringes . . . hey, wait a minute, aren't they already running the piracy racket?