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Past, Present, and Future: A Survey of Teaching and Scholarship of Western Music in China

Author(s): Yang Yandi

Journal: Journal of Music History Pedagogy
ISSN 2155-109X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 169;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Music History | Pedagogy | China

Since the early 1900s, the understanding and reception of Western music by Chinese musicians and the general public has undergone many fundamental changes, along with the evolution of modern Chinese society. Before 1949, knowledge of Western music was limited. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the understanding and teaching of Western music was strongly influenced by Soviet-Marxist ideologies. During the decade of the Cultural Revolution, due to political and social turmoil, the normal teaching, performance and research of Western music was almost entirely interrupted. After 1977, the fostering of Western music in China, including its teaching, performance, and research, has taken advantage of China’s overall social and economic progress, and thus improved rapidly. I believe that in the coming years, the teaching and research of Western music in China will need to be promoted from two perspectives: 1) we must continue to deepen the introduction, assimilation and exchanges of ideas and methodologies of Western musicology and thinking; and 2) we must continue to identify and emphasize our own positions and raise our own problems from the perspective of China’s unique cultural and social background. In this process, we sincerely hope to get help and collaboration from Western colleagues and the international musicological community.

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