Essay on The Effect of the Modernization of China on Chinese Music

Essay on The Effect of the Modernization of China on Chinese Music

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The modernization of China has played a key role in the changes of popular culture in China. With modernization, the people of China were introduced to different forms and styles of music which the Chinese studied and incorporated into their own
music. They felt that the 'Westernization of their music' would make it more modern. With the rise of popular music came a means of identification, and with that, regulations to control its effect on society as a whole. And finally, the blurring of boundaries between China and the rest of the world show the ever-changing nature of the music in China. Throughout China's modernization, as the country opened up to the West, the Chinese music scene slowly changed in terms of style, production, regulation, and distribution.

Along with the technological advancement of China, modernization also exposed the Chinese to Western music. “Among the Western instruments imported into China, the piano seems to have had the most appeal not only for musicians but also the general public” (Lau 95). The appeal of the piano was likely due to three early music scholars, Sheng Xinggong, Li Shutong, and Xiao Youmei, who “all studied piano and considered it an important foundation for learning Western music” (Lau 95). As educators of music, these three individuals had great influence on the other generations of musicians. Additionally, when a Russian composer named Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977) was performing a world wide piano tour and came to China, he became enamored with Chinese music. As a result Tcherepnin canceled the rest of his tour to remain in China in order to study and work with many Chinese musicians and “he devoted himself to educating Chinese composers to express their native style by integr...


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...ks Cited
Cloonan, Martin. “Call That Censorship? Problems of Definition.” Cloonan 13-29.
Cloonan, Martin and Reebee Garofalo, ed. Policing Pop. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 2003.
Dujunco, Mercedes M. “Hybridity and Disjuncture in Mainland Chinese Popular Music.” King. 25-39.
Kahn-Harris, Keith. “Death Metal and the Limits of Musical Expression.” Cloonan. 81-99.
Keane, Michael. “Television Drama in China: Engineering Souls for the Market.” King 120-137.
King, Richard and Timothy J. Craig, ed. Global Goes Local: Popular Culture in Asia. Vancouver: UBC Press. 2002.
Kloet, Jeroen de. “Confusing Confucius: Rock in Contemporary China.” Cloonan. 166-185.
Lau, Frederick. Music in China: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008
Wong, Isabel K.F. “The Incantation of Shanghai: Singing a City into Existence.” King. 246-264.

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