Music from China, Japan, Bali and the Pacific Islands Essay

Music from China, Japan, Bali and the Pacific Islands Essay

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Music can be defined as a collection of sounds and silence, however, as we learned in class, music style and verity can differ greatly between regions of the world. In this paper, we will summarize each studied region by listing a few important characteristics and themes of each. We will first look into the regional themes and styles of China, followed by those from Japan and Bali, then move on to the Pacific Islands, and finally end with Pacific Latin America. We will also compare and contrast each area along the way, and will list some common similarities and differences between them.
Music in China is roughly centered on three main themes. The first theme prevalent in Chinese music in the past is the idea that music should be used to better one’s self in the long-run. This idea was prevalent among the literati in China, whose ideas revolved around the Confucian idea that music should be played for the bettering of yourself. The Guqin, a large string instrument from the region, was often played by scholars for introspection, and was believed that it could lead to spiritual enlightenment for those who played it. The second common theme used in Chinese music is precision. In the Canton province the two styles of music played, Yueju and Jingju, both require extremely precise high-pitched falsetto singing, and often involved only one singer and one instrument. The third theme of Chinese music was the idea of amateur verses professional musicians in China. In pre-PRC China, amateurs were actually held in a higher status than professionals. Once the PRC took over, the opposite began to happen. Mass music became popular, so new music styles began to emerge, which eventually meant that traditional pre-PRC music ...


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... Spanish cultures with the African cultures to create the Mestizo heritage. The African culture brought the heavy use of percussion to traditional Latin American music. The third and final theme from the Pacific Latin American region is the strong sense of nationalism that was so common. This theme can be tied back to the theme of regional identity in the fact that much of the music that migrated from the rural areas to the big cities and around the world instilled a great sense of nationalism in the natives.
Music varies greatly from country to country, and many differences are present. However, when you analyze and dig deeper into each country’s central themes, you begin to pick up on more similarities that you originally thought. In this paper, we looked at popular themes from each of the studied regions, and compared and contrasted them along the way.


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